Two Paws Down 

G-Force Is G-Awful

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It's probably not surprising to learn that G-Force, the new 3D half-animated/half-real-life kids movie from Disney and über-producer Jerry Bruckheimer, isn't very good. It's noisy, crude, and nonsensical—none of which is bad in and of itself—but it's also insultingly stupid and not nearly funny enough. I can see it occupying a very young, forgiving child for 90 minutes, but other than loud noises and fast-moving colors in 3D, it has nothing to offer.

With a weirdly violent ending that seems to be a parody of Transformers, it seems willfully aimed clear above its target audience's head—for example, the characters all spout lines from '80s movies that today's tykes have not yet seen: "I feel the need... the need for speed!" (Top Gun); "Yippee-ki-yay, coffeemaker!" (Die Hard); "This is my little friend—say hello!" (Scarface).

A trio of animated guinea pigs (voiced by Sam Rockwell, Penélope Cruz, and Tracy Morgan) have been trained by Zach Galifianakis to be special undercover agents. Aided by a mole (voiced by Nicolas Cage, doing a stereotypical "nerd" voice), they infiltrate the home of appliance magnate Leonard Saber (Bill Nighy) to uncover his secret plan to overtake the world, one coffeemaker at a time. But things go awry, and an FBI suit (Will Arnett, playing it surprisingly straight) shuts down their project, and the guinea pigs are carted off to a pet shop. So it's up to the plucky guinea pigs to escape and prove themselves. Move over, James Bond... secret agents just got a lot smaller!

I briefly entertained the notion that perhaps the talking guinea pigs were a figment of Galifianakis' imagination, but even that feeble premise is 800 billion times more clever than what G-Force actually has to offer. Instead, we get fart jokes, headache-inducing 3D action, a trio of chirpy-voiced mice ripped off directly from Babe, and a dearth of laughs. (I laughed exactly once, when the Nicolas Cage mole character had a flashback to his father.) We get hamster jokes, ferret jokes, rodent jokes galore—although not, significantly, any gerbil jokes—and a brutal reminder that even very talented, funny people like Zach Galifianakis, Will Arnett, and Tracy Morgan need to earn a paycheck from time to time.

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