Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker Poster

Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker (2006)

Action | Family   
IMDB Rayting:   5.1/10
Country: UK | USA
Language: English

After the death of his uncle, the 14 year old schoolboy Alex Rider is forced by the Special Operations Division of the UK's secret intelligence service, MI6, into a mission which will save millions of lives.

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cosmic_quest 13 August 2006

Book adaptations rarely capture the excellence of the novel which they are based upon and though the same can be said for 'Stormbreaker', it still is a rather good film considering the fact it is mainly aimed at the pre-teen and young teen audience.

Based on the first of Anthony Horowitz's 'Alex Rider' novels, the story is centred around orphaned fourteen-year-old Alex Rider who lives with his Uncle Ian, a man who his nephew assumes is a dull bank worker but is in fact an MI6 operative. When Ian is killed on a mission, his superiors are determined to recruit Alex to break the case. Pressured into complying, Alex is trained at an SAS-type camp before being sent undercover to discover the true intents of psychopath Darius Sayle, who is planning a nationwide release of computers he has dubbed Stormbreakers.

In his big-screen debut as Alex Rider, sixteen-year-old Alex Pettyfer was a shade too old for the role (he was as tall as most of the adult cast, which took away the shock his role as a child thrust into danger). However, although he did have lapses where his performance turned wooden, he was quite successful in bringing the character to life, depicting Rider's determination, anger and cockiness well. It's just a shame he was no-where near as good as he proved himself to be in 'Tom Brown's Schooldays'. Mickey Rourke was great as the unhinged and vengeful Sayle, his real-life disastrous plastic surgery only enhancing his character's crazed nature. It was Pettyfer and Rourke who carried the bulk of the film but their co-stars, including Ewan McGregor, Sophie Okonedo, Robbie Coltrane and Stephen Fry, made their presence known despite having minor roles.

The fight and action scenes were nicely performed and depicted a suitably odd feel by conveying the fact it is a boy in the heat of the battle. I also enjoyed the homages to James Bond such as how the main credits at the start exploded onto the screen and how Mr. Smithers nicely complimented Bond's Q. And it was also change for the better to meet Ian Rider as he is already dead in the beginning of the novel so we never really get a feel of what his character might have been like (although we could have done without the stereotypical busy father-figure/neglected child scenes).

However, there were numerous low points in the film. I love Bill Nighy and he did give a good performance as MI6 boss Mr Blunt but the character just didn't come across right. He was too slapstick to properly depict the cold edge to Mr Blunt, a man who doesn't think twice about sending a child into the line of fire. The change to the character of Jack Starbright was also annoying. She isn't meant to be a karate expert nor does she ever become directly involved in Alex's missions so there was absolutely no need for the fight scene. It was quite irking to see the script was poorly handled in terms of keeping Alex's role a secret. Instead of both MI6 and Alex himself taking great care to ensure no-one ever learns of his part in bringing down Sayle, he's all over the news in the film and even his little girlfriend knows the truth. It ruined the idea that if recruiting Alex as a child spy became public, it would be humiliating for MI6 and disrupt whatever chance of normality Alex tries to harbour for himself.

For a first outing though, 'Stormbreaker' was enjoyable and would probably please young members of the family as well as parents dragged along. However, the unnecessary humorous touches to the

lyndon_gray 18 July 2006

I was at the World premiere in London and I was apprehensive about watching a film adaptation of a book as some of them work and others don't. This one definitely does. From the first minutes of the film, you know that you're in for a thrilling adventure. Alex Rider, played superbly by Alex Pettyfer, is very believable as a school kid thrown into the deep end by Bill Nighy who hams it up brilliantly as spymaster Alan Blunt. Alex Rider is a deadly weapon on two legs as you'll see as the film progresses. Marvellous Micky Rourke, plays the evil villain who keeps a very unusual and deadly pet and looks as if he's just stepped off the set of a Revlon ad (you'll see!!). There's lots of action, some love interest, but that's not overplayed and although some of the evil characters look as if they've been loaned out from Cirque Du Soleil, including Micky Rourke, they play their parts as they should be, comically but with a twist of evil thrown in. It all works very well but Alex Pettyfer is a revelation. He plays the part coolly, calmly and with a great deal of conviction. I think Sean Connery would be proud of him. The film throws in a few James Bondesque clichés and there is one scene in the film which will remind you of a particular person from Goldfinger !! All in all highly enjoyable, my 11 year old niece and 14 year old nephew and their friends really enjoyed it and I think you will too.

