British Ministry Agent John Steed, under direction from "Mother", investigates a diabolical plot by archvillain Sir August de Wynter to rule the world with his weather control machine. Steed investigates the beautiful Doctor Mrs. Emma Peel, the only suspect, but simultaneously falls for her and joins forces with her to combat Sir August.Written by
John Hawkinson <email@example.com>
When Steed and Peel are being chased by Bailey's flying insects, we see Bailey's control panel, with red lights that correspond to the number of insects flying. The screen shows fewer and fewer lights as the bugs crash. Only 2 insects are left at the end, but the control panel shows more than 2 red lights. See more »
The original cut of the film ran around 115m., according to advance reviews. Many of the scenes cut include:
The original opening sequence featured the "Evil Emma" infiltrating a secret base, the Prospero Project. She drives up to the base in a blue Jaguar on a secluded London highway, and enters through a red phone booth by uttering the words "how now brown cow? After gaining access to the base, she proceeds to kill several of the scientists and security personnel, and destroys the base by blowing it up.
The scene of Sir August De Wynter playing organ was originally shown after the opening. As the base blows up, he exclaims "let our revels begin!"
When Emma Peel enters the Gentlemen's club, the attendant who insists that she not enter because she is a woman continues to prevent her from entering, and which point she Karate chops him, which sends him flying down a flight of stairs.
A scene of Sir August De Wynter, dressed in the teddy-bear suit, rhythmically slicing the face of a scientist to classical music while trying to figure out the clues to the Prospero Project.
The first meeting between Emma Peel and John Steed was originally longer. You can see her walking through the corridors before she finally makes her way into the sauna. The dialogue is longer, more frank, and it isn't dubbed, as it is in the theatrical release.
A more coherent explanation of why Emma's Jag exploded after the mechanical bee attack.
Emma Peel drops from De Wynter's arms as she is escorted to his room. He doesn't let go of her, and brings her back up swiftly.
When Sir August De Wynter has Emma Peel in his bed, he lowers the zipper on her shirt just a little more.
More scenes of Peel and Steed walking through the corridors of Wonderland Weather.
Emma Peel bounces back and forth between the walls of her padded cell.
Sir August De Wynter drives to the World Council meeting in a Rolls Royce snowplow after it begins snowing heavily as a result of his weather machine.
More shots of Mother witnessing the worldwide destruction that the weather machine is causing.
More scenes of Peel and Steed walking through De Wynter's headquarters after they lower in through the telephone booth.
An extra shot of Big Ben exploding, shown from slightly farther away.
During the climactic battle between John Steed and Sir August De Wynter, De Wynter slices Steed with his sword several times. De Wynter raises his arms as the battle nears it's end. Steed becomes enraged toward the end of the battle. Note how Steed's shirt is inexplicably cut and bloodied after the fight begins.
After the Prospero Project self-detonates, a countdown clock begins to tick, nearing toward the explosion. When the explosions begins, the silver dome in the headquarters ( the one Steed and Peel pass when they enter) is shown exploding.
Consistently misjudged and lacking laughs, excitement or fun
John Steed is an agent for the Ministry; he is trained to perfection and one of the best despite his belief that the enemies of the past are no longer relevant. When a research laboratory into a weather-based defence system is blown up the main suspect is one Dr Emma Peel, although Dr Peel is adamant that she is innocent. With her being their only lead into the bomb, the Ministry assign Steed to work alongside her and use her to get to the bottom of the mystery well, after tea anyway.
At the time of release I decided to give this film a miss as I felt I had heard too much of the critics having a field day to really be able to view it with a clear eye. Years later though I decided to give it a go on the basis that each year will see a blockbuster getting a kicking from all critics sometimes deserved but at other time it is just a poor film that critics jump on it. However by the time I had reached the point where Sean Connery reveals his plan to a bunch of partners dressed as day-glow teddy bears I realised that things were not going to go well. Up till this point I had felt that the film was developing a nice little sense of humour that spoofs the idea of the typically English gentleman spy; however tongue-in-cheek humour is hard to do right and it is very easy to turn the film into a very silly affair that is not so much funny as it is embarrassing.
And so it was with The Avengers, a film that has some reasonable moments but is generally an unengaging and rather silly mess that can only be enjoyed as such. The problem is, this is a very expensive film for one that is just meant to be silly and it really needed to be fun, exciting and enjoyable as well, not just feature some silly points. For me the bear costumes were silly but enjoyable (it is such a weird sight that it stayed with me) but the majority of the rest of the film were just plain silly. The weather plot was poorly done and it never engaged me once.
The cast look good on paper but they are lost in the material and can do little with it. Of course in the case of Connery, it may have helped a little bit if he'd even tried, but he is poor throughout and just looks like a man getting paid. Fiennes is well cast and he is very English, it would have been a good performance had the rest of the film got the tone even half right. Thurman is not an actress I really rate and she has turned in too many average performances recently and here is no exception. Fans may appreciate her squeezed into tight costumes but for me that doesn't come close to covering a very poor performance where she gets it all wrong. Support from Broadbent, Izzard and Macnee sounds like a good prospect but really they have nothing to do and are pretty pointless in reality.
Overall this is not a laughingly terrible film, it is just lacking in any real, consistent value. Some bits are amusing but mostly it is all misjudged with the humour being too silly to work and damaging any dramatic value the film may have had. The actors are mostly poor, thanks to the material and an apparent uncertainty about what they are meant to be doing. It isn't the child of Satan or anything but I would be hard pressed to give you one reason why you should watch this.
22 of 31 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this