Movie Review: G-Force

by Lisa Oppenheimer
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G-Force

  • Rated PG for some mild action and rude humor.
  • Recommended for ages 4 and up
  • Run Time: 90 minutes

Quick Take: You'll find yourself (reluctantly) laughing along with the kids in this ridiculous rodent romp!

Think You're Above Talking Guinea Pigs? Think Again.

As someone who gets paid to watch movies, I could say I'm above the whole secret-agent-guinea-pig thing.

And, I'd be soooooo totally lying.

Turns out, guinea pigs in 3D? Pretty darned funny.

Ordinarily, I'd chalk this up to being the biggest kid on earth. But, apparently I've got company since, watching G-Force, I was surrounded by similarly minded grownups who were completely amused by the upright rodents -- guinea pig in pimped hamster ball; guinea pig in a parachute; guinea pig using bodily functions to create fog.

"Guess I'm not above potty humor," laughed one grownup.

Nope.

Oh, and the kids thought it was funny, too.

Some (OK, most) might say that the plot -- special-ops guinea pigs on a mission to thwart a home-appliance mucky-muck who wants To Take Over The World -- is just silly. Well… yeah. It will surprise no one that the concept was sparked by a kindergartener (I'm lying -- it was a preschooler).

But, Jerry Bruckheimer gets extra points for having a plot. Far be it for me to explain, but there's something innately amusing about guinea pigs as Feds. Maybe it's those little feet. But, they could have had the group randomly running around "hi-ya-ing" (well, there was one yippeekayay, but I digress) and enacting Kung Fu moves and it would have been a hoot. And yet not once did they stoop to a dramatic Matrix moment. Zero. Nada.

Zip. Major points. And hey -- 3D cavia porcellus isn't a genre that relies heavily on character development. It's talking guinea pigs! They had me at, "Poop in his hand! Poop in his hand!" Would I have gone to see it without kids? Hmmm. Depends on my mood. But I will say that the 90 minutes went pretty fast, which is a major improvement over some other kids' movies that had me yanking out tufts of hair at the halfway mark.

Much of the credit goes to the hilarious Tim Meadows. To channel Randy Jackson: "Dude, you could read the phone book!" Sam Rockwell plays it humorously straight as Darwin, the deluded alpha guinea pig who suffers a Buzz Lightyear moment -- as in, "You mean I don't really have super powers?" -- before seizing his birthright and Saving The World. The tougher jobs go to the humans (the ones actually playing humans) who dress up in FBI-issue black and say things like, "We just got a report of two giant hamsters riding a skateboard on Pacific." That's pretty funny even in print.

It's not that G-Force is a masterpiece.

But hey -- 3D talking guinea pigs?

Pretty darned funny.

Kids Will Like:

With all the 3D out there, you'd think kids would be getting kind of blasé about the whole thing. Not yet. Judging from the "ooohs" during the opening shots of G-Force, they liked this live-action 3D even better. The few 3D "gotchas" seemed toned down to suit the young audience, who went ga-ga over gaseous-emissions humor (thank you, Hurley!) and the fashion indignities heaped upon poor Juarez. Tykes like 7-year-old Ashley, 6-year-old Joey and 9-year-olds Jessica, Bethany, Matthew, and Olivia were wowed by the whole movie, and even Stephanie, a worldly 10, enthusiastically deemed G-Force "Really good. Much better than I expected."

Parents Will Like:

Get yourself in the right mood, and G-Force is a hoot. There's even a little tongue-in-cheek nature-lesson about what might happen if we don't respect all of Mother Nature's creatures. My only philosophical question: who puts cake in the microwave? One animal preservation note: According to an AP story, animal experts are begging parents to resist granting their kids' "I want a guinea pig" wishes. Unlike the hearty movie versions, real guinea pigs are, among other things, quite fragile -- too fragile for young hands.

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