THE AVENGERS (1998)
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
http://film.purger.com - Filmske recenzije na hrvatskom/Movie Reviews in
http://www.ofcs.org - Online Film Critics Society
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