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>
Although John Steed, in this movie, is a member of the exclusive Boodles gentlemen's club in Pall Mall, The Avengers: The Charmers (1964) saw Steed explain that he had been blackballed (expelled) from the establishment for reasons unknown. See more »
Wheen Steed is searching for Mrs Peel in the corridors under "The Ministry" he runs along a long corridor and halts and turns left but where he stops to turn, it is very obvious that the long continuing corridor is merely a painted on illusion to give the appearance of a corridor stretching on in the distance. 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.
Warner Bros. fantasies have always had a certain memorable flare. Dating back to films like "Superman" and "Blade Runner", a viewer could always be guaranteed at least a ticket into another world. "The Avengers" would have been that next "big" thing for Warner Bros. had it not been so shoddily edited at the last minute. It should be duly noted, however, that this film had all the signs of a thanksgiving turkey: It's release date, which was moved from late June to the dog days of August. Then the fact that no press screenings have been allowed for critics. No good can come of these prophecies.
"The Avengers", which, at best, is a second rate version of the original "Batman" has all the features of your top blockbuster: A Big name or two, a plethora of explosions, and enough special-effects to put "Godzilla" to shame. The Plot follows the exploits of the legendary secret agents John Steed (Ralph Fiennes) and Emma Peel (Uma Thurman), as they do battle with a maniacal meteorologist (Sean Connery) who has intentions on controlling the world's weather. Simple enough. Or so one would have thought. It would appear that some 25 minutes (!) was excised from the film as a result of poor test screenings. As history has told, no good comes from test screenings. As a result, the film becomes so utterly confusing that the viewer would sooner give up, rather than be insulted by a film that insists on staying one step ahead of you at all times. Only potentially good films are butchered in an attempt to make the film more appealing to youngster's attention spans. But make no mistake about it, this film is certainly not for children. Perhaps the last half hour will provide enough enjoyable action (and it does, believe me!) to distract them, but up until then the film consists of awkward dialogue, inane action (Gigantic teddy bears, anyone?), and an uncomfortable overdose of strangeness.
The cast, at one time, might have been game, but only once in a while does Ralph Fiennes even crack a smile. Thurman has apparently got the English accent down perfectly, but the only problem lies in the fact that she forgets to give a performance worth remembering. And last, but certainly not least, Sean Connery. Sadly, he doesn't even look like he wants to take over the world. Only once, in a mumbled rant, does he evoke some feelings of evil. That being said, "The Avengers" is a technical masterpiece. Providing the viewer with a universe of dazzling sets (that should at least be nominated for an oscar), imaginative visual effects, and beautiful costumes, one almost forgets that England doesn't look like this anymore. Unless of course, you live there. The score, composed by Joel McNeely proves to be one of the coolest scores ever produced. Inducing excitement, tension, and a little smoothness, provided by some nifty jazz notes. All of which the film is unable to do itself. For those who won't enjoy this film, it is mercifully brief. So brief to the point that it's strange. It jumps from a one hour section of the beginning to a half hour of climactic action that the viewer blinks and the movie might just be rolling into the credits. One can only hope for an improvement with a director's cut. Until then, this film should gain cult status before it makes it's way to video. Which I'm sure will be soon.
Out Of Four - **
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