Sunday, 26 January 2014

Stormbreaker (2006)

Based on the novel of the same name, Stormbreaker is an adaptation of Anthony Horowitz's teen espionage thriller.  School kid Alex Rider (Alex Pettyfer) still coming to terms with the sudden death of his uncle, is thrown into his secret spy world, and trains (very briefly) to become an agent himself in a bid to track down the killers.

The premise is interesting enough; helped by a star-studded cast (as well as Jimmy Carr) and some well designed scenes by director Geoffrey Sax, the movie begins strongly enough.  Unfortunately it doesn't sustain, and by the time Alex has picked up his Bond gadgets from his Q (Smithers; a trying-too-hard-to-be-like-Desmond-Llewelyn Stephen Fry), the film has become predictable and stale.  Plot points are set up to give an obvious payout/henchman comeuppance, and even the eccentric Mickey Rourke doesn't impress as the villain of the piece.  Alex Pettyfer is fine as Alex Rider, nothing spectacular; it is really only Bill Nighy as Alan Blunt (head of MI6) and Damian Lewis as mercenary for hire Yassen Gregorovic, who save the film, the other members of the supporting cast are shamefully wasted.

There is a whole series of Alex Rider books, so I’m sure all involved in the movie were sure they were onto the next big franchise cash cow; except that Stormbreaker was so brazenly average, that no other films were ever mooted.  But, well, you know, that’s just, like, er, my opinion, man.