MOVIE REVIEW ★★ Guinea Pigs on the Loose; Funny but too Predictable
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Recent years have seen a surge of rodents on the big screen, in the most unusual and diverse roles. Thanks to Disney’s Mickey Mouse legacy, mice have always had an easier time being featured; the newest fad focuses on another type of rodents. Movies like Ratatouille and Alvin and the Chipmunks have been extremely successful at introducing to the public endearing new rodent species. Disney’s newest rodent adventure, G-Force, attempts to do the same for guinea pigs, yet it falls a bit short on substance. Nevertheless, the movie is extremely funny and the fluffy protagonists are quite delightful, especially for the very young audiences.
G-Force follows a trio of guinea pigs on their quest to become special agents for the FBI. Thanks to a special research division, they have access to gear and devices that let them communicate with humans. However, when their field abilities are brought into question, they wind up as pets in a pet store. From here on, they must employ ingenious tactics and their special training to escape, reunite, and prevent the activation of a doomsday-type device. While the action scenes are quite exciting, the plot of the movie fails to engage, being rather predictable, with only a few satisfying twists. The obvious deficiency of the plot is the absence of true villains. Most of the would-be antagonists tread the line between good and evil. Moral ambivalence is great for adult dramas, but it sucks the life out of an action flick.
The movie does shine when it comes to special effects. The seamless integration of the computer-generated characters with human actors is extremely well accomplished. The level of detail in the 3D animation is unprecedented and impressive. A highly imaginative cinematography allows for delightful action sequences, especially when presenting the viewpoint of the guinea pigs. To complement these exciting special effects, the movie employs an all star cast for the voices of the animals (including Penelope Cruz, Nicolas Cage, and Jon Favreau), which contribute significantly to the appeal of the characters. In fact, most of the humor is derived from the snappy dialogue and the funny accents of the voice actors. The human performances are also strong, one of the notable ones being Bill Nighy’s portrayal of the ruthless industrialist Leonard Saber.
As a light comedy, G-Force can be entertaining. However, its incoherent plot and trite technological references and themes (household appliances becoming battle-frenzied robots — where have we seen that?) make the overall experience a little disappointing. Kids and various people obsessed with furry, fluffy animals are likely to thoroughly enjoy this comedy, but the rest of us might want to pass.