Very ingenious special effects. Old fashioned, but really neat to watch.
Plot: The International Rescue team is faced with one of its toughest challenges yet, as the revolutionary lighter-than-air craft Skyship One is hijacked while on her maiden voyage around the world. Against backdrops including the Statue of Liberty and the Sphinx, Lady Penelope, Parker, Alan and Tin-Tin fight the hijackers from on-board, while the rest of the team tries to stop the airship crashing into a missile silo.
Review: Wow, if you’ve never seen an original Thunderbirds TV episode or one of the feature films you’re missing out. The Thunderbirds franchise featured incredible puppet work and highly imaginative model work all revolving around an interplanetary team (a family of five sons and their father) who go on dangerous missions to save the world from international terrorism. The franchise is basically a high concept riff of 007 movies, but geared for cool kids and their parents. The first film Thunderbirds are Go has the team geared up and headed for space, but their first attempt is foiled by a terrorist, and with their massive rocket ship destroyed, they have to spend years rebuilding and recouping their loss. When their second attempt is successful (but not without another attempt of sabotage), they end up on Mars where they must fight off alien creatures and make their way back home. In Thunderbird 6, the President orders the team to build another ship (the Thunderbird 6) to save the world again, but this time a team of bad guys hijacks one of their ships, and it’s going to be their greatest challenge yet to save the world one last time.
A little slow moving, the two Thunderbird movies might be a tough sit through for kids of this generation, but I can report that my three year-old son and I very much enjoyed the two movies. The practical effects and ingenuity of the filmmakers really make these movies special to watch. Watching them now, you can’t help but long for the days when handcrafted effects were commonplace. If you want to know where Team America: World Police got their template from, watch these two movies and have a great time. Both films were directed by David Lane.
Kino Lorber released a two-disc set of these two titles. Both films look nice in high definition, and if you’re a fan then this is the ultimate release, with tons of special features on each disc.