THUNDERBIRDS

Tracy Family Values

Content +1
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: July 30, 2004

Starring: Bill Paxton, Ben Kingsley,
Anthony Edwards, Brady Corbet,
Soren Fulton, Sophia Myles,
and Vanessa Anne Hudgens

Genre: Action

Audience: Children and young teenagers

Rating: PG for intense action
sequences and language

Runtime: 100 minutes

Distributor: Universal Pictures

Director: Jonathan Frakes PRODUCERS: Tim
Bevan, Eric Fellner, and Mark
Huffam

Executive Producer:

Producer: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, and
Mark Huffam EXECUTIVE
PRODUCERS: Liza Chasin and
Debra Hayward

Writer: William Osborne and Michael
McCullers BASED ON THE
CHARACTERS BY: Gerry Anderson
and Sylvia Anderson

Address Comments To:

Bob Wright, Chairman Designate
NBC Universal
Ron Meyer, President/COO
Vivendi Universal Entertainment
Stacey Snider, Chairman
Universal Pictures
Universal Studios
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608-1085
Phone: (818) 777-1000
Web Page: www.universalstudios.com

Content:

(BB, O, L, V, M) Very strong moral worldview and moral premise in which family dedicates their lives to rescuing people and abiding laws, with an occult element that has villain using evil mind control powers and being defeated at one point by such powers; two light obscenities, characters start to say a couple obscenities but don’t, and use of “turd” in an insult; light action violence includes punching and kicking people, hanging from a ledge, villains sprayed with goo, henchman stung by jungle insects, and an explosion aboard a spacecraft; no sex, nudity, alcohol, or smoking, but shot of female villain’s rear end; and, child disobeys parent but is rebuked, and villains try to rob banks but are caught and rebuked.

GENRE: Action

Summary:

THUNDERBIRDS is a live-action adaptation of the kitschy 70s television program that puts adults in purgatory so the children can save the day, much like SPY KIDS. It has a strong moral worldview, two light obscenities, and action scenes to keep the pace moving.

Review:

THUNDERBIRDS is a live-action adaptation of the kitschy 70s television program that puts adults in purgatory so the children can save the day, much like SPY KIDS. Jeff Tracy runs International Rescue with his sons. They jet around the world in their impressive Thunderbirds machines to save people from big disasters. The movie’s opening sequence, in which the Thunderbirds save some workers on a flaming oil rig, is a spectacular start. When an evil mastermind called The Hood (played by Ben Kingsley) tries to steal the rescue machines and take over Tracy Island, it is up to Jeff’s youngest son, the young teenager Alan, and his two friends Fermat and Tintin to defeat the villains and keep the Thunderbirds operating.

The plot is not genius nor particularly original, but it works. It’s fun to see the Tracy family in peril and watch young Alan persevere and come to the rescue. He learns important lessons about the danger of hubris and the necessity of working as a team. The lessons are clearly stated, even for young audiences.

The Tracy family’s only mission is to save people and rescuing innocents is even more important than catching the bad guys, which reveals great moral focus. The Hood threatens the lives of Alan’s entire family, including Alan himself, but when Alan has the chance to let The Hood fall to his death, he pulls him up and lets his enemy live. Alan Tracy loves his enemies, even when they wish to do him harm, and in doing so, fulfills a biblical imperative.

Sometimes the movie veers too far into slapstick territory, as some parts resemble HOME ALONE’s Kevin setting traps for the bumbling burglars. The occasional cartoon sound effects also make the movie unpalatable to slightly older audiences. However, the clever action sequences are exciting and well-directed. Also, Ben Kingsley adds a bit of distinction to the movie and helps to make it a little more serious.

THUNDERBIRDS encourages cooperation, service and humility. Alan tries to work for selfish aims at the beginning, but he learns that it’s pointless and unfulfilling. The movie is paced well and moves through its hour-and-a-half pretty quickly. Children should enjoy this movie, and parents shouldn’t mind it too much either.

In Brief:

THUNDERBIRDS is a live-action adaptation of the kitschy 70s television program that puts adults in purgatory so the kids can save the day, much like SPY KIDS. Jeff Tracy runs International Rescue with his sons. They jet around the world in their impressive Thunderbird machines to save people from disasters. When an evil mastermind called The Hood (played by Ben Kingsley) tries to steal the rescue machines and take over Tracy Island, it is up to Jeff’s youngest son and his two friends to defeat the villains and keep the Thunderbirds operating.

The plot to THUNDERBIRDS is not genius nor original, but it works. It’s fun to see the Tracy family in peril and watch young Alan persevere and come to the rescue. He learns important lessons about the danger of hubris and the necessity of working as a team. The lessons are clearly stated, even for young audiences. Several biblical commandments are demonstrated by the Tracy family, which shows great moral focus. Sometimes the movie veers into slapstick territory, but the clever action scenes keep it from slowing down too much. Children will enjoy this movie, and parents shouldn’t mind it either.