When 14 year old orphan Alex Rider (Alex Pettyfer) loses his guardian, uncle Ian (Ewan McGregor), in mysterious circumstances, he is not prepared for the consequences, which start with an invitation he cannot refuse from Alan Blunt (Bill Nighy), head of MI6 to become an operative. He must infiltrate the empire of Darrius Sayle (Micky Rourke) and find out what renegade Sayle's real plans are in donating 70,000 state of the art computers in the newly created Stormbreaker network to the schools of England. Alex accepts, but finds himself in constant peril as Sayle's goons try everything to stop him discovering the secrets of a deadly virus planted in Stormbreaker. Alex discovers Sayle's hidden agenda, but it may be too late to save millions of lives.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Sporting all the elements of a pre and early teens action adventure for the modern age (Biggles on steroids?), Stormbreaker uses Hollywood style filmmaking with British eccentricity to fun effect. Bill Nighy steals the show as Alan Blunt, the truly eccentric equivalent of M in the Bond Movies, while Stephen Fry does a lovely little cameo as Smithers, the equivalent of Q with the gadgets.
But it's young Alex Pettyfer's film, his young superspy coming face to face with Mickey Rourke's corroded and fruity Darrius Sayle. The story is well structured and well told, it's heaps of fun and the supporting cast are all delightful, from Sophie Okonedo as Alan Blunt's right hand woman to Andy Serkis as the hideously scarred Mr Grin of knife throwing fame. Alicia Silverstone plays Jack, the long time nanny to Alex and does so with aplomb.
Action, chases, impossible escapes and a bright young spy whose uncle had taught him all the tricks under the guise of hobbies, Stormbreaker is no chore for accompanying adults, although they are not strictly speaking necessary.
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(Germany/US, UK, 2006)
CAST: Alex Pettyfer, Ewan McGregor, Mickey Rourke, Bill Nighy, Sophie Okonedo, Alicia Silverstone, Missi Pyle, Sarah Bolger, Ashley Walters, Damian Lewis
PRODUCER: Steve Christian, Andreas Grosch, Marc Samuelson, Peter Samuelson
DIRECTOR: Geoffrey Sax
SCRIPT: Anthony Horowitz (novel by Anthony Horowitz)
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Chris Seager
EDITOR: Andrew MacRitchie
MUSIC: Alan Parker
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Ricky Eyres
RUNNING TIME: 93 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: Victoria, Tasmania: September 7, 2006; NSW, SA, WA: September 21, 2006
VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Home Entertainment
VIDEO RELEASE: January 24, 2007
RIVERSIDE SCREEN PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 6 consecutive Tuesdays, starts February 17, 2015 at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.