G-Force

2009, Movie, PG, 90 mins

Review

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Produced by action-meister Jerry Bruckheimer for Disney, G-Force has all the crazy chases and daredevil stunts of his typical films (National Treasure, Bad Boys, etc.), but they've been scaled down to be more kid-friendly. The setup involves a scientist (Zach Galifianakis), who has spent grant money from the Department of Homeland Security training animals into an elite special-forces unit. The trio of guinea pigs that form the heart of the crew consist of the leader, Darwin (voiced by Sam Rockwell); the flirty but tough Juarez (Penelope Cruz); and the fearless, crazy Blaster (a perfectly cast Tracy Morgan). All three work closely with a tech-whiz mole named Speckles (voiced by Bruckheimer regular Nicolas Cage). The team must stop a home appliance mogul (Bill Nighy) from turning his products into a robot army that will take over the world, all while they're being hunted by an FBI agent (Will Arnett) who wants the G-Force program shut down.

As is often the case with Jerry Bruckheimer productions, the story is far less important than the spectacle, and while "spectacle" in one of his films usually means lots of explosions and cars flying through the air, G-Force is unique for having cute talking animals -- rather than muscle-bound alpha males -- leaping away in slow-motion from the fireballs. The action sequences aren't particularly memorable, but they're entirely competent and kids will certainly get a kick out of them. There's a paint-by-numbers moral about family that runs through the movie, but it's there more for parents than for anyone else -- children aren't going to expect (or want) to learn anything from a movie where a furry critter rides inside a remote-control car as it jumps over a line of toy trucks. Your ability to enjoy G-Force will correlate directly with how funny you find the idea of guinea pigs as action heroes, meaning the movie's core audience (and a handful of adults) will have a fun time, but it's going to seem awfully standard to parents who are more than familiar with the Bruckheimer formula. leave a comment --Perry Seibert

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