'G-Force' (Three-Disc DVD/Blu-ray Combo)
(Steve Buscemi, Nicolas Cage, et al / 3-Disc Blu ray / PG / 2009 / Disney)
Overview: Just as the G-Force — an elite team of highly trained guinea pigs — is about to save the world, the F.B.I. shuts the secret unit down. But these next-generation action heroes — Darwin, loyal team leader; Blaster, weapons expert with attitude to spare; Juarez, drop-dead gorgeous martial arts diva; and tag-along Hurley — won’t be stopped.
Blu ray/DVD Verdict: The premise is light-hearted, if completely uninspired. A technical expert named Ben (Zach Galifianakis) has trained three guinea pigs, a mole, and a fly to be secret agents. The guinea pigs are Darwin (voiced by Sam Rockwell), Juarez (voiced by Penélope Cruz), and Blaster (voiced by Tracy Morgan). The mole is Speckles (voiced by an unrecognizable Nicholas Cage). The fly is Mooch, who serves mostly as surveillance.
They're all equipped with tiny electronic devices you're not supposed to question the plausibility of, such as night-vision goggles, PDAs, handheld blowtorches, parachutes, laptops, and earpieces for communication. Hoping to impress the FBI and become their own special task force, they're assigned to infiltrate the home of a powerful billionaire named Leonard Saber (Bill Nighy), who plots to take over the world with his line of household appliances.
Joining the adventure at one point or another are a flatulent guinea pig named Hurley (voiced by Jon Favreau) and a temperamental hamster named Bucky (voiced by Steve Buscemi). Hurley clings to Darwin like someone in desperate need of a friend and is always hungry. There's a reason for this, but I don't think it matters one way or the other.
At a certain point, Blaster decides to call his team G-Force, although he never says what the G stands for. Is it safe to assume that it means Guinea Pig? No, that would be GP-Force. Anyway, as they attempt to stop Saber, they're pursued by an FBI team led by Agent Kip Killian (Will Arnet), who feels that talking guinea pigs will compromise their own mission to stop Saber.
This eventually leads to a frenetic chase sequence involving squad cars and highly mechanized plastic hamster balls; they zoom around the street of Los Angeles until they go right through an active fireworks display. In the annals of movie car chase sequences, I tend to doubt that any audience member, child or adult, sat in the theater and thought, "This would be so much better with fireworks!"
I won't say any more about the general plot, except that the final act could have gone by the title "Transformers, Jr." Needless to say, that's when the special effects really let loose. It's all in good fun, I guess, although I have a feeling that some will leave the theater with ringing ears and a headache. What's the point of assault the senses when an interesting story isn't even being told? How entertaining can it be if we can't even care about what's happening? There I go again, thinking like an adult.
I beg you, please no comments that this is just a kid's movie, that I should lighten up, that not every movie is meant to be deep and meaningful. I've already admitted that it wasn't made for grownups. I'm sure the little ones will find it very entertaining in spite of the fact that it did absolutely nothing for me. It's an action adventure that keeps it clean, not just with the lack of violence and language but also with the belief in goodness and redemption. The closest this movie gets to a suggestive moment is a shot of Juarez shaking herself dry after emerging from a pool. Oh, you sexy guinea pig!
No wonder the film couldn't get away with a G rating. I will not say that I disliked "G-Force" because dislike implies that I actually felt something. I watched it in an apathetic daze. Intellectually, I understood that it was made purely for entertainment. Emotionally, I continue to hope that some children prefer more fulfilling ways to spend a day at the movies. [CP] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Audio Commentary—with director Hoyt H. Yeatman, Jr.
Blasters Boot Camp—Blaster (Tracy Morgan) gives viewers a high-energy, high-tech orientation into the elite world of the G-Force.
G-Force Mastermind—Hollywood legend Jerry Bruckheimer and CG effects whiz Hoyt H. Yeatman, Jr. reveal the inspiration for this exciting adventure.
G-Farce: Bloopers—A collection of light-hearted flubs from the set that prove to err is not only human!
Three Music Videos:
“Jump” by Flo Rida featuring Nelly Furtado
“Ready To Rock” by Steve Rushton
Cine-Explore with Darwin, Blaster and their Creator—Darwin, Blaster and director Hoyt H. Yeatman reveal the secrets behind G-Force covert operations and the groundbreaking computer graphic work that brought this elite team of Guinea pigs to life. (BD Exclusive)
Bruckheimer Animated—A retrospective of groundbreaking computer graphic effects in the work of Jerry Bruckheimer, plus an inside peek into the top-secret creation of G-Force's state-of-the-art visual magic. (BD Exclusive)
Access Granted: Inside the Animation Lab—Director and computer graphic master Yeatman Jr., takes viewers on an exclusive tour of the high-security facility and shows how the G-Force was animated from initial sketches to completed performances. (BD Exclusive)
Behind the Scenes: Bloopers (Bonus)