THE AVENGERS (1998)
starring:  Uma Thurman, Ralph Fiennes, Sean Connery, Jim Broadbent, Fionna Shaw, Eddie Izzard, Patrick MacNee, Eileen Atkins
directed by:  Jeremiah S. Chechik                    produced by:  Jerry Weintraub
written by: Don MacPherson

 

 

 

"You'll pay for that."

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               WHAT'S IT ABOUT

The 60's televison show is brought back in a 80 minute feature film and tea time is rudely interupted when August DeWynters (Connery) holds the world hostage by controlling the weather.  Ministry calls in Mr. Steed (Fiennes) and Mrs. Peel (Thurman) to stop this maniacal villain before he kills millions.  Extraordinary crimes against the world must be avenged...in style. 

 

                     MY THOUGHTS
(CAUTION!!!  SPOILERS!!!)

This film was...(how do I put it?)..It just WAS.  This film was lacking a certain "oomph" to make it a great film.  Some may ask what that "oomph" would be or where it was and I'll tell ya, it was left on the freakin' cutting room floor!  All the scenes that were essential to explaining all the key elements in the story were left out in favor of...uh...in favor of a shorter film?    According to Harry Knowles of Ain't It Cool News, the latest draft copy of the script had at least an extra half hour to the film taht was cut out.  It shows.

Let me start at the beginning:

I saw a light and I was pushed towards it at an alarming rate.  I saw a pair of hands reaching out towards me, dragging me towards that light.....OOPS!   Sorry! I went too far back.

I've been waiting for this film for a while now.  Thoughts of Uma were dancing in my head.  (She may have been doing the Charlestown.)  I had made plans with my friend Jim from work to see the film together and before I went to work to join him for the film, I decked myself out in some of the best clothes I have.  I had a nice black dress vest, three quarter length black jacket, black pants that matched my white shirt that had a double set of buttons.  Topping it all was my driving cap which was black.  The only thing I lacked was a black umbrella similar to Mr. Steed's.  (I would have worn a bowler hat but I can't for the life of me find one!   If you should see one anywhere, black, please send it to me!  I wear a medium to a large for a hat depending on the make. Or you can buy me the oficial Mr. Steed   bowler hat for $98 from the Avengers web site! my address it 77 Hillside Ave., Berlin NH  03570, USA) 

We made it in time for the first showing of the film (6:40 pm, eastern time) and we were forced to sit through  two of the worst trailers ever:  a local sponsorship ad from local businesses which is roughly 3-5 minutes and boring! Then we had to watch a comercial for a van!?  Finally an  ad for food and drink and gift certificates, etc... from the theatre which is a cute ad of a couple at a train about to leave.  "Oh, Felicity!" he holds out a box of candy out and shakes it, she exclaims, "Oh, Nigel!"  I love it. :-D  Then we are pleased to see 2 trailers for PLEASENTVILLE and PRACTICAL MAGIC.  (I think there was another trailer but I forget)  Then the film started at last!!!!!  Damned time!

Over the next hour and twenty minutes we would be in the surreal world of The Avengers.  Some say that British Comedies don't work well in America because our sense of humour is mostly straight forward while thiers seems to be more subdued.   Double entendres are often seen in British humour as well, case in point, AUSTIN POWERS.  (Yes, I know it was an American film, but it's a spoof on British secret agents and had tons of British Humor!)  Anywho...I must go on... 

There were many scenes where I felt lost.  Maybe I fell asleep somewhere in the film?  (Like during those previews?  I swear they lasted longer than the film!)  Uma has a clone.  We are not told why she has a clone, how or when it hapened, who made it, and the purpose of it was never told.  DeWynter's has something for Ema.  We only know this because he has her painted onto his organ.  (No, the other type of organ you pervert.)  He also keeps her clone as his security guard even though I don't ever remember seeing the two in the same room.  Father has turned sides to be evil now.  Why?  I dunno, we're never told.  Emma knows the secret password to get into DeWynter's lair.  How does she know the password?   We don't know, that scene where she learns is never seen.  You know that great shot in the trailers of Emma at the phone booth next to her car in the green fields saying, "How now brown cow?" Well, that's not in the film.  I went to the official web site of the film and guess what?   Most of the stills are never seen in the film.  Emma's clone and Father die waay too easily.  It was cheap. Cheap Cheap. 

Once again Warner Bros. exacts a terrible film upon us hapless movie fans.   Perhaps they are hoping to hold us hostage by showing us bad films and we will struggle to lift our heads above all this only to fail and be forced to hand over all our money to them.  There were so many ways this film could have kicked major arse!   Instead it was a flatline film.  But Jim pointed out Uma did manage to keep a British accent throught the film.  I loved her in this film. She had attitude and coolness.  She looked wonderful throughout the whole ordeal and Fiennes was smooth as Skippy peanut butter.  Connery's performance looked more like a paper mache version of his role in HIGHLANDER.

Sometimes I wonder why Hollywood makes certain movies.  Maybe this was one of their tax write-offs?  Sorta like Batman & Robin was their tax write-off film of 1996? 

It's films like this that allow independent companies like New Line and Miramaz to become some of the hotest and most likable studios around.  Now, Avengers does manage to be better than Batman & Robin..but not by much.

                            MY RATING

AVOID THIS FILM while it is in the theatres!!!!
This is a flatline film.  It's only breath of life was Uma and Fiennes.   Wait for the video release of it, maybe we'll all get lucky and they'll release a director's cut of the film and it will save everything!  I figure they must've left about 30 minutes of footage that would be important to the film. 

For more on this film, GO HERE.