G-Force, the family adventure by producer Jerry Bruckheimer (Pirates of the Caribbean), isn't a bad movie by any count and works as a fun kids movie. But a tired and formulaic plot means the movie is no 'must-watch' by any means and caters mostly to the little ones. The story follows a specially trained team of secret agent guinea pigs that work for the US government. Their mission is to stop an evil billionaire (Bill Nighty) who manufactures home appliances from taking over the world through a microchip he has planted in them.
To begin with the positives, the animation is top-notch. The guinea pigs look very photo-realistic and after a few minutes you forget they're CGI. There is an inherent cuteness factor to them, and just like last year's Alvin and the Chipmunks, the filmmakers know that this will be the biggest draw for kids and their parents. There are plenty of jokes to keep a smile on your face (although the toilet humor gets old after a while).
But that brings me to the story. How many times have you heard this: "Evil genius wants to take over the world and only the unlikeliest of heroes can save the world."? Too many to count, I imagine. And G-Force fits right into that category. The plot is tired and doesn't attempt to bring anything new to the table. There are subplots strangely similar to last year's Bolt, and the finale has an uncanny resemblance to Transformers. Aside from being predictable from the very start, the biggest problem here comes out in the final reels – the villain's motivations are laughably ridiculous. As if it wasn't hard enough to stomach the improbability in an evil billionaire's plan to take over the world by installing timed microchips in every home appliance he manufactures, the final act tries to implement a twist so ridiculous and far-fetched that one wonders what was going on in their mind when coming up with it. Sure, kids will chew it up, but adults are sure to gasp at the screen at the stupidity of it all. Still, lessons are learned and there's a bit of emotional quotient towards the end that makes partially saves it.
Another problem is the action scenes. There are too many of them, and most of them are uninvolving. The movie opens with a 10 minute long covert operation that gets tiring a quarter of the way through. And every other ten minutes or so comes another chase or mission that only serves as eye-candy and gets monotonous and unfocused, especially in the finale. The special effects are great, but what's the need for exploding cars and buildings in a kid's movie?
The voice acting is impressive. Sam Rockwell, Penelope Cruz, and Nicolas Cage do a great job bringing their characters to life. Bill Nighty plays a stock villain with no character development or motivation, and it comes across badly. Zach Galifianakis impresses as the leader of the team, but Will Arnett is wasted in a small and too serious of a role for a comedian of his caliber.
So is G-Force recommended? Mostly if you have kids or are between 3-13 years old. It's not a bad movie by a stretch (it's much better than last year's Beverly Hill Chihuahua) and you will not get bored in the theaters, but it's a shame that the movie could have been so much more. They had an interesting bunch of characters on screen, but unfortunately they settled on making cookie-cutter Hollywood fare than something truly unique.