Based on the cult British television show from the 1960s, Thunderbirds explodes into the 21st Century with this thrilling live-action version of the franchise. Drawing on similar themes and familiar characters, director Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: First Contact) sticks closely to the spirit of the original show while making use of the new technology available to him 40 years after the program first aired to give the film a modern look. The International Rescue organization a team of highly organized law enforcers is the focal point for the movie. International Rescue is based on a remote desert island location, and is called into action whenever the world's sinister masterminds threaten to disturb the balance of society. Jeff Tracy (Bill Paxton) heads up the team, and employs his sons to help him out.
Teenager Alan Tracy (Brady Corbet) is a little too young to join, and is constantly frustrated by his lack of opportunity to join the brothers on their missions. But when the evil villain known as The Hood (Ben Kingsley) traps the International Rescue team in outer space, it seems Alan's time has come. The Hood steals one of the many spacecrafts designed by International Rescue, and executes an outlandish scheme to rob the Bank of England. Alan and his pal Fermat (Soren Fulton) attempt the double-whammy of rescuing the trapped family and stopping The Hood, by drawing on help from the sultry detective Lady Penelope (Sophia Myles), her butler Parker (Ron Cook), and a few gadgets and vehicles courtesy of International Rescue. With comic references to the original show scattered liberally throughout the movie, and a sense of fun and adventure, this is a film that should appeal to both old and new fans of these popular crime-fighting characters.
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This live action updating of the Gerry Anderson TV series lives up to the excitement and plot development of the original series, allowing for the fact that the genre has moved on and the smooth transition between live action and special effects has altered considerably. A more than enjoyable romp for all Thunderbirds fans that will whett the appetite for more! Can we look forward to Avengers and Thunderbirds assembling in the future? FAB
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