G-Force (2009)

Rated: PG for some mild action and rude humor.
Length: 88 minutes
Grade: DBDF=D
Budget: $150 million
Box Office: $234 million (119 U.S., 173 Intl., 42 DVD)

Written by: Marianne and Cormac Wibberley (National Treasure 1+2, Bad Boys 2, Charlie’s Angels 2, I Spy, and 6th Day)
Directed by: Hoyt Yeatman (First movie, but he has a massive pedigree in visual effects including Underdog, Sky High, Mission to Mars, Mighty Joe Young, Crimson Tide, The Rock, The Abyss, Blade Runner, Star Trek, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind), but the thing you want to know is that Jerry Bruckheimer is the producer here (Big action movies like Black Hawk Down, Enemy of the State, Bad Boys 1+2, Top Gun, The Rock, etc.)
Starring: Zach Galifianakis and the voices of Jon Favreau, Nicolas Cage, Tracy Morgan, Penelope Cruz, and Steve Buscemi.
With: Will Arnett, Bill Nighy, and Kelli Garner.

An experimental commando team of guinea pigs must prove their own worth after having their program shut down by thwarting a global plot by an appliance mogul.

Entertainment Value: D
What happens when you mix clever voices, CGI guinea pigs, a massive budget, and the Black Eyed Peas under the supervision of America’s most successful action film producer? Well, a very profitable but thoroughly mediocre kids movie with a bagillion stolen references from adult movies.

Superficial Content: B
Drugs/Alcohol A, Sex/Nudity B, Violence C+, Language B+
Guinea pigs flirt with each other. There are some very mild words. The real concerns here are adult references like “Yippie Kiyay, Coffee Maker” and “guinea pigs gone wild,” the promotion of Black Eyed Peas music, all of which in real life has profanity, and violence. Appliances become blade-wielding Decepticons menacing humans and guinea pigs alike, and there is a lot of fighting, crashing, and slapstick violence. Farting is a key theme.

Significant Content: D
Government agents are stupid. Guinea pigs are people, too. Everyone needs a family they can belong to. The belief that you can do special things is enough to make you capable of actually doing them. Evil is often the result of revenge for past oppression. If you disagree with the rules, just do what you think is right and it’ll all be okay.

Artistic/Thought Value: F
There really isn’t any here. It’s a chaotic, ridiculous, implausible action movie made for kids of an unknown age.

Discussion Questions:
~Given that the Black Eyed Peas only make music with profanity in it, do you think it’s a good idea to use them for the soundtrack here?
~Is the key ingredient in success merely believing you can do something? Do people ever believe in themselves and fail? Consider, for instance, how many people audition for American Idol. How important is actual talent and training?
~If guinea pigs could talk, what do you think they would say? Would they be smarter than mice and hamsters?
~What sort of things do you expect from a children’s movie? Which of them does this movie have or fail to have?
~Do you think women play games with men the way Juarez does? Is this wise, necessary, mean, or something else?
~Does it bother you for a kids movie to make references to adult movies or concepts but with changes in the wording?

Poignant or memorable scenes:
~The mole and the garbage truck? Otherwise, not really.
Overall Grade: D
Easily the most implausible kids movie I’ve seen recently. Nevertheless, if you don’t mind filling their heads with empty fun, this is okay. I do mind that, so we didn’t let our kids see this a second time. Bolt was much, much, much, much better. But then again, Pixar crushes everyone at making kids movies. Chalk up a lot of the profits here to the 3-D experience at theaters. Then again, Tracey Morgan is hilarious no matter what he’s doing.

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