It seems like a no-brainer: Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer in a comedy where they become (somewhat) accidental superheroes? Should be good, right? Alas, the first trailer for Thunder Force is here, and it’s a string of unfunny cracks about “chicks in their 40s.”
Robert Downey Jr. was in his 40s when the first Iron Man was made. Mark Ruffalo made his debut as the Hulk when he was in his mid-40s. Chadwick Boseman was in his 40s when he starred in Black Panther. Two of Marvel’s female stars have aged into their 40s over the course of the films: Zoe Saldana and Evangeline Lilly. Ming-Na Wen is in her 50s and still an astonishing action hero. The existence of badass middle-aged women is not inherently a punchline. But this trailer makes it one.
Thunder Force is the latest collaboration between McCarthy and her husband, writer/director/actor Ben Falcone (after Tammy, The Boss, and Life of the Party). The plot, per Netflix, is simple enough: “In a world where supervillains are commonplace, two estranged childhood best friends reunite after one devises a treatment that gives them powers to protect their city.”
This is just the first trailer; maybe the film itself is less egregious. But this is still how they chose to market it. Thunder Force arrives on Netflix on April 9th.