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Genre: Children/Action
Starring: Brady Corbet, Soren Fulton, Bill Paxton, Sir Ben Kingsley, Anthony Edwards, Sophia Myles, Ron Cook, Vanessa Anne Hudgens
Director: Jonathan Frakes
Rating: PG
Year Made: 2004




- Creating the Ultimate Action Sequence
- Secrets of Tracy Island Revealed
- Lady Penelope and Parker Lose Their Cool: Fun & Stunts
- F.A.B.1: More Than Just A Car
- Lady Penelope's Pink World
- Busted Thunderbirds Music Video
- Fun Director's Commentary



Languages: English/French/Spanish
Subtitles: English/French/Spanish
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Running Time: 1 hr 31 mins
Region Code: 1




Saving the world is a full-time job for ex-astronaut Jeff Tracy, his four elder sons and their five incredible machines: The Thunderbirds. Together they form International Rescue, a top secret organisation the world relies upon.

But today, they are under threat: their arch enemy The Hood has trapped them in space and taken over their hi-tech crafts and technology for his own evil purposes. Unbeknown to The Hood though, Alan the youngest Tracy boy is still on the their secret island. But does he have what it takes to save his family...and the world?


Everybody loves to thrash a bad movie especially remakes of a cult television series or critically acclaimed films from the past. Those who make it through the critics’ electronic fences are few and far. “Mission Impossible” perhaps is among the handful.

The 2004 remake of “Thunderbirds” is one of those which are badly panned and singed at the box-office.

Watching it for the first time on DVD and hearing barrage of negative comments prior to it, I got to conclude it isn’t that bad after all. Sure, there are the usual cheesy dialogues and unbelievable moments liked why did the whole family have to be activated on a same ship to rescue a stranded sibling? Don’t you think it’s unwise to put all the eggs in one basket?

Perhaps this is the main sore point of the plot, our main hero, Jeff Tracy (Bill Paxton) the billionaire ex-astronaut behind the sophisticated rescue unit is sidetracked in this movie version. Leading the way is Tracy’s youngest son, Alan (Brady Corbet) who finally got the chance to be part of a real-life operation to rescue his trapped father and siblings after desiring to be part of the Thunderbirds for so long.

A very apparent objective by the studio to use young stars such as Corbet and Vanessa Hudgens (who shot to fame in “High School Musical”) as the leads is to hopefully capture a brand new generation of Thunderbirds’ fans but alas the plan seem to backfired and it neither succeeded in reviving the grand old dame nor please the base of old fans.

And to add insult to injury, the one dimensional villain played by Sir Ben Kingsley is neither cartoony bad nor is he deliciously menacing.

But this Jonathon Frakes’ directed flick does have its moments. The original Brit series were done using strings-controlled puppets (think “Team America”) and employed lots of miniature effects – It was a wondrous and imaginative series for kids growing up in the sixties and seventies. Though digital effects have replaced the miniatures and real actors are being cast, the fascinating designs of the pinkish F.A.B.1 and various ships retained much of the original flavour here.

Despite the various flaws, “Thunderbirds” still fared competently as a family-friendly sci-fi action flick. If you enjoyed Disney’s “Sky High”, I don’t see why you won’t be entertained by “Thunderbirds”. “Thunderbirds” is still a go!


The DVD comes with a nifty menu which I find a bit hard for my non-nimble fingers to toggle. But anyway it comes with a few interesting features including Creating the Ultimate Action Sequence which touches on how the crew at Framestone came up with the digital sequences.

Learn how an actual island at the Indian Ocean with the combination of digital effects is done to replicate Tracy Island in Secrets of Tracy Island Revealed.

Watch how Sophia Myles and Ron Cook who played Lady Penelope and Parker respectively have fun doing the stunts in Lady Penelope and Parker Lose Their Cool: Fun & Stunts

F.A.B.1: More Than Just A Car – Lady Penelope’s beloved car is given a face-lift by the engineers and it’s latest design is inspired by Ford cars rather than Rolls-Royce in the original series.

Lady Penelope's Pink World is another short feature which introduces audience to how Lady Penelope’s pink world is created.

The DVD is rounded by a Busted Thunderbirds Music Video and also a Fun Director's Commentary.


Presented in widescreen 1.85, the visual transfer is excellent and the rich colours are a joy to marvel. The dolby digital soundtrack is a tad weak at some points but nevertheless not to the extend of marring your audio enjoyment.



Review by Linus Tee


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