July 23, 2009


I think we need more roofies

Grade: D +

Director: Hoyt Yeatman

Starring: Bill Nighy, Will Arnett, Zach Galifianakis, and the voices of Nicolas Cage, Sam Rockwell, Jon Favreau, Penelope Cruz, Tracy Morgan, and Steve Buscemi

MPAA Rating: PG

Running Time: 1 hour, 29 minutes

It never ceases to amaze me that the worst animated kid’s movies seem to have the most screenwriters. Five ignominious credits are attached to Disney latest non-Pixar flop, G-Force. However, it is only important to note that the flagship writers, a husband-wife team who go professionally by The Wibberleys, have a resume that could not be worse if you made it up: Both National Treasure duds, The Shaggy Dog and I Spy remakes, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, and even Bad Boys II, for god’s sake.

All the 3-D animation and celebrity voice-work in the world cannot change the fact that G-Force is one dull, lifeless, and rather creepy waste of time. A specially trained squad of rodents and insects working for the government, along with their human minder (Zach Galifianakis, still too soon after The Hangover to take him seriously), are dispatched to thwart a megalomaniacal billionaire (Bill Nighy in human form, slumming for a paycheck) and his shadowy conspirators from world domination.

Photorealistic depictions of animated animals can work just fine – see Ratatouille. But, the sight of icky moles and crawling cockroaches is just plain discomforting when devoid of charm and a well-crafted screenplay. And, the quartet of cutesy special agent guinea pigs is just a high-pitched medley away from an Alvin & the Chipmunks sequel.

The digital 3-D animation provides a passing distraction, but even it is rather lackluster. Of all the voice-work, only an unrecognizable Nicolas Cage seems to grasp the medium as the nebbish Speckles the mole. Everyone else, even the reliable Tracy Morgan, is just reciting badly written lines.

There are inexplicable car chases and an effects-laden finale in G-Force. But, none of it makes the least bit of sense (something to do with marauding home appliances), and you find yourself wishing the villain would do us all a favor and just hire an exterminator.

Neil Morris

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