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I'm not going to spend a great deal of time trying to argue the point, but I
like this film.
I'm too young to remember the original series all that well, but I do recall watching it in reruns when I was a little guy. And let me ask you, what young kid, on the cusp of manhood, wouldn't have dropped their jaws at the original Emma Peel?
Unfortunaly, I don't think that many other people my age feel the same way I do about the series, so I can understand why this bombed in theatrical release. But thanks to video, I hope this film will catch on as a cult hit.
What did I like about it? Well, I thought the campy tone fit the silly feel of the original series quite well; Also, the idea of an unbrella as a weapon of destruction just seems cool to me; Plus, Uma Thurman certinaly isin't Diana Rigg, but she's not exactly hard on the eyes either.
Please don't listen to the critics on this one. If you like Austin Powers or are just discovering the joys of the old spy flicks, you'll enjoy this one.
Just remember to try to find episodes of the original series as well.
By no means a classic, this film does, nonetheless, find its way into
my collection, and refuses to be ignored. I've watched it an amazing
seventeen times, and even I cannot fully explain the attraction. I'm
not the world's biggest Uma fan (I understand he's into making bad
Sonny Chiba knock-offs at present), and while I admit a weakness for
Fiennes and Connery, it alone wouldn't save this mess.
And a mess it is, with unexplained ventures into the absurd and a less-than-steady plot pace. But the stars put forth effort and give truly noteworthy attempts with a flagging script. The plot may be wretched, but the dialogue is clever and engaging. If nothing else, perhaps this is what makes watching The Avengers a lot like getting a visit from an witty-if-awkward friend.
If you're into the series, don't expect the polish given to that British classic, but don't be too afraid, either. John Steed still gives evil the fine, English-leather boot.
...but only in its current form. "The Avengers caught the 60's surrealist vibe that surrounded the original TV series beautifully. It's a sincere pity that a few test audiences, who obviously didn't understand where the film was coming from, were enough to cause the movie to be butchered. As a result a total of 45 minutes of footage ended up being cut out of the film entirely. What we are left with is an almost incomprehensible mess, with many plot holes - how precisely does Mrs. Peel end up wearing the exact same black catsuit that her clone did in previous scenes, for instance? A release of the original cut is probably never forthcoming, and that is a real shame.
Hey... I liked it. I had seen some episodes of the old TV series but I don't really remember them. This movie is a monstrous put-on, a huge satire, a brilliant send up of the Brit way of life and of other adventure movies. There are some great sight gags --- tea from the dashboard? Bad guys in bunny suits? --- and some clever dialogue. I'm sure it's one of those movies where you'll find something new every time you watch it again. There is a bit of James Bond, Harry Potter and Batman. The effects are great. I've never been able to figure out just where Ralph Fiennes fits. But he's perfect in this role with the impassive face and the unruffled attire. And Sean Connery makes an interesting villain for somebody who usually is the good guy. Really surprised by the low rating.
As it turns out, the one group of diabolical masterminds that `The
Avengers' can't outwit is film editors.
Still, despite its well-documented flaws, this movie doesn't quite deserve the peasants-with-pitchforks-and-torches reception that it got from fans of the 1960s British TV series.
For those who come to it with no expectations, well, your expectations won't necessarily be exceeded, but there are some fun bits. The movie version is as mindless as typical Hollywood summer action fare, but no worse.
First, the good news: screenwriter Don MacPherson does draw on a wealth of wacky plot points from the series; like that show, the movie does have stylish fashions and sets; it doesn't take itself too seriously.
But the heart of the show was the rapport between Patrick Macnee, playing suave agent John Steed, and his various leading ladies. In Cathy Gale, the brisk, buxom Honor Blackman created a leather-clad woman warrior who was still a feeling person. With her fashion-model figure and classical theater background, Diana Rigg made Emma Peel the ultimate in intelligence and charm. Voluptuous Linda Thorson was perhaps too young, but she brought a combination of physicality and bubbliness to Tara King.
Macnee provided graceful support to these three very different actresses, and the show arguably reached its height during the black-and-white Diana Rigg season. While Rigg made an arch, androgynous Emma Peel, her chemistry with Macnee produced role models for female-male relations.
It's a difficult formula to emulate, and there may have been worse choices that Ralph Fiennes as the movie Steed. The Rock comes to mind. But while Fiennes is attractive and seems kindly off-screen, on-screen he generates all the warmth and charm of week-old bath water.
And while Macnee did as few stunts as possible _ as even a cursory glance at a TV episode clearly shows _ he at least looked formidable. Fiennes looks like a gust of wind would blow him away _ unfortunate, considering the film's weather-related plot.
In contrast, the athletic Uma Thurman creates her own special effect as Emma Peel. Her dangerous curves seem to defy the laws of physics, filling catsuits in ways that the underendowed Diana Rigg couldn't imagine, much less match.
And Thurman's Emma starts out well, with her early scenes providing much of Rigg's breezy playfulness. Alas, the more time she spends with Fiennes, the more she mimics his mumbling, diffident performance. As the scenes jump around almost at random, Thurman's version of Emma becomes equally fractured.
Sean Connery gives a one-note performance, and one wishes that only dogs could hear him. Of course, the choppy editing doesn't give him a chance at grace notes. The megalomaniacs on TV episodes were often eccentrics in a script filled with eccentrics, with highly personal grievances and plots.