embemparrotlover 24 July 2006

I came to watch this film because I have been a fan of the Alex Rider books for many years. However, I was rather disappointed by the film. The main problem was that the film was very different from the book, with many parts of the story changed and with parts added. The ending was entirely made up for the film. I disliked the way that many of the actors chosen had no resemblance to how the character was described in the book.

I also felt that many of the action and fighting scenes were overdone and the superfluous parts annoyed me. The acting, particularly from the person playing Herod Sayle, was boring and unimaginative. The film was very jumpy in places, and I thought that people who had not read the books would have been confused by the ending. I thought that some of the lines in the film were quite strange and didn't really fit in with what was being said/going on!

However, I still gave the film a 4 out of 10 rating because of the many (usually unintentionally) funny scenes. I was particularly amused by Bill Nighy's acting in the role of Alan Blunt. Stephen Fry also added some comedy to the story in his role as Smithers. The film is reasonably watchable, probably because it only lasted 90 minutes.

TheLittleSongbird 4 January 2010

Stormbreaker was a decent film; this is an opinion coming from someone who has little knowledge of the books. It isn't as innovative as Spy Kids, but it is decent. The special effects and the action are above average, the performances from Mickey Rourke, Ewan McGregor and Bill Nighy are great and Alex Petyfer is an appealing enough lead, the soundtrack is nice and the film goes along at a fast pace. However the storyline is very predictable and sometimes ludicrous, the script is a bit weak in places, I found Alicia Silverstone surprisingly irritating here and the cameos from Stephen Fry and Robbie Coltrane are too brief to allow them to shine properly.

Still, it is a fun and mildly enjoyable flick. 6/10 Bethany Cox

studioAT 8 April 2011

The Alex Rider books have been very successful so therefore it is a shame that they couldn't have been converted into a franchise. All the signs are there in this film that the production company wanted it to be one but sadly box office takings meant that dream faded fast. As a stand alone film Stormbreaker is good but fans of the books will know there was so much more we could have seen in later films had they been made.

Spy Kids and Agent Cody Banks set the bar for young spy films very high and despite some big name British actors jumping to appear on screen this film was not a hit. Everyone tries hard but there obviously was something missing.

Inferius 21 July 2006

Many people who have read the Alex Rider series were looking forward to this upcoming film which projects the amazing adventures of the teen spy onto the big screen, however many people were afraid this would turn into another Cody Banks film and be given a bad image because of the recent teen spy films… That fear can now be forgotten!

Being a fan of the Alex Rider books myself you would probably expect a good review from me, but at first I had my doubts too. Things such as including Sabina Pleasure in this film seemed like a bit of risk and it looked like this film was going in the usual direction of a teen spy film (The save-the-girl-and-get-home-to-watch-the-Simpson's storyline). This turned out to be wrong, the author of the book incorporated these changes himself, and we can now call them improvements. It seems if he had one more chance to make changes, this was it, and they were great.

As promised we have been delivered an action-packed, amazing and riveting film! Book to film transitions often have their setbacks and sometimes turn out to displease the audience, but obviously having the author of the book writing the screenplay was a very, very good idea.

With amazing performances by stars such as Ewan McGregor, Mickey Rourke, Bill Nighy, Sophie Okonedo and many others this film turned out to be an excellent piece of work. Alex Pettyfer was an amazing Alex Rider delivering a performance worthy of an award.

Far from a family film, this movie was packed solid with action from start to finish. Lasting only around 90 minutes this proved to be enough time to fit Horowitz' well-written and great story into a feature film, nearly every aspect of the plot was included from the book.

A true work of art.

9/10

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