Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Thunderbirds: "Who want's to save these Thunderbirds?"

Gather round boys and girls, for a quick history lesson about a series of puppets, and the world of children's entertainment. While the original Thunderbirds was first aired in the 1960's, during the 1990's and still to this day, the original series continues to be shown and at one point got a dramatic rise in popularity, leading to the creation of a lot of new merchandise. It was because of this that I myself was exposed to the Thunderbirds, and I still regard it as one of my favorite childhood shows, and why I love how the newest generation, Thunderbirds are Go, is keeping to the original feel using new technology. However, this was a time when anything popular enough would receive the cinema treatment, and anything for children wasn't really given that much care in terms of plot. And sure enough, 2004 comes along, and Thunderbirds was released to cinemas. I recall going to see it with my father in Sydney, though there was another movie I wanted to see, which I'll get to another time. But for now, "Who's going to rescue the rescuers?"

Yeah, that's the main plot, for you see, The Hood has not only found the location of Tracy Island, but has trapped almost all the Thunderbirds on the heavily damaged Thunderbird 5 (which he shot) and is proceeding to use the Thunderbirds to rob all the major banks around the world in a way that conveniently means that all the main vehicles are in the film.
With Jeff, Scott, Virgil, Gordon and John trapped on Thunderbird 5, which is quickly reentering earth's atmosphere, it is up to Alan, Tintin (/Kayo to the people who's introduction to Thunderbirds was Thunderbirds are Go) and Brain's one off son, Fermat, to save the Thunderbirds, stop The Hood and star in a story worded to make sure that all the main ships are in the story.

I will admit, the Thunderbird vehicles themselves do look good
Now, I'm sure there are some of you wondering why Alan isn't with the others on Thunderbird 5, as he is the pilot for Thunderbird 3. If you're familiar with the original puppets, the logical thing to do would be sending Alan, Tintin and Scott at most up there to save John... One small problem. This is a Teenage drama movie in terms of plot, and Alan and Tintin are teenagers. While Tintin keeps the baddassery Kayo would inherit along with her relation to The Hood (I'm not 100% sure of her puppet counterpart off the top of my head), Alan on the other hand falls into the "Hollywood teenager trope" and is one of the worst characters I've seen from the films I've reviewed on this site, and yet one of the best characters in the film because almost everyone else is awful. Brains and Fermat's stuttering is borderline intolerable in this movie and in Brains' case exists to censor the script (I'm not kidding when I say he almost said "F&*# you" to The Hood), Lady Penelope and Parker act like husks of their puppet selves, however they do stay in character and I do genuinely believe they are who they say they are most of the time, and the rest of the Tracy Family gets negated to talking background objects, with next to no talking lines, most of them revolving around the "he's our little brother". Most of the dialogue feels forced, there to hide the fact that these characters aren't characters, which is a shame as this is written by the same people who created and did most of the writing for the original series, Gerry and Sylvia Anderson.
How does moving a phone mean also moving The Mole?

While I like the different renditions of the original theme, especially the intro credits version (which also has quite nice animation that does more for establishing the characters and story then the actual movie does, sadly), I have to question who was in charge of the sound effects. They sound like they belong in a Loony Toons or Animaniacs cartoon, and yet there are also realistic sound effects in it as well. It comes off as this was meant to be a movie based on the Adam West Batman films with Thunderbirds edited over it.
"The Director said I should walk like a constipated puppet, so that's what I did. I don't get it either"

The way the film is shot makes it feel like this was just a promo for a Universal theme park ride that never came, something that feels obvious in the climax of the film because, as I said earlier, the movie feels like it was written to have all the main ships to promote the ride. There's a moment where they have to save a car from the London Monorail that fell into the river, something that could have all been avoided if The Hood moved a little to the left. Why is it there? Because we need Thunderbird 4. Now granted, there are times when even Thunderbirds are Go has done this, but at least that still has some connection to the situation. One episode had the creation of a "Gravity well" and the only thing that could survive the pressure was Thunderbird 4, which makes sense. Getting a Monorail car out of the Thames River, did not need Thunderbird 4. There's also the feeling that a lot of scenes have been cut to keep the pace going without stopping to think of the consequences, like Fermat stealing the Thunderbird 2 Guidance Processor, only hinted at with a quick shot of him running from no where specific.
"Oh yeah, we're in this movie"

During a video, I made a banging sound that was picked up in the video. I left it in and even sent Marissa the name of the thing that it was for. This movie is what I named. There's nothing to like in this film other then the CG of the Thunderbirds themselves, which for the time, did look nice and still does, even if its not realistic. The story's stupid, the characters are bland, even the costume design has problems as I swear there are times when Alan, Tintin, Fermat and Lady Penelope (who's the most obvious one) change clothes for no reason during the middle of a crisis. I cannot recommend this, there are much better things related to the Thunderbirds then this.
When did Fermat become a puppet?

I should mention, there are a few plans for next week, so there isn't anything set in stone. There will be something next week, as to what it is, you'll just have to wait and see.

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