"G-Force" is the latest from producer Jerry Bruckheimer and the second film from the producer geared towards families. The picture has a rather curious plot: a team of guinea pigs - Speckles (Nicholas Cage, with an oddball accent and an off-the-reservation performance that is both deeply weird and deeply funny), Darwin (Sam Rockwell), Juarez (PenÚlope Cruz), and Blaster (Tracy Morgan) - work for the FBI and are trained by Ben (Zach Galifianakis.) I don't think I would have ever thought of a movie about crime-fighting guinea pigs (squirrels are more crafty and chipmunks at least have the speed factor), but here it is.
As the movie opens, Ben lets the group know that the G-Force is about to be shut down unless they prove themselves in the field. In this case, they're put up against a billionaire industrialist (Bill Nighy) who has - not surprisingly - a plan to take over the world using smart household appliances.
When the head of the agency (Will Arnett) starts to try and close up the unit, the G-Force crew ends up back at the pet store, where they plan to get adopted and escape. While at the store, they meet up with a couple of new friends - a psychotic hamster (Steve Buscemi) and a low-key pig (Jon Favreau) who thinks that he's Darwin's long-lost relative.
While there's a few bathroom gags, the picture is otherwise a better-than-expected mixture of action (a car chase is a bit of a mess, but I liked the motorized hamster balls that the creatures sped around in) and comedy, largely thanks to the performances. Cage's effort is particularly funny, and credit goes to director Hoyt Yeatman for allowing Cage to go so far off-the-rails with the character. Galifianakis and Morgan also provide amusing supporting efforts.
Again, while "G-Force" isn't without some flaws, the picture managed to exceed my expectations and remained a zippy, fast-paced 90 minutes. Cage's inspired creation is also certainly a highlight.
VIDEO: "G-Force" is presented on Blu-Ray in 2.35:1 (1080p/AVC) and the results are stellar, as the presentation looked sleek and glossy. Sharpness and detail looked marvelous, as the presentation boasted a consistently smooth, detailed appearance. Depth to the image was also often impressive. Flaws remained minimal at most - a touch of edge enhancement here, a slight hint of noise there were the only concerns of note with the presentation. Colors looked pure, deep and punchy, never looking smeary or otherwise problematic.
SOUND: The film is presented with an entertaining DTS HD 5.1 soundtrack. Surrounds kick during the action sequences, with the rear speakers delivering all manner of effects and ambience. Audio quality was terrific, with clear, well-recorded effects and clean, crisp dialogue.
EXTRAS: Director Hoyt Yeatman provides an audio commentary for the movie and the former FX supervisor (this film is Yeatman's directorial debut) seems excited to chat in great detail about his experiences working on the film. We hear a great deal about the FX work on the film (and some of it is rather technical, some of which may need to be explained to younger viewers), as well as working with the actors, lighting, production obstacles and other issues. We also get the "Blaster's Boot Camp" and "G-Force Mastermind" featurettes, as well as deleted scenes (6), bloopers and more.
Exclusive to the Blu-Ray edition is a Cine-Explore audio/video track featuring commentary from director Hoyt Yeatman, as well as comments from Darwin and Blaster. The Blu-Ray also contains a short featurette on producer Jerry Bruckheimer and another brief piece on the animation lab where the CG work was done.
A DVD copy of the film is also included, as is a digital copy edition.
Final Thoughts: I honestly didn't expect a whole lot from "G-Force", but - despite some flaws - the movie exceeded my expectations and offered some amusing performances. The Blu-Ray edition offers excellent audio/video quality, as well as a nice group of supplemental features.
The Film C+