After the death of his uncle, the 14-year-old schoolboy Alex Rider is forced by the Special OperationsDivision of Britain's secret intelligence service, MI6, for a mission which will save millions of lives.
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
The bridge was closed for an entire day so they could film Alex Rider's bike chase of the white van. See more »
In the opening scene, when the camera is rolling past all the class mates, one girl in the back ground quickly looks at the camera, then looks back to the front of the class again (the girl with the blue undershirt and long hair). See more »
When it comes down to this series, if one needed to choose, kids should be given the novel of Stormbreaker - not the DVD
Growing up in the late nineties and early two-thousands, I noticed how popular fantasy and junior secret-agent movies were with young children. It seemed everywhere kids were playing with action figures, wearing apparel from the latest adventure movie, or quoting and impersonating their favorite movie hero. Such films of my generation that were quick, run-of-the-mill fads were the two Agent Cody Banks, the Spy Kids trilogy, and maybe throw in The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl for good measure, to keep with the fantasy-adventure theme. These films couldn't have mattered less to me - I was too busy watching TV I wasn't supposed to be watching and getting films from my uncle that were far too thematically mature for my age.
However, as I grew up, my curiosity to the strange and relatively broad array of junior actioneers from my childhood had surfaced and I began watching these types of films every now and then. The only action film from my childhood that seems to have held up is Spy Kids. Both Agent Cody Banks films are hopelessly ordinary action-fare with not much more than a few cool gadgets and the occasionally watchable action sequence. Alex Rider: Stormbreaker, the first in the planned-series of Anthony Horowitz novel adaptations, however, is about as ordinary and as forgettable as a teenage action film can be. It's named after the first book in the Alex Rider action/mystery series by Horowitz, all of which were once planned to have a film counterpart. After Stormbreaker's disappointing numbers at the box office, the sequel and all other films were scrapped, leading to an upset Horowitz and a practically stillborn franchise.
Stormbreaker, as it's simply called in everywhere but America, isn't a bad film by the usual standards, but plagued by indifference, monotony, and the usual spy-movie offerings with a younger hero who may as well be a special effect. Alex Rider is played by Alex Pettyfer, a fourteen year old boy who is ejected from his typical life to avenge his uncle's death against the ruthless computer hacker Darrius Sayle (Mickey Rourke), whose most evil attribute is possessing the ability to talk in a rigid voice and chew on a toothpick simultaneously. The "Stormbreaker" in the title is a powerful super-computer which will be placed in every school in America and, after being launched by the Prime Minister, will have unknown consequences far from the planned ones, which is to provide people with smooth technology.
The film has all the right components for the genre such as the love-interest, the helplessly ordinary teen boy, the cool gadgets (the Nintendo DS with interchangeable cartridges that will provide a different weapon is pretty damn slick), the ruthless villain who looks more frightening then he is, and the grand finale. When I say the "right" components, I mean the relatively predictable ones. Films like Stormbreaker are hard to make because everything the novel seemed to touch isn't unfamiliar to audiences. Even without reading the novel, I can see Anthony Horowitz had the pleasure of grabbing the pen for the adaptation of his film, showing the material doesn't stray too far from the book.
The purpose of the Alex Rider books is to give kids some harmless escapism that, while fun, isn't really necessary reading. Like the Artemis Fowl series, it would seem these kinds of books are best left to the page. This way, even if the reading is light and rather formulaic, kids will have the ability to imagine the action in their heads and exercise their right to dream and envision things. Having a film based on books like these isn't really vital because they dilute that sort of imagination. When it comes down to this series, if one needed to choose, kids should be given the novel of Stormbreaker - not the DVD.
Starring: Alex Pettyfer, Mickey Rourke, Alicia Silverstone, Bill Nighy, Sophie Okonedo, and Missi Pyle. Directed by: Geoffrey Sax.
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