Jonathan Frakes came up with a winner with this live action adaption of the popular British mid-1960s television show Thunderbirds. The original was a puppet show and this film pays homage to that with one of the critical scenes in the film. When the 2 kids reach for the controls the had of a puppet is there for a few seconds. Anyone who has ever seen or grew up with the Thunderbirds, that one scene will touch your heart and soul. But the film itself is not with puppets, it is a full live action film with plenty of models and CGI to make it come alive on the screen. You even have full sized Thunderbirds in some of the sets to give you the full scope and size that they are. They even recreated a working full sized vehicle for Lady Penelope in all its pinkness. This is going to be a film that is going to be around for years to come.
Alan Tracy played by Brady Corbet is a bored high school student in London and is always looking to the sky with his head in the clouds. There is no place that he would rather be then with his family, a family the rest of the world knows as Thunderbirds International Rescue. Only his 2 closest friends Fermat played by Soren Fulton and Tintin played by Vanessa Hudgens know who he really is. Tintin’s family takes care of the estate and Fermat’s father builds and maintains all the gadgets that the Tracy family uses in their rescue operations. Lady Penelope beautifully played by Sophia Myles is International Rescue’s London agent and international socialite. Even thought the show never says it billionaire former astronaut Jeff Tracy played by Bill Paxton and Lady Penelope are very close. Together with the rest of Jeff’s children they save the world from what ever disaster might threaten it.
With such a wonderful family you would think that Alan would be having the time of his life but he isn’t. He wants so very much to be a Thunderbird himself and is constantly getting into trouble by being where he shouldn’t be. He feels that his father wont let him grow up since he is the youngest of the Tracy family. It is in a later scene that we find out that Jeff feels that his son is very much like his late wife and that is the reason he wont let go. It takes the villainous Hood played by Ben Kingsley, the brother of TinTin’s father to force Jeff to trust his son and finally let him prove just how much of a Tracy and Thunderbird that he can be.
In the film you will see many references and here the term FAB. FAB mean Fully Advised and Briefed. During the 60’s it was a rather “Hip” word and taken to mean fabulous as well as “message received and understood” for the show. So the term was incorporated. It was later that it was defined to be an actual acronym. This film is a big warm fan hung for the original show done by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson and ITC and AP Films. Frakes it would seem took his time to try and get the true spirit of the Tracy family onto the big screen. FAB!
This film is full of action, companionship, friendship and how families can come together in a crisis to get things done. So if you love explosions and kids in action then you are going to love this film. It is a film that the whole family can sit down and watch together with everyone being able to find something in it to enjoy and relate to. This is going to be a film that is going to last and be as enjoyable and persistent as the puppet or Supermarionation show was and is. Thunderbirds are GO!
I give this film a Musing review of