Published Jul 23, 2009G-Force is about what you'd expect from a guinea pig/secret agent movie. It's produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by the visual effects supervisor of both Armageddon and Kangaroo Jack, which means explosions and fart jokes aplenty. There are a number of action-packed sequences of little guinea pigs performing dangerous stunts while cracking wise in the voices of celebrities (Penelope Cruz, Steve Buscemi and Nicolas Cage among them). And, of course, all the tropes of the Bruckheimer/Michael Bay sensory assaulters are good naturedly ribbed, from the frowny-faced authority figures to the endless techno jargon.
I was about to say that G-Force is Team America: World Police minus the political edge and with guinea pigs in place of puppets but I don't want to sound too enthusiastic. This is a very slick and colourful movie, and the human performers (including Bill Nighy, Will Arnett and Zach Galifianakis) are suitably game. I might even go so far as to say that this is the best guinea pig/secret agent movie that will ever be made in my lifetime.
But after the first five minutes, when the novelty of guinea pigs talking like Michael Bay characters wears off, what's left? Just the same joke being told over and over again, turning the film into a gruelling endurance test. The jokes are sometimes indescribably lame (a doughy guinea pig likes cake, boy, he sure does like cake), the action grows repetitive and the few half-hearted attempts to bring dramatic gravitas to the story feel very, very forced.
For the record, the plot involves a government worker (Galifianakis) training a squad of guinea pigs to become covert agents in an attempt to uncover a suspected terrorist plot by a powerful appliances baron (Nighy). Galifianakis has even perfected a machine that deciphers the animals' speech and translates it into English, á la Pixar's Up.
Is it a bad sign when in the middle of an action sequence I start wondering why and how one of the guinea pigs has a Spanish accent? (Disney/Buena Vista)