British Ministry agent John Steed, under direction from "Mother", investigates a diabolical plot by arch-villain 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>
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.
Not great, but not the horror everyone else describes
Frankly, when THE AVENGERS was released, I wanted it to bomb--I wanted Hollywood to finally get the idea that ripping off old TV shows is IMBECILIC and almost never successful. Thus, I was happy that the movie did poorly and closed quickly. (I also took a trip to London just as the movie was released, and if you think it was ill-received here, the British took it times TEN.)
Ironically, though, it isn't that bad a movie. Not great, but certainly not the despicable mess that most others seem to think.
It's been called ridiculous, slow, talky, surreal. Well, what a shock, so was the original series. I've recently viewed the entire 1967 season (bought all four boxed sets), and the show is all those things at times. It is slow, generally, at a very langorous pace throughout most stories. It is talky, since most of the charm of the original was in the dialogue between characters. It was surreal, even ridiculous (The Winged Avenger, anyone? Eeee-urp.)
Uma Thurman does a passable job as Emma--she's no Diana Rigg, but who is? She plays the character smart enough, although she doesn't quite capture Rigg's regal command of situation. Ralph Fiennes, however, misses the character of Steed quite a bit, playing him as reserved, without any of Steed's charisma. Steed always had a quality about him that made you feel as if he woke up every morning feeling absolutely smashing--Fiennes seems to miss that.
The problem the film faces is twofold: Those of us who have seen the original will always compare the two, and a copy can't hope to compare. Those who haven't seen the series have no grounds to assess it on--(see some of the above user comments which begin 'I never saw the original series...')and since I think this series is not exactly vividly-remembered by the majority of the population (particularly the 18 and under movie-goers, who don't have much grasp of the nuances The Avengers operated on). Frankly, The Avengers was probably just a bad choice to try to remake
(--LIKE ALL OLD TV SHOWS. Tell me one old-TV remake that has ever spawned a sequel (which Hollywood is always sure to do when something is a success)-- only THE BRADY BUNCH...point proven?)
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