By Fred Topel | Images property of Walt Disney Pictures
G-Force is the best original blockbuster of the summer. Just to clarify that demonstrative statement, Star Trek was a reboot/re-imagining/sequel. (500) Days of Summer isn’t a blockbuster. It is still better than the other sequel blockbusters so really I just had to qualify Trek and Summer.
They’ve really done Jerry Bruckheimer action on a guinea pig scale and it’s totally suspenseful and engaging. They still dodge fire but it’s in smaller fire chutes. The hacking encryption scenes have suspense like human techno thrillers. Even the contrived escape option is just like the contrived alternative in a real action movie.
Little obstacles to animals are big action, but there’s big action too. The coffee maker attack is truly exciting. This is better action than Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Perhaps less really is more. G-Force is earnest with its action and drama. The joke is not that it’s guinea pigs. The joke is that they’re awesome. Perhaps less is more.”
They pay homage to the classic action movie one-liners too. You’ll hear lines from Die Hard, Scarface and every Arnold movie, tailored to the guinea pigs. The heroes have their own kid friendly catch phrases too, euphemized for parents to appreciate.
The little touches are great. They call the coat room full of furs the morgue, they get dizzy when they hitch a ride on a wheel. It’s really F’ing cute. Even Facebook and Dance Dance Revolution references are cute now that it’s action hero animals. I imagine the fashion jokes are a big deal for the ladies too.
The CGI looks real. I mean, this looks like real guinea pigs in action. I’m really critical of CGI. I think Hollywood puts shoddy looking stuff on movie screens. Jerry Bruckheimer runs a tight ship so his talking guinea pigs look more real than Wolverine’s claws or Skynet’s new 100 foot tall terminators.
They’ve found a way to take 3-D to the next level too. They show the film on a full screen with a letterboxed effect, but certain 3-D elements extend into the black bars. This way the 3-D gags are not limited to the film frame. It still looks weird when the camera moves. Maybe we’re not supposed to sit still and see the perspective of motion change relative distances, or maybe there’s something wrong with my eyes.
They slip a little positive message in there, telling kids that doing extraordinary things is what makes you special. That’s good, but really it’s about hardcore action. The kids coo at the cockroaches with their 3-D antennas and the sparks flying, but G-Force works without the gimmicks.