On DVD: G-Force


I don’t have anything against talking animals. I love Disney movies like the rest of them. I’ll take talking toys, bugs, bears, penguins, fish, you name it — but an elite force of special unit guinea pigs in a live action setting is not something that screams fun for the whole family. No doubt that kids will get a kick out of mindless physical humor with chase scenes, explosions and high-tech gadgetry, but considering 2009 was full of terrific animated movies from “Coraline” to “Up” to “Cloudy with a Chance Meatballs,” “G-Force” is a complete waste by comparison.

A team of genetically enhanced talking guinea pigs works for a secret division of the government. When their plan to stop a mad man (Bill Nighy) goes sour, they’re shut down and the guinea pigs end up at a pet store, where planning their escape and still managing to stop the bad guy will be their toughest challenge yet.

Written by The Wibberleys (“National Treasure” co-writers), “G-Force” is another being a hero story only with balls of fur and consequently a lot of “that’s because I’m small or furry or an animal” jokes.

The big mistake, in my opinion, is combining live action and CGI. I think they could’ve made this film work all animated, but they chose the much cornier route. As a result, the film just looks worse and they cause themselves problems such as why the guinea pigs are talking CGI creatures but the dogs and squirrels in the movie are ordinary dogs and squirrels. When the film goes “Transformers 2” at the end, it just makes things worse.

“G-Force” certainly has no lack of action. The plot moves quickly and the film is watchable. It’s one thing to be bad and another to be bad and dull. “G-Force” is not dull, but it doesn’t earn many more compliments. It’s mostly the humor that backfires and attempts to write in subplots of g-pigs wanting to date other g-pigs. I must, however, compliment voice casting. Penelope Cruz, Nic Cage, Sam Rockwell and Tracy Morgan have great, distinctive voices. I thought Rockwell was particularly great at finding a style that would really register as the hero of the group. He’s the hardest voice to identify if you’re an adult who enjoys playing that game in movies that demand no other form of mental effort like “G-Force.”

2/5 Stars

Directed by Hoyt Yeatman
Written by Cormac and Marianne Wibberley, Hoyt Yeatman
Starring: Zach Galifianakis, (voices) Sam Rockwell, Penelope Cruz, Tracy Morgan


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