Don't Flip Me The Bird!
I love The Thunderbirds supermarionation. If I had the will power to get up at 6am on Saturdays I'd watch it every week. Instead I'm left to reminisce the times when I'd remember to set the VCR and watch it at a far more reasonable hour. Anyway, TBirds good fun.
When I heard about the movie adaptation I was interested. When I heard that Jonathan Frakes was directing I was concerned. When I saw production photos I was rather impressed. When I read about the plot direction I was worried.
I had subconsciously decided not to see this at the cinema, so I didn't go out of my way to see it. Then, there I was with time to kill and few options left to see. I went into the cinema with sensibly low expectations of nothing more than wanting to enjoy the film.
I walked into the cinema to find it empty. Not that that is unusual, I tend to be early, but when the lights went down the the local advertising started I had a second look around to double check I was not mistaken about being the only one. So I sat back, slipped of my shoes and began my private screening of The Thunderbirds.
The basic basics of this film are International Rescue is lured away from their secret island head quarters and they get trapped on the space station. So what that leaves is the youngest Tracy brother, Alan, Brains' son, Furmat, and Tintin to save the day.
The three young actors have to drive this film and they only moderately succeed. Brady Corbet looks like your typical Hollywood teen boy: rather girly. Far to pink lipstick and a lisp that ith not going to make hith life easy ath an actor. Soren Fulton and Vanessa Anne Hudgens both do ok jobs as the sidekicks but none of the young actors have the chops to really make me enthralled by their stories.
The morals and conflicts are dealt with a heavy hand. There is no way you'd miss them when a character all but yells out 'Oh, I shouldn't have done that because my friends may get hurt'. I don't know whether this is a scripting flaw or Frakes' handling of the material.
I went into Tbirds with the hope of seeing them in action, I was to be disappointed. The real Thunderbirds are marooned in the space station for 90% of the film. The casting of the Tracy's was very good, and I was waiting for the brothers to slip into full Rescue mode, but all I got was the opening sequence. All that did was leave me wanting more Rescue and less teen angst.
The highlight, for me, was Lady Penelope and Parker. I always liked Parkers dry wit and "Yes, m'lady", and Ron Parker does a wonderful rendition. Believe it or not, Lady P and Parker kick ass. Possibly the highlight of the film, being deprived of other action.
The result is a satisfactory film the whole family will likely appreciate, but for anyone who enjoyed the original you'll be left wanting more.
Also, you'll leave with the Thunderbirds theme in your head. Which will take 3 days to go away.