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This movie fails on all levels; acting, story, direction . you name it and the director and his team screwed it up. And screwed it up bad. Compounding the injury is that it's done with an A-list cast and a big budget. And the topper is that this is a cinematic remake of the much-adored British television show. Avoid, avoid, avoid.
This has to be one of the worst films i have ever had the misfortune of seeing........APART from one thing, which is the superb cameo performance from rock legend SHAUN RYDER of happy mondays/black grape fame, he is fantastic so its 1/10 for the film, but 9/10 for shaun the superstar!!!!!!
The original Avengers series is one of the best TV series ever made. It
mixed spy intrigue with weird, surreal plots & settings, putting two
eccentric heroes against even more eccentric villains. So it was with high
expectations fans waited for this movie.
But something terrible happened. Test screenings Warners Bros. did for their stylish adaptation of "The Avengers" (based on the color episodes with Patrick "John Steed" MacNee and Diana "Mrs. Peel" Rigg) were disastrous; for whatever reason, the audience - many of which had probably never seen episodes of the series and had likely expected something different - just didn't "get it". Audience response was reportedly pretty negative, to say the least.
The people at WB panicked and in an effort to somehow make the movie more "accessible" (or whatever) and speed it up somewhat, some 30 minutes(!) of footage (maybe more, I don't have exact figures) were cut. Which, unsurprisingly, shows in the final version. Plot elements - like the mysterious "evil twin" of Emma Peel, and the real Mrs. Peel's knowledge of the password that gained them entrance to Sir August DeWynter's lair - are suddenly left unexplained. What we got was basically an incomplete movie.
Which is a shame, of course, especially since there are so many good things about it. The movie is actually very faithful to the series.
The surreal settings, like the strangely empty streets of London, for example, or the delightfully deranged teddy bear meeting; the scene with the stairs in DeWynter's castle, the rural English village that's actually a training ground for secret agents...
While it is impossible to replace the on-screen charisma & presence of the original actors, in my opinion Ralph Fiennes was decent as John Steed, albeit probably a bit too young for the part. Uma Thurman was good as Mrs. Peel; the movie version was maybe too perfect, being better at everything than Steed, which was overdoing it a bit. But in some scenes another side of her was revealed, showing feelings of insecurity on her part which nicely balanced out the otherwise flawless character. A nice psychological touch, I think (she might be trying to excel at things to make up for that insecurity, etc.)...
Casting Sean Connery - the "original spy", James Bond - as the villain, was an interesting idea. Some more insight in the character would have been nice, but that may be because of the unfortunate "editing"... Apart from that, he looked great in that teddybear suit. :)
For the rest: the movie had a nice Bond-style intro (and a nice Bond-style song by Grace Jones at the end), music was very nice, production design was great, a "60's meets the nineties" look which was a nice touch; SFX were good. There were cameos by stand up comedian Eddie Izzard, and the lead singer (can't remember his name) I believe, of that pop group the Happy Mondays(?) as henchmen of DeWynter. Speaking of cameos, Patrick MacNee, the original John Steed, makes an unseen appearance as "Invisible" Jones.
Final word, part 1: entertaining, not bad at all, but could have been so much better (it is incomplete; we need a director's cut!); if you are a fan of the TV series, or even if you're not, check this movie out, you might find you like it. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
Final word, part 2: test screenings are, in my opinion, a Bad Idea. (Thanks to the wonder of test screenings we got the infamous "happy ending" and voice-over tacked on to "Blade Runner", to name a good example...) Let's face it: test audiences almost destroyed this movie.
My hope is that the series was a lot better. Although I've never seen the
television show, I have the distinct impression that this movie was trying
very hard to use the same humor as the series(s), yet also couldn't resist
it's Hollywood heritage. That of the action flick. Now, as the rather loud
people behind me in the theater kept reminding the rest of us, it wasn't
believable in the least. Of course that in and of itself isn't a problem.
