Well, we're back from "Thunderturds". To quote "Sienfeld's" J. Peterman quoting Brando, "The horror... the horror..."
Spoilers follow -- like you should care!
Right from the sappy Hans Zimmer adaptation of the original opening theme to Thunderbirds, I knew I was in for some pretty serious disappointment:
The script inflicted a RAPE on Thunderbird canon. For a movie about the Thunderbirds, it had little to do with the Thunderbird pilots (who are ALL marooned in Earth orbit on Thunderbird 5), and has everything to do with the kids of the Thunderbird staff saving their bacon.
Bill Paxton was miscast as the patriarch. Too young and meek. They should have blown the dust off of Burt Reynolds for the role.
The portrayal of Brains was a tasteless and embarrassing character of someone with a speech impediment -- as was Brains' "spykid" son. And, Anthony Edwards as brains? Close. But I would have cast David Letterman band leader Paul Shaffer in the role. he was BORN to play it! :-D
The action was mostly STUPID -- and I like action flicks for the most part. Certainly, I loved the original Thunderbirds and all its action.
It was nice to see director Jonathan Frakes' wife get some work after all these years -- NOT!
Hans Zimmer did a poor job on the score. Now, if they had hired Don Davis of The Matrix Films, or David Arnold of recent Bond movies (or even me, for heaven's sake!), well THEN we would have had something!
The fight choreography SUCKED. These guys (and ladies) sure didn't train like the Matrix cast did. Can you say "stunt double"? They definitely "fixed it in post", as they say in the biz.
The kids were irritating (I have a whole new appreciation for the Spykids franchise now), and the actual Thunderbird Tracys were rendered hollow. Who knows if these guys are good actors, as they had ZILCH to work with.
Bottom line is that it aint yer father's Thunderbirds.
Bright spots amongst the turds:
Ben Kingsley as the revenge-driven villain. Very good! He played the part with relish, giving his character a sarcastic wit without coming off too campy. Now, THAt takes acting skills, kids! He probably resigned himself to try and have fun with this screwed up script.
Sophia Miles as Lady Penelope was wonderful!
Ron Cook as Lady Penelope's driver, Parker, was also fantastic.
The ships looked awesome! Thunderbird 2 looked a little smaller than I remember it from the TV show, though. Pity that Rolls Royce gave the thumbs-down on product placement for the the film, but lady Penelope's tricked-out thunderbird car was pretty damned kewl! It may not be a British car, but in name it was a perfect fit.
Art design and costumes were great.
FX were pretty good.
Now, if you do get dragged into seeing it, look for a little tip-of-the-marionette's-hat when the thunderbird team are back in Thunderbird 3 and are about to depart Thunderbird 5 in orbit near the end. Look for a marionette hand -- wires and all -- grasp the thruster lever! :-D What's ironic about this is that, in the original TV series, they used REAL hands for any demanding button or controller close-ups. So, this film really is "Bizarro Thunderbirds": Everything is the reverse of the original, including its quality.
After this, I am even MORE looking forward to 'Team America"!