The movie lacks those charming supporting characters, and in this underpopulated movie, Connery is the obvious bad guy right from the start. Still, even if the cast is adrift, there is some genuine feeling between the Steed and Peel characters. It's a pale copy of the Macnee-Rigg pairing, but one suspects there was a better movie here that got derailed on the Hollywood assembly line.
It looked good on the trailers, and with Ralph Fiennes, Uma Thurman, and
Sean Connery how could there be anything too wrong with it? Has Ralph
Fiennes ever been in a disappointing movie? Well, if he hasn't before, he
certainly has now.
The dialogue was forced, the plot came out too rapid fire, and it's never really even explained who was who. There were some good special effects, but movies that think special effects can cover up bad plot are just wrong.
This movie was just bad. I'll give a D and I really wish I hadn't wasted even 87 minutes of my time.
I felt forced to write a comment on this movie, because I had previously found it on the top list of worst movies of all times. I still believe it was a nice try, good actors, good acting and lyrically beautiful! I guess most people who had seen this movie concentrated too much on the plot, which actually doesn't really exist, but the movie is not about a possible interesting plot. The movie Avengers entertain us in a different way, it is more like a theatrical piece on the big screen. I really enjoyed the spoken words in the movie, poems replaced conversations. And all this lingual beauty put in a colorful, amazingly well-made, painting-like cinematography. This movie is like indulging ourselves in the world of beautiful paintings and colors, and literature at the same time. So who cares about any plot?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is the worst film ever made with good actors bar none. What were they thinking. They have assembled some of the cream of Hollywood acting talent and managed to get the worst performance of each leading roles career.It is a miracle that Sean Connery, Uma Thurman and Ralph Feinnes were all duped into thinking that this was a Stella project to work on.The direction is poor.The script is dreadful.Thurmans accent is awful.Even the effects are below par.The exec who commissioned this tosh must have lost his job after this was aired. It is so bad that it should have been puled before decent people had the displeasure of watching it. Seriously mad man taking over the world with bad weather, I know it is only fiction but how unberleiverble can you get. This film serves as a fine example that you should never under any circumstances revert back to the past. If I could put a lower score I would have done.
I can't remember the last time I have seen such a horrible movie. Went to see it with my sister and walked out of the theater. First time I've ever done that. It's a shame too, because I'm such a fan of Sean Connery. However, I have a real problem with Uma Thurman. She keeps getting worse and worse in each of her movies. What's up with that. But back to the movie - I never saw the television series so I'm not really qualified to compare the two. But after watching the movie, I have no desire to see the show. I can't understand why it didn't work, but if I ever run into Mr. Connery I'm going to ask for my $6.00 dollars back. It's the least he could do
I am amazed at how well an American film has captured the matter-of-fact
surrealism which the mathematician Dodgson(Lewis Carroll)gave to his
dream-child, Alice, as also it recalls the more knowing, and oh-so-polite
deconstruction wrought by the media-saavy British children of the 60's upon
the distressed remnants of England's Imperial aplomb!
Of course, as Oscar Wilde may not have said, Satire revisited is only a lukewarm cup of tea. But then nostalgia - especially when the satire was so gentle anyway - has its own charms. And there was, anyway, a hefty dose of nostalgia amidst the cool insouciance of the original. Its very modernity was made to seem almost an expression of polite insistence on whatever surreal manifestation of tradition was encountered. It was the utterly unruffled mien of the original which prevailed over all lapses from reason and good taste. So, at its best, in the new cinema version.
This is indeed a brave try by Hollywood to draw us back into that black-and-white psychedelia of swinging sixties British commercial television. The sheer madness of the enterprise almost works - if the money-men hadn't had cold feet at the last minute, we might have been enjoying a really remarkable fantasy film. As it is, we must content ourselves with a merely very amusing piece of whimsy. Even through the plot-holes left by a nervous editor we can see some wonderfully mad logic at work: The Escher-inspired architecture of the baddy's stately home, in which Mrs Peel at one point loses her way, encapsulates this whole dream-trip of a movie.
And for those who don't 'get it', I can only say, Humour is like that: Very dependent on individual taste.
But even allowing for taste, it is a sad reflection on public taste that 'The Avengers' overwhelmingly offends filmgoers who are probably quite prepared to accept the ever more overblown superheroes of a more violent tradition, such as 'Batman' or 'The Hulk'. Of course, these two are clearly representative of that particularly adolescent taste for the extreme and crude for which the contemporary Hollywood production-line largely exists. (There is every sign that Eddie Izzard's character was originally intended to satirize mega-buck entertainment and mega-buck villains as being really just spoiled brats with their expensive toys.) The genteel quirks of the English-inspired concept of 'The Avengers' are - in their essence, and however silly - just too irritatingly grown-up for such hyperactive youth ever to endure sitting still for!
A pity the film was not left alone upon release to find its own friends - like a stray cat, that will carefully choose whom it will exercise it's feline charm upon. And what more feline than Uma Thurman in Mrs. Peel's cat-suit?!
This is certainly not the sort of film to toss into an auditorium full of baying first-run morons.
But I suspect that it is a film with more than one life ...
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