After all, a big joy of movies is removing yourself from reality. However,
you shouldn't necessarily be aware of it. With "The Avengers," I was almost
painfully aware of discrepancies. I say almost because I'm able to remember
more excruciating experiences with "Batman and Robin" (also with Uma.
Hmmm...) and more recently with "Armageddon."
The major flaw seemed to be one of continuity within the story. And a sort of unenthusiasm among the actors. To her credit, Uma Thurman looked like she put more into her part than the rest of the cast. Whereas Ralph Fiennes and Sean Connery especially seemed like they weren't having all that much fun. What really disappoints me, though, is that at certain parts of the film, I actually drifted off to sleep. The only other time I've done that was during "The Last of the Mohicans." Yeah, I know. Oh, well, at least I can be consoled in the fact that I didn't pay full price for admission. Ah, matinees, what a wonderful thing.
As for turning "The Avengers" into a franchise, I'd still rather see "Alien 5" or "Lost in Space Again"
The Avengers. A hunk o' junk like this isn't worthy of such a title. ( yawn ) Only good for laughs. Fact, the great actor Ralph Fiennes("Prince of Eygpt") admitted that only Patrick Macnee could really don the bowler and umbrella and call himself John Steed. I bet Uma Thurman ("Batman and Robin", another worthless show) thought the same about Diana Rigg (now the host of PBS's "Mystery!").(snore) I'm glad they had Patrick Macnee as Invisible Jones. I was looking forward to actually SEEING him! Sean Connery does a great job, despite his run-down, dragged-in-the-mud role. Watch it onlt too "see" them (I refer, of course, to Patty, who now is writing avengers novels, which are actually good to read). It's good to see they at least know about Tara King and Mother (even adding Father). Good night!
Astoundingly predictable, dull and IQ deficient, THE AVENGERS is really not
worth the swag of a rental. The script is lame, and it also doesn't help
that the two leads possess no chemistry whatsoever. Ralph Fiennes could have
just as well telephoned in his performance, and Uma Thurman probably
harangued her agent for getting her this gig. The special effects were ok,
but it doesn't take Fellini to figure why this tanked at the box
Sean Connery portrays the atypical mad genius character, which has been around since the dawn of movies, itself. Sean takes the ball and runs with it, churning out one of the hammiest performances I've witnessed in quite some time. Absolutely merciless. Patrick Macnee has a rather lengthy cameo, as well.
When one takes into account the talent involved, THE AVENGERS should have captured at least a little bit of the magic that graced the 1960's series. Alas, it proved the old adage correct: "You can't turn back the clock."
Pornography, Dogma, The Exorcist, A Clockwork Orange... The moral majority pounce on these, damning them for their horrible content, and it's potential to corrupt minors. Yet somewhere along the line, they let this piece of cr*p slip through the net. Why do I hate this film? Five reasons (and so many more that everyone is aware of) 1. Uma Thurman's "Queen's English" (Except the queen probably has more acting ability) 2. Ralph Fienne's bland acting 3. Their obvious lack of chemistry 4. The substitution of plot for stupid imagery (Peel's clone? The invisible man? The yawnsome finish? Need I go on?) 5. "Time For Tea?" (Time to hire a pro scriptwriter, numnuts!) I hope all copies of this trash are buried in the Arizona desert next to all those copies of ET:The Game. An insult to all involved.
Most people, who have seen the movie, did not know the series "The Avengers". Therefore most people think that this movie is crap. I have seen the series and this movie get all the aspects of the series. The Avengers the movie has funny dialogues, great effects, great actors and a good story. Therefore the movie gets a good from me (8).
