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‘Thunder Force’ ruined by bad writing

Good comedy needs a lot of things to work. It needs the proper timing, delivery and chemistry between the characters. But more than anything, good comedy requires good writing. Even in comedies that feature heavy improvisation, good writing helps to define the characters, set up relationships and create situations where laughs blossom plentifully.
Someone needs to make sure writer/director Ben Falcone understands this before he’s allowed to direct another movie because his track record is pretty sad and his latest flick, “Thunder Force” doesn’t do much to right the ship.
“Thunder Force” stars Melissa McCarthy as Lydia and Octavia Spencer as Emily, former best friends who had a falling out in high school. Years later, Lydia tries to reconnect with Emily, and the two ladies acquire superpowers. They decide to take on their city’s superpowered criminal element, repairing their friendship along the way.
This premise is actually pretty promising. The casting features some good actors. Jason Bateman is at his smarmy yet endearing best. Heck, the musical score even features thrash metal legends Dave Lombardo (formerly of Slayer) and Scott Ian (of Anthrax).
But it all comes crashing down because Falcone’s script is awful.
There are a number of areas where a bad script can really hurt a film. First, the dialogue. Good movie dialogue doesn’t have to sound realistic, like what you hear in everyday conversation. But it has to fit into the world of the movie and not pop viewers out of the story.
That’s not the kind of dialogue you get in “Thunder Force.” Characters either vomit exposition, repeat bad jokes over and over (because repetition is “funny”) or spout cliched one-liners borrowed from better movies.
Bad writing also lets the actors down by not providing them with a solid foundation for their characters. Consider the character of The King (Bobby Cannavale). This character comes off like an evil clone of Danny Zuko from “Grease,” delivering his lines with the same kind of machismo and it’s neither convincing nor funny. Cannavale is a good actor, but he can’t save this character. And unfortunately, he’s far from the only actor let down by this script.
Third, bad writing causes structural problems that disrupt the flow of the story. For instance, “Thunder Force” follows a confrontation between King’s bad guy crew and Thunder Force with a dinner scene with Emily’s Grandma. At a time when the movie should be building tension and heating up the conflict, the movie takes a scene off to make a bunch of lame jokes.
It’s possible that this scene was moved around a bit in editing, but I have a hard time figuring out where it might fit more soundly.
In the hands of a better writer/director, “Thunder Force” could’ve been something awesome. But Falcone lacks the skills to shoot exciting, energetic action scenes. His tendency to let McCarthy improvise and chew scenery leads to many long, unfunny sequences that overstay their welcome. On the bright side, at least Bateman’s pretty good and the musical score kicks some booty. Three cheers for little victories…
”Thunder Force” is available to stream on Netflix.
2 Indy Fedoras out of 5
MPAA Rating: PG-13
The post ‘Thunder Force’ ruined by bad writing appeared first on East Idaho News.

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