PG for intense action sequences and language
(see note at bottom of the review)
July 30, 2004
1 hr., 27 min.
Bill Paxton, Anthony Edwards, Sophia Myles,
Ron Cook, Ben Kingsley
William Osborne, Michael McCullers
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Thunderbirds Storm Theaters
By Phil Boatwright
The Movie Reporter
- SYNOPSIS: While his father, billionaire and former
astronaut Jeff Tracy (Paxton), and his four elder brothers are busy
saving the world from assorted bad guys, young Alan Tracy (Corbet)
feels left out. His father and siblings are fearless adventurers while
he is a below-average student at boarding school.
All that is about to change. Back home on Tracy Island -- a secret
oasis in the South Pacific and headquarters to International Rescue
-- Alan and his friends find themselves facing the villainous The
Hood (Kingsley), nemesis of his father. The Hood has taken control
of Tracy Island and the Thunderbirds, and it falls to Alan
and his friends to come up with a plan to defeat the evil Hood and
rescue his family -- and the world!
REVIEW: As a kid, I was enthralled by the puppet sci-fi adventure
Thunderbirds. It was a creative TV series, perhaps a bit bizarre
because the lead characters were made out of wood, but with the use
of strong stories, fanciful sets and good voice characterizations,
the show completely engrossed us kids. Now Universal Studios has recaptured
that imaginative concept. Thunderbirds is full of futuristic
eye-candy such as cool-looking gadgets, cars that fly, and an island
retreat that would rival Disneyland's Tomorrowland. Aimed at a teen/preteen
audience with themes of juvenile alienation and adolescent empowerment,
this tongue-in-cheek action/adventure should be a successful summer
release, and most likely the first of a successful franchise.
Lively, inventive, and campy, Thunderbirds is a blastoff
for the whole family.
Note: The film is rated PG. There are a few minor expletives,
but I caught no harsh or profane language. There is some teen attitude,
but it becomes clear by film's end that they are a loving family and
have learned life lessons about friendship, camaraderie and the importance
of family; Both the villain and a young girl have superpowers that
come from an unknown power source, a subplot that will no doubt be
addressed in a sequel. There is a great deal of comic book adventure,
with the villain causing havoc and trying to destroy the heroes, but
there are no deaths, no blood, and the story is about good vs. evil.
Much of the violence is cartoonish or slapstick, except for one scene
where a villain is being attacked by a nest of wasps -- this may upset
little ones, but the film avoids crudity and exploitive content.
Phil Boatwright is the editor of The Movie Reporter. For more
information, visit www.moviereporter.com.
Review used by permission.
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