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Overall Rating
2.63

Awesome: 14.29%
Worth A Look: 10.71%
Average: 23.21%
Pretty Bad26.79%
Total Crap: 25%

3 reviews, 38 user ratings


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Thunderbirds
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by The Ultimate Dancing Machine

"Thunderbirds are CRAP"
2 stars

In a way, I really do admire the cold efficiency of the Hollywood machine. I vaguely envision it as this elaborate, Rube Goldberg-esque contraption in which all kinds of wonderfully strange ideas and notions are inserted in one end and, after much wheezing and cranking of gears, eventually pop out the other end, magically transformed into identical Lucite blocks. So it is with THUNDERBIRDS, based on the beloved '60s British TV show, which resembles every other TV-inspired movie of the last ten years.

In the interest of disclosure, I should point out that I've never seen the TV show. (My fav sci-fi program as a kid was ULTRAMAN, and if that ever hits the big screen, they had better get it right.) I can’t be sure how much the theatrical interpretation differs from the original show, but let’s just say that this tediously unimaginative film doesn’t inspire one to head over to Blockbuster to find out.

They tell me that the THUNDERBIRDS TV show featured puppets instead of actors; this holds true for the film version, although the credits might fool you into believing you’re watching human beings up on the screen. The Thunderbirds—apparently a bunch of guys who fly around in souped-up planes and periodically save the world—are, to a man, a pack of bores; they have as much depth and color as a 1950’s DC comic. (It doesn’t help that they have nothing to do for much of the time except be unconscious, but let’s not get into that.) As the evil Hood, Ben Kingsley is marginally more interesting, mostly because he has cool glowing eyes; but only Sophia Myles, as the bouncy Lady Penelope, brings any semblance of wit and style to the film.

The film is a dispiritingly paint-by-numbers product, with unmemorable dialogue and a standard revenge plot, which I need not elaborate on. The film also has an unpleasantly hurried air; this is one movie where you wish there were more scenes where characters stand around and explain the plot. But director Jonathan Frakes just keeps pushing ahead to the next boringly executed action sequence, which is always accompanied by the kind of intrusive, bombastic score that tries to gull you into thinking that the proceedings are more exciting than they really are.

Apart from Myles, there’s not much to look at here, except for some luscious island scenery. The film’s lack of invention is deadly, especially considering the possibilities inherent in this kind of sci-fi/action material. If there is justice in this world, THUNDERBIRDS will be the last film where we see that tired mainstay of sci-fi: the handprint identification gizmo that futuristic types use for their secret hideouts.

THUNDERBIRDS are go—straight to video-store oblivion.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=9178&reviewer=223
originally posted: 07/25/04 12:40:54
[printer] printer-friendly format  
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Tribeca Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Tribeca Film Festival series, click here.
TV to Screen: For more in the TV to Screen series, click here.

User Comments

9/20/12 Mike Miller Took me back to my days watching the show as a kid. 4 stars
5/06/10 Mr. big penis I typed in Piere De Fermat in advance search along w/ cool,awesome,sweet,and ass.Here I am 1 stars
12/21/09 art ONLY FOR NINE YEAR OLD"S! 1 stars
11/04/08 PAUL SHORTT GOOD-LOOKING SCI-FI ADVENTURE FOR KIDS 3 stars
3/22/08 Pamela White better as puppets 3 stars
5/17/07 Charles Tatum Disposable fluff...kids will love it 2 stars
4/19/07 Stevo UK Oh yes, darling, us English are very snobbish arne't we? Complete Bullshit. 1 stars
8/21/05 Luke Blackadder Better than Spy kids 5 stars
8/19/05 ES Thunder, thunder, thunderbirds- blow! 1 stars
6/05/05 Mark Radburn What is wronng with you people, This movie kicks ass 5 stars
1/15/05 Hawkeye Pierce not as good as the original series (not even close) yet Riker (suprisingly) did a good job 3 stars
12/10/04 Kristina Williams unbearably bad 1 stars
11/20/04 Mark Not as good as the old series of ThunderBirds but still a great movie Thunderbirds rule 3 stars
10/19/04 croweater888 Spy Kids 4 was just great..Oh..sorry thats not what its called? 2 stars
9/18/04 Lindsay Tannock Why did they make it a kids movie? Should have been called "Carry on Thunderbirds" 3 stars
9/16/04 VTOL Those Tracy boys are DAMN fine! Especially Dom Colenso. I loved the original, loved this! 5 stars
9/11/04 alien assassin Ignore this nonsense and check out the original series on DVD !!! 2 stars
9/03/04 Trudy Generate Gandhi turned mega-heist mastermind -- Pretty spooky! 3 stars
9/03/04 Tiffany Faye Hawthorne Better than usual entry in kids rescue besieged parents subgenre. SpyKids eatyour heart out 4 stars
8/04/04 Kate Connor I loved Thunderbirds as a kid/this was fun and entertaining. 4 stars
8/02/04 Woody My son, a Thunderbirds fan, had lots of fun! 4 stars
8/02/04 Chopper3 I watched it with a bunch of kids and they loved it 5 stars
8/02/04 Alfredo Silva A sick mixture between Spy Kids and Cat in the Hat, candidate for worst movie of 2004 1 stars
7/31/04 Alex Keefe I thought this was a fun and entertaining film. Give it more of a chance. 4 stars
7/31/04 Nick Turner This is a great movie! Critics know sh*t - I love TB and loved this too. Diff. but great 5 stars
7/28/04 Mike Devans I woke up at 6 am to watch this crap. 1 stars
7/28/04 conor great awlful 1 stars
7/27/04 asina Down with G4 for destroying TechTV!!! 1 stars
7/27/04 Julian Lady Penelope ROCKS! The Tracy's Suck! 1 stars
7/26/04 Siobhan I was a Thunderbirds fan as a kid, and I actually really enjoyed this. 3 stars
7/25/04 Tom Scott Hollywood strikes again! (shoot Frakes) 1 stars
7/23/04 Sean Norton why bother re-doing if you can't improve it? 1 stars
7/22/04 caroline the best film ever,brady corbet was brilliant 5 stars
7/19/04 mike j eccleshall the worst movie i have seen for a long time. didnt even bother to stay for the end 1 stars
7/19/04 Chopper3 So much better than I had expected, the best live-action film for young kids for years! 5 stars
7/17/04 dark mark totally fantastic film. true to Gerry's animation. 4 stars
7/16/04 Alex Walters Possible the worst movie I have ever seen. Twister comes close, and I belive that has Bill 1 stars
7/11/04 simplythunder@yahoo.co.uk perfect family entertainment 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  30-Jul-2004 (PG)
  DVD: 21-Dec-2004

UK
  N/A

Australia
  16-Sep-2004 (PG)




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