After seeing the trailer for this film, I was kinda keen to see what they had done with it. I mean, Blur doing Song 2, lots of explosions, an extremely cute blonde woman with innuendo galore… what could go wrong? Shame no-one told me this is a KIDS movie! (NB – this refers to the Australian Teaser trailer I saw, NOT the version linked above).

I can just imagine the Hollywood money-men sitting in their dark little mansions, planning world domination – maybe the conversation went something like this:

Money-man 1: So, we have this kids film. It’s gonna be big for the school holidays. We’re gonna make a packet. I just wish there was some way we could get adults to go…
Money-man 2: Hey, that’s easy! Remember the tv show! All those adults in their 30s will love to see a live action film of this! We just gotta make them think it’s not a children’s movie.
MM 1: Yeah. Maybe we could do a trailer that only ever shows the main kids twice (!), put a modern classic song to it, and make them think it’s for adults!
MM 2: They won’t know what hit them! And we’ll be rich!

So, armed with their deceptive trailer, they convinced me to go, expecting an adult adaption of Thunderbirds. Sure, I guess the fact I got in on an “Adults at children’s prices” ticket could have made me suspicious, but it was New Zealand – they do lots of weird shit.

Anyway, the film isn’t terrible. There are explosions, close calls, and the good guys win in the end. A large amount of improbable stuff happens, and basic physical laws are ignored. And some kids learn some stuff about being an adult, and some adults learn some stuff about being a kid. Typical children’s movie fare really; a moral, clear-cut good guys and bad guys, and the loser kids help the hero kids, and the hero kid has to learn that the losers have usefulness as well.

Sophia Myles really stands out as the only adult whose performance I enjoyed. (Bill Paxton seems to be only half there – although I’m not sure which half.) Myles really seems to love the role she’s playing, enjoying turning on all the boys, and being the token blonde chick. Let’s hope she has more to her, but for now I enjoyed this performance.

Not great, but worth watching on DVD on a cold night. Sure, it’s trite, but it IS a kids film. If you’re expecting Basic Instinct, you better look elsewhere.

Rating: 2.0 stars
Review by Mark Lavercombe, 18th September 2004
Hoopla Factor: 3.0 stars

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