Saturday, September 05, 2009

G-Force 3D

The New Chipmunks

Before you laugh at me for watching this obviously made for children movie, I thought it was somewhat interesting to observe how a Jerry Bruckheimer produced film, his first 3D one at that, would have fared should it have gone up against his long time director Michael Bay in the summer blockbuster stakes. While Transformers 2 had made cash registers worldwide go into overdrive, I thought G-Force had plenty going for it to have trounced those mega-robots. In my opinion, yes G-Force is way better than Transformers.

Perhaps it was somewhat refreshing for me to sit through a G-rated live action film that didn't take itself too seriously, and comes with a very simple, direct plot aimed at kids so that they can enjoy this action-adventure with nary a swear word, revealing clothes, and sequence that serve to confuse by throwing everything on-screen. The 3D effects here are relatively limited, but that didn't bar any enjoyment of the film, which tells of a wannabe FBI unit led by Ben (a relatively muted Zach Galifianakis from The Hangover), who has trained many insects and animals into being ready for covert operations.

Think of it as the animal version of the Impossible Mission Force, where Ben's proudest achievement is to have 3 guinea pigs in Darwin (Sam Rockwell), Blaster (Tracy Morgan) and Juarez (Penelope Cruz) as field operatives, fly Mooch as a surveillance agent, and a mole Speckles (Nicolas Cage) as their systems expert. Together they aim to prove themselves to the higher echelons of the FBI in order to become recognized agents. Their plan is to dig for hidden secrets of a conglomerate's CEO Leonard Saber (Bill Nighy) whose consumer products seem to have more than meets the eye, but things go awry, and G-Force soon find themselves battling against the Feds who want to shut them down, and fighting against time to stop whatever sinister plans Saber has for the extermination of the world.

The novelty of the CG talking animals go beyond just that of the G-Force team, as if to demonstrate the level of complexity achievable by technology in having speaking hamsters, mice and the likes gelled perfectly with their live-action counterparts. And to disgrace Transformers even further, the film also featured robots, with action sequences which doesn't serve to confuse nor are poorly delivered by bad camera angles and techniques. In that sense, this film had bettered the other when it came down to the action, by a long mile.

The story's pretty straightforward as mentioned, with the characters being no more than one-dimensional stereotypes so as not to confuse its target audience. Some subplots involve Blaster's perpetual hitting on Juarez since the latter is the only female guinea pig in the group, who plays her womanly tricks to perfection in having eyes only for the leader of their group. Thankfully this angle didn't get played up too often, as the team does spend some time in the middle act apart, before coming together for a wham-bang finale.

I have to admit I was pretty much entertained by G-Force, probably because I had went in with zero expectations other than wondering how it managed to get its voice talents to perform for the film, and even then, I suspect some tinkering had been done because the familiar voices do sound like they've been modified, and it only took the credits list to piece together who did which role. It's something done for the kids, but if you have one still inside your heart, then I would recommend you give these little animals in G-Force a chance.

Oh and one more thing, don't just go out buying guinea pigs as pets just so because you liked how they look in the film. No whims and fancies please, as keeping a pet calls for a lot of commitment. Plus your guinea pig will never be able to do what their CG counterparts here can.

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