Projections - Movie Reviews
Starring Bill Paxton, Anthony Edwards, Ben Kingsley

Thunderbirds, while visually impressive, loses the details that made the 1960s TV series work. Add a dull coming-of-age story plus a predictable revenge plot and we get a somewhat boring tale.

The movie opens with Jeff Tracy (Bill Paxton) and his four oldest sons rescuing oil-rig workers from a fire, while youngest son Alan (Brady Corbet) and his pal Fermat (Soren Fulton) the son International Rescue’s genius engineer, Brains (Anthony Edwards) lay banished at a boarding school, waiting for the day they too become members of the team. Alan is all teenager impatient, immortal and very full of himself.

While the kids are home on Thunderbird Island for a semester break, the villain, Hood (Ben Kingsley) sabotages the Thunderbird 5 space station and strands Jeff and his four eldest in space. Hood wants to use the Thunderbird vehicles for a bank heist and let International Rescue take the rap. Alan, of course, sees an opportunity to save the day and win the respect of his family.

From that point on, we’re stuck mainly with the kids as they try to save the day. Watching Hood’s goons chase the good guys frantically around a beautiful tropical island in the Indian Ocean for nearly 45 minutes while the other Tracy’s twiddle their thumbs in space gets boring. When some excitement finally arrives near the end it’s too late to save the film.

Obligatory love interest Tintin (Vanessa Anne Hudgens) is almost invisible. Fermat is best forgotten stock nerd know-it-all and Mr Corbet is fine as the eager to be taken seriously Alan, but he’s such a whiney little pain in the ass that I was tempted to root for the bad guys just so I could see him take a proverbial spanking.

Director Jonathan Frakes who previously directed and starred in Star Trek has created a few other tales for children, too bad this one is predictable hopelessly dull.


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