In a nondescript little warehouse, a super-special team called G-Force trains day and night for the government spy work ahead of it. Its members have the newest cutting edge computers, the most whiz-bang high-tech espionage equipment, the latest in guinea pig-to-human language decoders.
I did mention this was a special team, right?
Making up this secret squad of sleuths are, well, several guinea pigs and an actual mole. There's Darwin, the determined leader; Blaster, the weapons expert; and Juarez, the female martial arts pro. Speckles is the computer genius mole, and Mooch the camera-laden fly rounds out the crew as the reconnaissance expert.
These undercover critters are just about to jump into the spy game when word comes that the FBI is pulling their funding. The group's human handler, Ben, is shocked and decides his team must prove its worth. So he sends his furry force in to grab secrets from a computer chip mogul who's suspected to have gone to the dark side.
Much to their surprise, the rodents uncover a dastardly scheme called Clusterstorm that could result in global extinction. FBI bigwigs, however, don't believe any of it and the tiny spies end up under a "For Sale" sign at a local pet store. Do they give up? Don't bet your exterminator's salary on it! These furtive fur balls are determined to save the world—all on their own if they have to.
As long as they can avoid becoming (gulp!) pets.
Even though the heroes of the film are guinea pigs, they're heroes nonetheless. The three G-Force members have an earnest desire to be the brave agents they were trained to be. And they put themselves on the line for each other repeatedly. Even when the obstacles in front of them seem insurmountable, they refuse to give up.
The G-Force guinea pigs were told that they had been genetically engineered to be super special. And even when they learn that was a lie and that they're really quite ordinary, they still press on to do what's right.
Darwin learns that a goofy, overweight pet shop guinea pig named Hurley is his brother. And though the two are initially at odds, they eventually come to care deeply about each other. Darwin says he's proud to call Hurley his brother and both speak positively of the strong bonds of family. The other G-Forcers realize the value of family, too. And they welcome Hurley in as a member.
When in the midst of a smash/crash chase scene that concludes with a massive fireworks explosion, one of the careening guinea pigs looks at some observing children (and us) and says, "Don't try this at home, kids."
Though Juarez is just as sexually neutral to the human eye as her companions, the male guinea pigs make several mentions of her allure. Blaster almost drools while watching her shake water (in slo-mo) from her fur after a swim. He later tells her that she's "sizzling hot." There are a couple of discussions about which of the males she may be attracted to. Hurley alludes to having a "hot Canadian girlfriend."
Even when G-Force is in full spy mode, there's no blood. But lots of things erupt in explosive pyrotechnics. Rodents and people are thrown about with abandon. For example, during a lengthy car chase involving G-Force and government authorities, several black SUVs go flying and rip apart everything in their path.
When the electronic plot Clusterstorm finally kicks into play, everyday appliances start transforming into killing machines, sporting sharp, deadly looking blades and laser beams. Satellites in outer space are impacted as well, and flaming debris starts raining down on Earth's inhabitants. Hurley finds himself trapped inside a cyber-animated microwave that clicks through its settings in an attempt to cook him. (Darwin comes to the rescue at the last second.) We're led to believe that Speckles is crushed to death in a trash truck.
Other pummeling scenes involve animals thumping painfully into things or falling long distances. Hurley is picked up by a meanspirited boy and thrown into a snake tank. The snake lunges forward ... and splats into a glass divider. Several times, large vicious dogs chase, jaws snapping, after the furry heroes.
Crude or Profane Language
"Oh my god!" is exclaimed a handful of times along with one "what in the heck?" one "jeez" and one "suck." When landing in a cloakroom holding several fox fur wraps, one guinea pig croaks out "holy foxes!"
Drug and Alcohol Content
At a corporate party, computer chip mogul Leonard Saber mentions that he's "going upstairs for a drink." We see alcohol bottles in his office. During moments of rough play, Blaster sarcastically tells his new (boy) owner, "Maybe this would be a good time to take your medication."
Other Negative Elements
Several gags surface about "butts," "farts," underwear, and the excremental habits of guinea pigs and other rodent species. "Adult phrases" are transposed into childlike dialogue: They include "Guinea pigs gone wild!" and "Yippee-ki-yay, coffee maker." When Mooch gets disabled, Ben says, "I don't like it when my fly is down." A hamster shakes his backside at the camera while dancing.
I can't tell you the number of times I've finished watching a movie and realized that I should have saved every one of my eight or nine bucks: After all, I had already seen the film's funniest bits in the preview trailer.
You know where this is going, don't you? If you've seen the trailer for G-Force, you've seen everything that passes for laugh makers in this flick. Don't brand me a spoilsport for telling the truth: "Poop in his hand! Poop in his hand!" is the height of hilarity here.
Now, I'll ease back a bit and say the movie does have its cute moments and does say some light-but-positive things about being in a family. Hurley, for instance, openly longs to be a family member, and he rejoices when it happens. And the guinea pigs do act heroically, which isn't always a given with today's antihero leanings (even in kids' movies). I can also attest that the toilet humor doesn't really get any nastier than the already mentioned scatological outcry.
If, however, that sounds like fairly faint praise, well, there it is. Except for the CGI detail—the glass shards, coffee beans and guinea pigs that routinely fly at the audience in the 3-D version—this movie feels a lot like a middle-of-the-road Saturday morning cartoon. No profoundly provocative life lessons. No stirring emotional involvement. Even the famous actors who voice the animated characters sound fairly unenthused—and they didn't even see the trailer first.
Other Belief Systems
Readability Age Range
Bill Nighy as Leonard Saber; Zach Galifianakis as Ben; Will Arnett as Agent Kip Killian; voices of Nicolas Cage as Speckles; Sam Rockwell as Darwin; Jon Favreau as Hurley; Penélope Cruz as Juarez; Tracy Morgan as Blaster
Hoyt Yeatman ( )
July 24, 2009
December 15, 2009