If you've seen a trailer for the new spy-fi, super intelligent, talking Guinea Pig movie, G-Force, you've pretty much seen the entire film in the space of two minutes. Imagine that pain spread out over 90 minutes. Spoilers below.
Yes, the trailer pretty much covers all the bases: Small lumps of fur make quips, that guy from The Hangover does a "oh no, here we go again!" face and then Will Arnett shows up for a minute in a black suit and scowls. Sounds like the formula for the perfect summer movie, right? Well, the most baffling thing about G-Force is probably the stellar talent Jerry Bruckheimer (yes, you read that correctly) accumulated. Sam Rockwell just blew me away a few weeks ago in the subdued, creepy Moon comes back as Darwin, the oh-so very generic leader of a group of high tech guinea pig spies that seem to be a splinter group of homeland security.
Ben (Zach Galifianakis), or as I like to call him "Beardy", has been secretly training animals for black ops missions (Cause they totally did that in WWII, you guys) and leeching money for the experiments from the government. So, since the U.S. is all about cutting back on frivolous spending nowadays, Will Arnett shows up to figure out where Richard Gere's pet collection went.
Arnett's surprised and agitated to find Darwin, Juarez (Penelope Cruz), Blaster (Tracy Morgan) and Speckles (Nicholas Cage) doing the best Arrested Development chicken impression they can muster. Just Kidding. They talk, make jokes and you know what Arnett says? He doesn't get caught up on the fact that Beardy-er, I mean Ben, has figured out a way to talk to animals and do his evil bidding, no — Arnett's mad because now the Guinea Pigs can spill government secrets. Secrets, I say! And then in the films cleverest line, Arnett tells Ben that he should treat Guinea Pigs like, wait for it, Guinea Pigs. Wait, I thought that's what Beardy was doing in the first place. Has G-Force just gotten all meta on us?
There's a strangely bountiful amount of weird B-plots in this film like Darwin, Blaster and Juarez involved in a love triangle. And Darwin finding his long lost brother and realizing that he's not the great genetically altered beast Ben told him he was, but in fact, the runt of his litter. I kept expecting to see some sort of montage in which Darwin walks through the rain while seeing his brother's silhouette in shop windows with Nickelback playing in the background, or something. Oh, by the way, it's worth noting that Jon Favreau plays the brother, Hurley. I guess Iron Man isn't giving the guy enough to do, because I've seen him in a few rather mediocre bit parts this year.
Back to the A-plot. Saber, played by Bill Nighy, is the film's red-herring bad guy (because what is a Disney Bruckheimer film without him? Oh yeah, a good Pirates movie). I was told that they used some leftover CG from the third Pirates film to produce his acting in G-Force. Bruckheimer calls that ‘cost effective, movie-making'. Anyway, he's got a plan to have a monopoly on the appliance market and there's some sort of Doomsday clock in each microwave, coffee maker, telephone and other things that aren't really appliances, in the world. The G-Force (G-FORCE!) discovers that they're really deadly robots.
Things that look normal but turn into deadly robots… This was easily my favorite part of the film because of the unique story element pasted onto the ending. I mean, kick ass robots in camouflage? I wish someone would really make a whole movie of just that. Out of left field, the audience discovers that Speckles the mole is actually the bad guy. Which you can pretty much deduce when he says "you can TRUST me, Darwin" cackles and subsequently twirls his mustachio. Then there's a giant Transmorpher (trademark pending) fight at the end.
In short, if you and your kids have seen Harry Potter eight times in the last week, well, go make it a ninth time this Friday because G-Force is barely fit for an original Disney Channel Movie of the Week.