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Melissa McCarthy true to formula in ‘Thunder Force’

With cinemas currently closed in Phuket luckily film fans can turn to streaming services for some entertainment. Once again worldwide we have seen Netflix get the jump on cinema chains due to the pandemic and they are proudly showing the brand-new Melissa McCarthy (Brides Maids) film ‘Thunder Force’.

By David Griffiths

Sunday 2 May 2021, 11:00AM

Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer in Thunder Force (2021). Image: IMDB

Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer in Thunder Force (2021). Image: IMDB

Written and directed by McCarthy’s real-life husband Ben Falcone (Superintelligence), Thunder Force sees her play Lydia – a dock worker who has always regretted the argument that ended her friendship with her former friend in high school, Emily Stanton (Octavia Spencer – The Help).

The fight itself was over Emily never wanting to have fun – instead she wanted to spend all her time studying so that she could one day develop a way to destroy the mutants that plague society and killed her parents.

In the present day Emily is now the owner of one of the biggest scientific firms in the world and the world is still plagued by these mutants, which include the deadly Laser (Pom Klementieff – Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2) and the just plain strange The Crab (Jason Bateman – Juno).

Determined to make things right between them again Lydia reaches out to Emily on the night of their high school reunion and the disastrous result sees the pair become superheroes.

Now the world finally has a duo that can stand up to the mutants but that also suddenly sees the new-found heroes thrust into the middle of a political election that sees the larger than life celebrity known as The King (Bobby Cannavale – Superintelligence) take on the mild-mannered and serious Rachel Gonzalez (Melissa Ponzio – The Walking Dead).

For fans of superhero movies there was no way that Thunder Force was ever going to stack up against anything that Marvel or DC could ever deliver, but for fans of comedy – well you might be in for a little bit of a surprising treat.

To Ben Falcone’s credit he doesn’t try to make Thunder Force anything it isn’t. From the get-go he would have wanted this film to be mentioned alongside films like Galaxy Quest. While Thunder Force is not exactly a parody of a Marvel film it is the next best thing. It is loud and it is dumb, but at the end day it does what it is designed to do – make its audience laugh.

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The key to whether or not you not you enjoy this film all comes down to whether or not you normally like the comedy styling of Melissa McCarthy. McCarthy doesn’t do anything different here to what she has been doing for the last decade in cinema. Once again she plays a character who sees herself as a ‘loser’. There are jokes about her looks, jokes about her weight, lots of slap-stick comedy and once again her character has to do things she never ever thought she was capable of. Yep, if you’ve seen a majority of McCarthy’s films you’ll know exactly what to expect. But hey, if what she does works, why should she change it?

Aside from McCarthy the rest of the actors and actresses here also seem to have a hell of a lot of fun. Bobby Cannavale seems to be his element playing an over-the-top rogue while Octavia Spencer seems to relish one of the lighter roles of her career. Then there is Jason Bateman who once again re-creates the comedy magic that he had with McCarthy in Identity Thief.

Thunder Force is your typical Melissa McCarthy shtick. You are either going to watch it and laugh along or you’ll be wondering why on earth everybody around is laughing at a film that you find unfunny.

3/5 Stars

Thunder Force is currently available in Phuket on a number of streaming services.

David Griffiths has been working as a film and music reviewer for over 20 years. That time has seen him work in radio, television and in print. You can follow him at

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