Thunderbirds

Based on the popular sci-fi TV series, which featured uniformed marionettes cruising around in spaceships, this 2004 live-action feature actually has less of a pulse than the puppet version. There's enough special effects razzle-dazzle to distract the average ten-year-old, but the script by William Osborne and Michael McCullers is stilted and humorless—a little camp might have helped. The decision to foreground the doings of a trio of teenagers at the expense of the regular characters will maximize the boredom for even the most nostalgic adults. Ben Kingsley does some perfunctory scenery chewing as the heavy; Bill Paxton just looks anxious to collect his paycheck. Directed by Jonathan Frakes. With Brady Corbet and Sophia Myles. PG, 95 min.

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