G-Force Directed by: Hoyt Yeatman Cast: Sam Rockwell, Penelope Cruz, Tracy Morgan, Nicolas Cage, Jon Favreau, Zach Galifianakis, Will Arnett, Bill Nighy Running Time: 1 hr 30 mins Rating: PG Release Date: July 24, 2009
Plot: Four guinea pigs and a mole (collectively known as G-Force) work together to stop a Skynet-like networking orchestrated by a billionaire named Saber (Bill Nighy).
Who’s It For? Adults, this isn't as painful as it may look. Kids - you'll enjoy it. But both of you, please don't use this film's release as a reason to increase the number of guinea pig owners.
Expectations: This was going to be a movie with talking guinea pigs, not a fourth Mission Impossible movie.
Actors: Various Talent as G-Force: The various animals are all given human characteristics (like hugging and even Facebook), with Rockwell being the most unusual fit for voicing a guinea pig. Nevertheless it works, with each member of G-Force being distinctive from one another, not just because of the color in their coating. Nicolas Cage's performance isn't too obvious, (his character, Speckles the mole, receives a pitch treatment), and the usage of Tracy Morgan speaking like Tracy Morgan the Guinea Pig is only slightly amusing at best. Score: 6
Zach Galifianakis as Ben: The Hangover star is a nice fit as the ringleader of G-Force, as Galifianakis is smart enough to know the line of how serious he should be taking every bit of this movie. In fact, fans of the comedian might even see a bit of his alter ego (or "brother") Seth in the calm yet dweeby Ben, despite not having the sibling's lisp. Score: 7
Will Arnett as Kip Killian: Maybe because he’s given a shortage in both jokes and screentime, Arnett really phones this one in, appearing too stone-like (even for Arnett standards). That, or the often playfully overdramatic actor is simply refusing to consider a guinea pig movie a serious moment for his reputation. With the comedic potential Arnett has, his work here (whatever that may be), is a giant letdown. Score: 3
Bill Nighy as Saber: Though he's the "main villain," he's only given about three of four scenes, which makes his role seem like a sophisticated cameo. A cameo that is only memorable because it involves Bill Nighy. Score: 4
Talking: Technology in the world of G-Force maybe advanced enough to turn squeaks into understandable English, but screenwriting is still lacking in the same area of ingenuity. Specifically, Tracy Morgan's character is reduced to dated and dumb lines like "that was off the hizzook!". Admittedly, a handful of one-liners that reference famous action movie retorts hit the right spot of amusement without getting too cutesy. Score: 5
Sights: Never one to miss an opportunity to use 3-D, this new movie from Disney takes full advantage of the medium. G-Force is one of many new films that are proving the usage of 3-D to be more than just a gimmick. It truly enhances the image, in realness and sharpness. But keeping up with the entertaining side of third-dimension entertainment, G-Force has a good amount of fun moments, like seeing the world through the fly's eye or even a couple of classic in-your-face segments. Hell, even Galifianakis' beard looks great. So yes, 3-D is borderline necessary for the experience of this film. And if this is how guinea pigs look in 3-D, we can only imagine (and/or salivate to the thought of) how amazing James Cameron's gargantuan Avatar will look when it changes the film world this December. Score: 10
Sounds: Obviously, this movie has a very contemporary pop soundtrack, with "Boom Boom Pow" by The Black Eyed Peas played at least twice. "Jump," Nelly Furtado and Flo Rida's theme for G-Force, is heard at least once. But to my old man ears it's all the same, so just expect pulsing, bass heavy pop music throughout. Score: 5
Best Scene: Michael Bay will certainly blow up something in anger when he sees coffee machines spontaneously turn into killer robots in a relatively exciting action sequence.
Ending: Definitely room for a sequel.
Questions: What's with the two kids from the pet store, one of them who tries to kill Favreau's character? How could those whippersnappers be so naively abusive?
Rewatchability: I imagine the same way that Small Soldiers cast a cult spell on young boys back in 1998, these talking super-spy guinea pigs might enchant a decent amount of younger viewers on a revisit. Especially if it rolls into home theatres around Christmas, G-Force will probably do well on DVD/Blu-Ray.
For whatever G-Force could be, it is indeed fluffy but it's not too cutesy. Boosting the experience overall is the great picture offered by 3-D, which makes action sequences like hamster-ball car chases surprisingly entertaining. Intact are certainly some corny lines and an obvious formula, with an extremely straightforward (albeit fast-moving) plot to boot. Hey, at least it's a paw forward past Beverly Hills Chihuahua.
Fulfilling the promise of its very straightforward tagline, G-Force is as probably as good as a 3-D movie about guinea pigs using gizmos and gadgets could possibly be. It could be funnier, but asking for a smarter guinea pig movie, even one with a bit more of a Ratatouille-like logic would be silly, right?
Final Score: 6/10