With James Bond disappointing last time out and Jason Bourne some way off his next mission, there’s a gap in the market for a super cool spy to command the film world, though you probably wouldn’t expect a team of guinea pigs to be the next pretenders.
About a team of highly trained, tech’d up secret agent guinea pigs, known as the G-Force, Disney’s latest kids adventure, on paper at least, sounds like it should be a lot of fun. After being shut down by the government, the G-Force and unit leader Bed (Galifianakis) are forced to go rogue to investigate dastardly billionaire Leonard Saber (Nighy). Breaking into Saber’s home to uncover the real intention behind a newly launched upgrade to his household products, the G-Force take matters into their own hands to stop the evil Saber and save the world from total domination.
By now we’ve come to expect the plotlines in these high concept children’s movies won’t be anything to write home about, and G-Force certainly doesn’t buck the trend. Having a team of speaking guinea pig spies, however, is certainly one of the more fun ideas in recent years but aside from the initial concept, G-Force soon starts to come unstuck.
Lacking any real invention or creativity in the plot development, what should be a fun and exciting thrill ride lacks any real sense of adrenaline, despite the fast paced chase sequences and frequent explosions. G-Force feels strangely empty, partly down to a tired script but also feeling unfocussed at the hands of first time direction Hoyt Yeatman who maybe could have done with an experience co-director to inject some pace and spark into the narrative.
It’s not all doom and gloom for Yeatman, though, and aptly pulling great performances across the voice cast for the guinea pigs. 30 Rock’s Tracy Morgan will put a smile on parent’s faces while Sam Rockwell draws the very best out of tepid dialogue for spearhead Darwin, and it is similarly great to see Zach Galifianakis on screen after his fantastic performance in The Hangover.
Beyond being the first super-spy guinea pig film in Disney’s illustrious history, the Burbank studio are also pushing G-Force as their first 3D live-action feature film. The big names in film are still pushing the extra cinematic dimension at us at every possible opportunity, but the fact we’re only seeing releases like this and other whimsical adventures in 3D, as opposed to the more serious narrative driven films on offer, says it all in once again dispelling the feature as a gimmick, which in G-Force, adds nothing to the spectacle.
Though G-Force boasts some great visual effects, and seamless integration of the CGI guinea pigs into the live-action world, this is a film certainly only for those with children dying to see it. For older viewers the jokes struggles to find a pay off and the frequent potty humour will even grow tiresome for the younger audience. The plot takes a peculiar twist towards the end which strives further to undermine an already stuttering story meaning despite a handful of edge of your seat scenes, even at 90 minutes, you can likely do better elsewhere for your kid’s popcorn fix.