Thunderbirds (2004)

2007 #85
Jonathan Frakes | 91 mins | DVD | PG / PG

ThunderbirdsNo doubt you’ve heard only bad things about this re-imagining of Gerry Anderson’s ’60s puppet extravaganza (apart from that esteemed publication The Funday Times proclaiming “You’ll love this!” on the DVD cover). Certainly there’s much for fans to hate — dull teen angst, tired moral messages, low budget CGI, an iffy storyline, and a truly horrendous re-mix/ruining of the theme music.

But, believe it or not, it’s not all bad: the redesigns of the Thunderbirds and Tracy Island are modern but faithful, the scenes where they’re doing some proper rescuing aren’t bad, the characters are as annoyingly FAB-perfect as they actually are on TV (apart from Alan’s angst of course), and Lady Penelope and Parker are near spot-on too (except when they go all Buffy). The interpretation of the Hood may be weak (even more so thanks to his pathetic henchmen) but his plan’s not bad. There are even times when the whole thing feels like it’s adapted from an original episode… albeit a relatively poor one.

If you loved the series you’ll never like this; heck, unless you’re under 10 you’ll probably never like this (and that’s being generous). Maybe, someday, there’ll be a decent new version of Thunderbirds. Sadly, this has probably hindered any attempts at that. Shame.

2 out of 5

Thunderbirds featured on my list of The Five Worst Films I Saw in 2007, which can be read in full here.

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