Thunderbirds In adapting the 1960s Supermarionation-animated British TV show as a live-action kids' movie, Universal hasn't kept that much, but at least the show's fabulous retro… Thunderbirds In adapting the 1960s Supermarionation-animated British TV show as a live-action kids' movie, Universal hasn't kept that much, but at least the show's fabulous retro… 2004-07-30 PG PT95M Action/Adventure Sci-fi and Fantasy Anthony Edwards Bill Paxton Brady Corbet Ben Kingsley Sophia Myles Universal
Movie Review

Thunderbirds (2004)

MPAA Rating: PG
Ben Kingsley, Thunderbirds | THANK YOU, SIR, MAY I HAVE ANOTHER? The best intentions can't get this kids' movie off the ground
Image credit: Thunderbirds: Peter Mountain
THANK YOU, SIR, MAY I HAVE ANOTHER? The best intentions can't get this kids' movie off the ground
EW's GRADE
C+

Details Release Date: Jul 30, 2004; Rated: PG; Length: 95 Minutes; Genres: Action/Adventure, Sci-fi and Fantasy; With: Anthony Edwards and Bill Paxton; Distributor: Universal

In adapting the 1960s Supermarionation-animated British TV show as a live-action kids' movie, Universal hasn't kept that much, but at least the show's fabulous retro catchphrase ''F-A-B!'' rides again in Thunderbirds. Consisting of five rocket-ship-flying young men and their widowed billionaire ex-astronaut father Jeff (a clench-jawed Bill Paxton), the film's ''International Rescue'' team lets loose ''F-A-B!''s like crazy over the course of the film, and without fail its upbeat cheesy wholesomeness is always good for a smile.

Long may ''F-A-B!'' live on, even as this mild update slips into the movie-history remainder bin. In a transparent attempt at attracting the youth vote (or at least all the tykes who saw the ''Spy Kids'' films), the movie strands Paxton and his four oldest on a spaceship and leaves it to a high-fiving trio of uninteresting kids, including Brady Corbet as Paxton's youngest son, to prove their mettle as Thunderbirds. This involves fighting a red-eyed, kimono-wearing devil named the Hood, played by Ben Kingsley, who channels ''Flash Gordon'''s Ming the Merciless and ''Temple of Doom'''s Mola Ram but not a PG-rated smidgen of his former F-A-B self as the baddie in ''Sexy Beast.''

Originally posted Jul 28, 2004 Published in issue #777 Aug 06, 2004 Order article reprints
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