I rented "The Avengers" with a very open mind. I had wanted to see it since it was released, but no theatres in my neighborhood were brave enough to show it. The second the credits ended, I knew I was in trouble. After the movie, I was left confused, and greatly dissappointed. But something was jarring in my mind as if something was desperately missing. And then it hit me. I remembered seeing two trailers for the movie earlier in the year, and alot of shots were coming to mind, such as Emma Peel entering the prospero lab, Steed and Peel entering a garage of some sort and so on. I rented the DVD and watched the trailer. Half of it was not in the movie!!! I looked at website after website and all I could find were shots of the movie that weren't in the movie!!! The movie wasn't bad. It was good, but destroyed.It was rumoured to be a half hour longer! Had They released the original version, the movie would have made some money. >
Uma Thurman has the unenviable distinction of appearing in the 90s' two
biggest "can't be that bad, surely?" films. Like "Batman and Robin", The
Avengers, through sheer will of its poor critical reception, compels one
see it. An unseen force taunts the innocent rental video store customer
a "come on, you know you want to, you're dying to know if it's as bad as
Of course, the Avengers, like Batman and Robin, IS every inch as bad as they say. 86 minutes (the anaemic "plot" can't even stretch to an hour and a half) of sheer, unerring tedium that beggars belief. Thurman is the most obvious target. Her English accent is about 90% successful to my ears, (she's certainly no Keanu or Dick Van Dyke in the fake Brit stakes), but this notably draws on her acting. But the main flaw is her innate lack of irony. She just doesn't appear to comprehend such an old style of wit (not that such a misinterpretation is hard, as limply presented as it is here), and whereas in the delightful Pulp Fiction she amuses with her tales of Tony "Rocky Horror" and being the humour element of "Fox Force Five", as Mrs. Peel she's a washout.
Many people cite the film's failure as a direct comparison to the television series. Whereas I understand enough of the show to know the real Mrs. Peel was too much of a lady to kick Eddie Izzard where it hurts, I've never really been acquainted with the 60s exploits of Patrick Macnee and co for it to really matter. To this end, I believe this gives me a fresh advantage in viewing the movie. I came to The Avengers without having to compare Fiennes' charm to that of Patrick's, or compare Thurman's curves to the incomparable cheekbones of Diana Rigg. It matters not. As good as the tv show, better, worse, the end result is the same: the movie stinks.
Never on celluloid has there been such a resounding lack of chemistry between two leads. Even Thurman's scripted interruptions and witty rejoinders come too late, with Fiennes, sparkling in "Strange Days", excruciatingly self-conscious in Steed's shoes. Wilfully eccentric and forcefully quaint, their mannerisms are more poseur than debonair. These are two people that wouldn't even pass the time of day in real life, much less conduct a sexual relationship with chaste closed lips. Half the time it's almost impossible to believe they were in the same room during their scenes together, so weak is their connection.
A slight upturn in the film is Sean Connery, who must have owed his agent a favour to have accepted this appallingly scripted farrago. As with his James Bond (to which the Bassey-soundalike Grace Jones end song owes a tip of the hat), Connery has an air of physical menace. And, as with the quote of this review, given half a chance Sean can make even the most innocent of lines sound dirty. He was actually talking about rain. Most of the time, though, he spouts about wanting a ransom in exchange for decent weather in England (like English people are so used to decent weather rain and snow would bother them - has the writer ever set foot in this country???) and tries to drug-rape Mrs. Peel in a distasteful scene. The rest of his lines are as inept as "John Steed... what a horse's a**e of a name", yet he manages to hold some modicum of dignity dressed as a giant teddy bear.
In all honesty I can see no way, no level on which this film works. Direction in terms of shots and angles is reasonable, but in terms of actors it's lousy. The script is trite and thin. I really can't bring myself to describe the storyline as a collection of set pieces, as the term "set piece" generally implies something good. Whereas even the execrable "Batman and Robin" had some good bits threaded together, none of the painfully set-up "segments" that make up this inanity carry any form of tension, drama or wit. Believe me, this film truly is as bad as they say. I saw this film so you don't have to. Thank me for it, hate me for it, reward me for it. Just do me a favour and don't bother to see it.
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