Review - Stormbreaker


Alex Pettyfer in Stormbreaker

Alex Pettyfer in Stormbreaker

 

 

We’ve had young James Bond, courtesy of Charlie Higson, and the Spy Kids films, so there’s nothing that groundbreaking about Alex Rider, the mini-me spy and key character in Anthony Horowitz’s string of highly successful novels. 16-year-old Alex Pettyfer  steps into the Rider role, his private school accent and rent boy looks making him ideal as the juvenile spy.

Horowitz himself adapts his own novel. Which is a feat considering that he also writes the Power of Five series (known as The Gatekeepers in the US), has knocked out a Sherlock Holmes novel, a number of scripts for the long-running Sunday afternoon footwarmer Poirot, a whole raft of Midsomer Murders and he’s the creator and main writer on Foyle’s War. So has he spread himself a little thin here? No, but he’s working within a familiar genre territory and knows how to rattle off a 007 knock-off like the workhorse he is. So we get Ewan McGregor as the superspy Ian Rider, who dies early on, all the better to pass the mantle to young Alex, plus Mickey Rourke doing his deranged best as a dangerous raving criminal mastermind, Stephen Fry as the obligatory Q character fitting out Rider with gadgets and gizmos and Bill Nighy twitching elegantly throughout as Rider’s spy boss. In fact the cast is packed with goodness – Sophie Okonedo, Robbie Coltrane, there’s even a mini-me Bond girl called Sabina Pleasure (played by spunky Sarah Bolger). Nighy is the most fun and probably reason enough to detain any grown-ups who wander into the room while Stormbreaker is on. Young girls who have the word “dreamboat” in their daily vocabulary will probably lap it up, as will young boys with a thirst for fantasy adventure – they’re unlikely to be intimidated by Pettyfer’s acting. But will it spawn a franchise? Who knows – Horowitz has produced six Rider books to date, and with his phenomenal workrate there’s not going to be any shortage of source material.

© Steve Morrissey 2006

 

Stormbreaker – at Amazon

 

 

 

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Stormbreaker

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imdb poster Stormbreaker
Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker (2006)
Run time: 93 min
Rating: 5.1
Genres: Action | Adventure | Family
Director: Geoffrey Sax
Writers: Anthony Horowitz, Anthony Horowitz
Stars: Sarah Bolger, Sophie Okonedo, Alex Pettyfer
Trivia: Alex Rider thinks he is a normal school boy, until his uncle is killed. He discovers that his uncle was actually spy on a mission, when he was killed. Alex is recruited by Alan Blunt to … See full summary »
Storyline Alex Rider thinks he is a normal school boy, until his uncle is killed. He discovers that his uncle was actually spy on a mission, when he was killed. Alex is recruited by Alan Blunt to continue the mission. He is sent to Cornwall to investigate a new computer system, which Darrius Sayle has created. He plans to give the new computer systems to every school in the country, but Mr. Blunt has other ideas and Alex must find out what it is. Written by FilmFanUK
Plot Keywords: spy, gadget, 14 year old, teenager, assassin
Box Office Budget: $40,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend: $215,177 (USA) (13 October 2006)
Gross: $652,526 (USA) (10 November 2006)