The Avengers (1998)

reviewed by
Dragan Antulov

A Film Review
Copyright Dragan Antulov 2004

One of the most frustrating things about Hollywood studios is their

inability to learn from mistakes. When they learn from mistakes, this

doesn't happen fast enough to spare the audience from certain

atrocities. In 1998, following the disastrous results of BATMAN AND

ROBIN, Warner Bros executives probably knew that shoving 1960s

television camp into the eyes of 1990s cinema audience isn't such a

good idea. But that knowledge didn't prevent them from creating

another disaster, this time in the form of THE AVENGERS, action

comedy directed by Jeremiah Chechik.

THE AVENGERS is based on the popular 1960s TV show. Its

television remake has a plot set in some kind of fantasy world that

features 1960s fashions and late 1990s technology. Protagonist is Jake

Steed (played by Ralph Fiennes), British secret agent who is assigned

to new partner, scientist Dr. Emma Peel (played by Uma Thurman).

Mother (played by Jim Broadbent), their boss from Ministry, sends

them to investigate who sabotaged Prospero Project, government's

secret programme of weather manipulation. Two of them quickly

discover the identity of perpetrator - Sir Augustus de Wynter (played

by Sean Connery), successful businessman and former Ministry agent

who wants to use Prospero Project for his global blackmail scheme.

There are many reasons why THE AVENGERS became one of the

worst commercial disappointments of 1998. Choice of director -

Jeremiah Chechik, responsible for the disastrous remake of

DIABOLIQUE - is the most obvious. Another of film's problems is in

the script - Don McPherson has filled it with "clever" lines of

dialogue that sound like they were invented by someone attending

kindergarten. They sound even worse when delivered by Fiennes

and Thurman, who lack any sort of chemistry and who approached

this supposedly light-hearted film with solemnity and seriousness

more suitable for Greek tragedies. Unlike them, Connery overacts

and thus wastes one of his rare opportunities to play villain; role of

de Wynter is arguably among the worst entries in his filmography.

The only bright moments of this film appear when some of the

filmmakers' questionable creative choices receive a surreal quality of

their own. Best example is meeting of villains being dressed as teddy

bears. But those moments are too brief for the audience to endure a

pointless hour and half of Hollywood lunacy.

RATING: 2/10 (-)
Review written on June 9th 2004
Dragan Antulov a.k.a. Drax - Filmske recenzije na hrvatskom/Movie Reviews in

Croatian - Online Film Critics Society

X-RAMR-ID: 37976
X-Language: en
X-RT-ReviewID: 1287700
X-RT-TitleID: 1083461
X-RT-AuthorID: 1307
X-RT-RatingText: 2/10

The review above was posted to the newsgroup ( for German reviews).
The Internet Movie Database accepts no responsibility for the contents of the review and has no editorial control. Unless stated otherwise, the copyright belongs to the author.
Please direct comments/criticisms of the review to relevant newsgroups.
Broken URLs in the reviews are the responsibility of the author.
The formatting of the review is likely to differ from the original due to ASCII to HTML conversion.

Related links: index of all reviews