Making the Grades
Size doesn’t seem to matter to the guinea pigs that make up the covert government agency known as G-Force. Juarez (voice by Penélope Cruz), Darwin (voice by Sam Rockwell) and Blaster (voice by Tracy Morgan) may be small, but they’re still a power to be reckoned with when it comes to military operations.
However, like many other federally funded departments, their backing is about to be cut. Without it, they will be forced to shut down before uncovering the criminal activities behind Leonard Saber’s (Bill Nighy) household appliance empire. On the night prior to their project’s termination, they launch an unauthorized infiltration mission into Saber’s mansion and steal a computer file outlining his plans for world domination. They hope the information will help save their program. But when the guinea pigs’ boss Ben (Zach Galifianakis) tries to open the file for FBI Agents Killian (Will Arnett), Trigstad (Gabriel Casseus) and Carter (Jack Conley), they discover it has been infected with a computer virus.
Without any positive evidence against the suspicious industrialist, officers slap a closed sign on the animal experimentation operation and the rodents soon finds themselves incarcerated in a pet store cage with a hairy, flatulence-plagued pig (voice by Jon Favreau) and psychotic hamster (voice by Steve Buscemi). Refusing to burrow into the wood chips while Saber initiates his villainous plot, the furry agents and their mole friend Speckles (voice by Nicolas Cage) design an escape plan and arrange to rendezvous at Ben’s address.
Their adventures outside of the pet shop though are often too intense for young viewers. Along with scenes straight from an action flick (car chases, breaking plate glass windows and the threat of being crushed), these rodents are attacked by automated machines with whirling blades and other deadly appendages. They are also subjected to actions that could easily be imitated by children. Feigning interest in the pigs, a young customer in the pet store picks up one of the critters and then intentionally throws him into a cage with a hungry snake. Another is put behind the wheel of a remote control car and driven at high speeds through an obstacle course and over a jump. While children aren’t involved with the following depiction, a rodent finds himself locked inside a microwave oven where he is about to be cooked. During their undercover operations, the tiny squad also faces frequent moments of peril involving attack dogs, detonated explosives, exterminators and armed agents intent on hunting down the escapees.
Yet for children comfortable with these types of action-packed escapades, G-Force offers some more thoughtful moments, particularly after the guinea pig project is abandoned. Believing in the importance of their mission and trusting in one another, the beady-eyed critters stay the course despite some disappointing setbacks. And although the script may sometimes grow a little lame, this film’s special 3D effects prove to be engaging from the first frame to the final clip.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about G-Force.
How do the guinea pigs feel after Ben tells them about their origins? What makes each of the animals special and unique? How do they overcome their disappointments?
What impact can movies like G-Force and other films with animal stars have on the sale of these pets? What are the dangers of these trends?