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Overall Rating
2.33

Awesome: 5%
Worth A Look: 10%
Average: 15%
Pretty Bad52.5%
Total Crap: 17.5%

4 reviews, 16 user ratings


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G-Force
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by Peter Sobczynski

"If Only PETA=People for the Ethical Treatment of Audiences"
1 stars

For the last few months, I have been beating the drum for 2009 being a banner year for feature-length animated films thanks to the appearance of such marvels as “Coraline,” “Sita Sings the Blues” and “Up” and the promise held by “Ponyo,” the upcoming work from master filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki. At the same time, however, there have been plenty of bad animated films released as well--including such duds as “Monsters Vs. Aliens,” “Battle for Terra” and “Ice Age 3”--but up until this point, the virtues of the good films managed to outweigh the bad points of those duds. With the release of “G-Force,” Disney’s latest venture into the world of 3-D CGI animation (actually a live-action/animation hybrid), I fear that the scales have tipped completely over to the dark side. This is a stupid, lazy, dully designed and messily executed piece of junk that will have little kids and parents alike squirming in their seats out of sheer boredom.

The conceit of the film is that a group of guinea pigs (plus a mole and a housefly) has been specially trained by a pair of government flunkies (Zach Galifianakis and Kellie Garner) to carry out the kind of top-secret missions that others can’t. When their program is at risk for cancellation at the hands of a new boss (Will Arnett), the team--leader Darwin (Sam Rockwell), daredevil Blaster (Tracy Morgan), babe Juarez (Penelope Cruz) and computer expert Speckles (Nicolas Cage)--decide to prove their usefulness by infiltrating the mansion of creepy appliance billionaire Saber (Bill Nighy) and uncover evidence of his suspected plans for destroying the world. Inevitably, the plan goes gunny, the project is shut down and the animals wind up in a local pet store where they are trapped with such ordinary animals as an excessively flatulent fellow guinea pig (Jon Favreau) and a deranged hamster (Steve Buscemi). Before long, they are all separated--Juarez and Blaster are adopted by a pair of rotten kids and Speckles apparently meets an ugly end in the back of a dump truck--and it is up to Darwin to break out of the pet shop (with his newfound farty friend in tow) and reunite the team in order to stop Saber and save the day before time runs out. Of course, things are a little more complicated than that, though not so much that even the littlest kids will have any trouble correctly predicting the shocking twists and turns of the plot.

The idea of secret agent vermin has a sort of nutty appeal to it, I suppose, and I can see how it might have worked as a short subject. However, it is pretty much a one-joke idea and in stretching that joke to a barely feature-length running time, it quickly becomes evident that the filmmakers didn’t really have any idea of what to do it in terms of telling a story. Instead, they have essentially given us a checklist of the kind of clichés that have become all too prevalent in lame animated films of late. Dialogue that mostly consists of pop culture references and poop jokes? Check. Long time-killing scenes featuring out heroes hurtling up and down tubes and tunnels in scenes that feel as if they have been inserted solely to provide a level for the inevitable video game tie-in? Check. Actors who have been chosen more for their ability to get on talk shows to promote the film than for the quality of their voice work? Check. (Seriously, I like Penelope Cruz and Tracy Morgan as much as anyone but who could possibly think that they were the right people to contribute voices to an animated film--were Salma Hayek and the ghost of Moms Mabley unavailable?) Does it feature an incessant soundtrack of current pop hits for no discernible reason? Check. (There are so many cues from the new Black-Eyed Peas album that I mentally made a note to remove it from my iPod the minute that I got home because I was so sick of it after its overuse here.) Does it feature 3-D effects that aren’t especially impressive and which could have been dropped entirely without affecting the final product at all? Check. Does it all end with heartfelt speeches about family, a bunch of explosions and a blatant set-up for a sequel? Check, check and check. Frankly, the only thing remotely resembling an original element here is the decidedly oddball vocal turn from Cage, who deploys a voice so bizarre that it is likely that most viewers won’t recognize it at all.

At this point, there are probably a few of you out there who think that I am taking “G-Force” way too seriously and that I should cut it some critical slack since it is aimed primarily at children and therefore shouldn’t be judged too harshly. Personally, I think that sort of thinking is nonsense and that the people making films for younger audiences actually have a greater responsibility to their viewers. After all, such people are at an impressionable point in their lives and if they are treated to films that challenge them and treat them like intelligent people, it can foster a lifelong interest in not just the cinema but also the arts in general. On the other hand, something that is boring and uninspired can kill that enthusiasm in such a decisive manner that it can destroy that interest in art and imagination forever. “G-Force” is so cruddy that it could single-handedly send an entire generation of young people on the road to business school alone.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=18128&reviewer=389
originally posted: 07/24/09 14:00:00
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User Comments

11/02/10 Dr.Lao Too raunchy for kids, too stupid for adults, might be good for immature 13 year olds 1 stars
12/20/09 G-Force liker G-Force is alright. But I do wish that it's humor is less inappropriate. 3 stars
10/26/09 Loy65 Lately, he's had no shame in comparing the Obama Administration and the Democratically-cont 3 stars
10/25/09 Kelvin74 Jettisoning the idea Ratner has a monopoly on development in the area opens up crucial poss 4 stars
10/25/09 GanjaBoy87 Second, it leaves no room for individuals being accountable for their past choices. , <a 5 stars
10/24/09 Loy12 I believe the intent was to portray the characters as what they would look like in real lif 3 stars
10/24/09 BadGirl91 Most Touhou characters reside in a fictional realm called Gensokyo, where humans and y&#333 4 stars
10/23/09 Daddy87 Okay so a really super good friend of mine sent me a TP to this store. , 3 stars
10/21/09 Yuki Akiyama 5 stars
8/14/09 Dan Hardly designed for adults, thus they probably won't like it. Kids on the other hand..... 3 stars
8/04/09 Kelly Our family loved it! That family could be what you choose appealed to my adopted kids. 4 stars
8/02/09 Ming not my type of film...might be fun for kids 2 stars
7/31/09 ken you have to remember this movie was for little kids and adults r giving their own opinion 4 stars
7/29/09 Knightfox21 I just can't stomach two hours of anything with Tracy Morgan's voice... 2 stars
7/25/09 PAUL SHORTT TRIES TOO HARD, AND IT SHOWS 2 stars
7/25/09 Isaac good in 3D 3 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  24-Jul-2009 (PG)
  DVD: 15-Dec-2009

UK
  N/A

Australia
  24-Jul-2009
  DVD: 15-Dec-2009




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