UK release date: 20 July 2004

cast list
Bill Paxton
Ben Kingsley
Anthony Edwards
Sophia Myles
Brady Corbet

directed by
Jonathan Frakes

With the film industry slowly running out of original ideas, there was bound to be a time when classic television was remade for the big screen. X-Men, Spiderman and Scooby Doo are all children’s programmes recently adapted for cinema viewing. Now the Thunderbirds is the latest addition to the list.

Utilising the traditional Tracy Island setting; the Tracy family (with the help of Brains) continue to save the world from natural and moral evil until they meet their match, obscurely named The Hood. After a terrible incident many a year ago whereby Jeff Tracy (Bill Paxton) rescued his house worker Kyrano, but not Kyrano’s brother Aristotle Spode, the brother who was presumed dead comes back in an attempt to destroy the Thunderbirds and rob the Bank of England.

The youngest son, Alan Tracy, acted by 15 year old Brady Corbet, plays a pivotal role in the film as throughout he progresses from being seen as a child to a newly crowned Thunderbird after he figured out that he can use The Hood’s strength (mind controlling eyes) against him. Although, just like in Lord of the Rings, Alan’s Frodo-like character does little to deservedly attain his new status and much credit goes to Fermat and Tin Tin.

Aimed at children and family audiences, this remake of the classic puppet cartoon is full to the brim of cheesy one-liners, which inevitably adds to the humour. Jeff Tracy’s role as a “billionaire ex-astronaut” and other scenarios whereby Alan Tracy was forced to yell, “I’d love to not save you, but I can’t, its what we do!” and “I’m a Thunderbird!” were enough to make you momentarily cringe.

Another factor of the film that made it worth watching were the actors. Exceptional acting from Ben Kingsley as The Hood adds well to his already long list of star quality performances. All three child actors also brightened up the film and, in comparison to Anthony Edwards’ (of ER fame) appalling take on Brains, proved that age and experience does not necessarily make you better at the trade.

Like most blockbusters of this nature, the cheese is just reeling off the script but outstanding performances from Ben Kingsley and particularly child actors Soren Fulton and Brady Corbet guarantee a fun and well-spent two hours for all the family. In the words of a true Thunderbird, it’s F.A.B.

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