Stormbreaker (PG)



Action (2006)
93mins UK

Starring: Alex Pettyfer, Ewan McGregor, Mickey Rourke, Bill Nighy
Director: Geoffrey Sax
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

Linguist, scuba diver, mountaineer, crack shot and martial arts expert Alex Rider works for the Special Operations Division of MI6, under the control of spymaster Mr Blunt and his colleague Mrs Jones. However, Alex isn't like most secret agents... he's a 14-year-old schoolboy, which provides him with the perfect cover to infiltrate enemy cells, including the inner circle of megalomaniac businessman Darrius Sayle, who is working on a new computer system called Stormbreaker, which will be installed free in every school across the United Kingdom. In his guise as a schoolboy competition winner, Alex snoops around Sayles Industries, uncovering a nefarious scheme to infect children with a deadly virus.

Seen that movie? Leave a comment / review here >>


LondonNet Film Review

Stormbreaker

Click here to reed the interviews of Alex Pettyfer (Alex Rider), Geoffrey Sax (Director) and Anthony Horowitz (Writer)

Filmed on location in London and on the Isle of Man, Geoffrey Sax's film version of the first book in Anthony Horowitz's best-selling adventure series pitches itself as a teen Bond movie, complete with gadgets, guns, pretty girls and a deranged megalomaniac...

Photo Credit: Liam Daniel. Film released by: Entertainment Films. Unfortunately, Stormbreaker isn't a patch on the other pint-sized pretender, Spy Kids, lacking decent thrills and spills.

Editor Andrew MacRitchie works tirelessly to invest the action sequences (well choreographed by stunt co-ordinator Lee Sheward) with energy and excitement. However, for all their pyrotechnics, these big set pieces are never thrilling because there's never any chance that the 14-year-old hero, Alex Rider (Alex Pettyfer), will be injured in the melee.

The youngster's ability to escape from the jaws of death without a single scratch beggars belief; even Bond has to nurse bruises and cuts, not to mention a wounded pride. Thus, most of the big stunts are nudged to implausible extremes.

During a bicycle chase through London at the beginning of the film, Alex elects to ride kamikaze down the middle of a busy street into heavy oncoming traffic rather than keep on the empty pavement a few feet away. And a subsequent quad bike chase sees the teenage secret agent riding on two wheels for no good reason other than it looks cool.

When his uncle, supposedly dull bank manager Ian Rider (Ewan McGregor), dies in mysterious circumstances, schoolboy Alex Rider stumbles into a world of mystery and intrigue. He discovers that Ian was in fact a top spy, working for the Special Operations Division of MI6 under the aegis of Mr Blunt (Bill Nighy) and Mrs Jones (Sophie Okonedo).


They recruit young Alex into the MI6 fold, sending him away for intensive training so he might infiltrate the lair of billionaire Darrius Sayle (Mickey Rourke), who has generously offered to install the new Stormbreaker computer system free of charge in every school across the United Kingdom.

Mr Blunt smells trouble. "We don't trust him," he tells Alex. "Why?" replies the schoolboy. "We don't trust anybody," responds Mr Blunt, "it's what we do." Sure enough, Darrius and his sidekicks Nadia Vole (Missi Pyle) and Mr Grin (Andy Serkis) are concocting a hare-brained scheme to strike fear at the heart of the country and it's up to Alex to stop them.

Screenwriter Horowitz, working from his own book, maintains a jaunty pace and includes the odd pop culture reference ("What is this place: Hogwart's?" quips Alex when he first enters the Special Operation Division secret lair) along with some gentle comedy.

The scenes at Hamley's toy store, where Alex is kitted out with gadgetry by operative Smithers (Stephen Fry), are especially good fun. Pettyfer is photographed like a poster boy pin-up, with lots of close-ups of his blond locks fluttering as he pouts with intent.

He doesn't have the acting muscle yet - the delivery of certain lines is stilted - and the use of stunt doubles is glaringly obvious. Supporting cast don't so much deliver performances as master-classes in exaggerated facial movement: Nighy rolls his eye brows with furious abandon, Alicia Silverstone contorts her mouth into curious shapes without warning as Alex's housekeeper and Pyle enters into a staring competition with the camera, opening her eyes so wide you fear for her well-being

Click here to reed the interviews of Alex Pettyfer (Alex Rider), Geoffrey Sax (Director) and Anthony Horowitz (Writer)

Ralph Jennings


London Cinemas

From Friday 6th June
To Thursday 12th June

Not showing at any
London cinemas this week.
From Friday 13th June
To Thursday 19th June

Not showing at any
London cinemas this week.


« Back to Index

Rest of UK and Irish Cinemas

Listed in alphabetical order by city/place name followed by cinema name.

From Friday 6th June
To Thursday 12th June

- Horsham, The Capitol
From Friday 13th June
To Thursday 19th June

Not showing at any
UK cinemas this week.


« Back to Index