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Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker

James Bond with acne
By BROOKE HOLGERSON  |  October 11, 2006
2.0 2.0 Stars

Based on the first in a series of popular young-adult novels by Anthony Horowitz, Stormbreaker is James Bond with acne. MI-6 has recruited Alex Rider (Alex Pettyfer), a British teenager, as a spy. Never mind why or how — what matters is that Pettyfer does a passable job playing a resourceful kid who’s in over his head, and director Geoffrey Sax makes this teenage escapist fantasy more fun than it deserves to be. The film gives Alex an unnecessary romance the book doesn’t bother with, and it ups the action while playing down his fear and rebelliousness, thus lowering the stakes and turning him into more of a standard movie hero. The adults don’t come off as well as the kids — Mickey Rourke wears scary make-up as a villain and Alicia Silverstone is a one-note ditsy American. Still, fans of the book are sure to be pleased, and teenage girls will be shaken and stirred by former model Pettyfer.


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