Movie Review

The Avengers

Contains action violence and some innuendo

Reviewed by: Dave Rettig
CONTRIBUTOR

Average
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults
Genre:
Action/Adventure
Length:
91 min.

Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Uma Thurman, Sean Connery, Jim Broadbent, Fiona Shaw / Director: Jeremiah S. Chechik / Released by: Warner Bros.

John Steed and Mrs. Peel seek to stop the forces of evil in “The Avengers”, a remake of the 1960’s British television series. In this cinematic version, the topic of the day is weather. Specifically, bad weather. Very bad, and meteorlogical genius Sir August de Wynter’s (Sean Connery) power to control the forces of nature to a lethal extent. Now Sir August de Wynter promises 73 and sunny skies, for a price. Can Englands’s finest stop these fiendish plans and still keep tea time?

If it weren’t for the draw of the original “Avengers” series, this cinematic flop would have no appeal whatsoever. A campy cross between “James Bond” and “Get Smart,” “Avengers” was at least original in the 1960; however, aside from some new faces and some better special effects, we have the same dry humor and eccentricities of the series. All this would be fine if you are an “Avengers” television series fan. The movie however assumes the series. If you are not familiar with the characters, or the nature of their relationship, or what to expect from their escapades, you will be lost. The film does not provide background or any character development for those unschooled in the 60’s “Avengers”. Sadly so…“Avengers” devotees are few and far between.

“The Avengers” contains some profanity, violence, and some adult topics. There are a number of times Steed and Peel make statements with double meanings which are inappropreate for younger audiences. Also the violence is frequent and in fact, is the centerpiece of the opening scene.

If you were a fan of the original “Avengers” and the PG-13 rating doesn’t bother you, “The Avengers” movie is great to see, if for nothing more than memories. If you aren’t familiar with “Avengers”, you will find yourself feeling strangely disconnected from the film. I’d pass on “Avengers”, rent the 60’s series (available on video) and likely by the time you watch the tapes, the movie will be at the discount theatre for a dollar.

Year of Release—1998

Viewer Comments
“jaw-dropping bad”
The Avengers is jaw-dropping bad. It captures little of the magic of the sixties series. The acting is horrible, especially Connery and Fiennes. The plot is non-existent. The special effects are second-rate. It appears to have been edited with a machete. This movie was directed by the same man who decided he could improve on the film classic “Diabolique” a few years back. He ruined that film, but somehow managed to land a 60 million dollar budget for this movie, his latest film dud. An all round embarrassment from start to finish. Save your money. Give it to your church!!!
—Kent Billinghurst, age 49
“lost for most of the film”
I went to see this film with 3 of my daughters (18, 16, 12). They were lost for most of the film, esp. the youngest. I found it interesting, but only due to the fact that I had watched “The Avengers” TV series as a child. There was much, MUCH flirting between Steed and Mrs. Peel, something that I do not recall being in the original series, but I do not know if that is because it wasn’t there then, or because I was still a kid myself and the flirting simply “went over my head.”

The special effects were kinda neat, but the subject matter (weather control) made them seem unrealistic. My overall feeling is simply, wait for it to come to the dollar theatre, or better yet, wait for the video and rent (do not buy) it.
—Linda T., age 42
“slow and boring”
I was very disappointed when I saw “The Avenger's” I was hoping for a good fun fantasy action movie and instead it turned out to be slow and boring (kind of a tea and crumpet’s movie) They never really had a straight line. It was like these flash remarks through the whole movie. There was also brief nudity in the part where Emma Peel and Steed first meet. I don’t recommend this movie…
—Melissa, age 12
severely disappointing
The Avengers is not for the fans of the 1960s TV show. The movie contained a kiss between John Steed and Emma Peel that would never have happened in the TV show. Emma Peel is called Mrs. Peel for a reason—she is faithful to her husband that has vanished. Also, there is no “father” in the old television series. That character was only added to make the movie appear to have 1990 values.

Finally, the plot was scattered with many story lines that went nowhere. For instance, there was no reason to have a clone of Emma Peel—she did not advance the plot. As a fan of the 1960s television series, I was severly disappointed by the movie.
—Debbie, age 40
“Don’t waste your time”
This movie was hard to follow, Uma T just can’t act, and even Sean Connery’s (who I think is a wonderful actor) part was terrible. The only redeeming part was Ralph Fiennes acting. The plot was never explained well, and the villian wasn’t believable. The one instance of highly offensive language was completly uncalled for. I just kept hoping it would get better, but it didn't.
—Megan, age 19
Beware: *F* word
“The Avengers” is listed [by some sources] as having a PG rating… I thought, okay… this is probably okay for my family (9 and 11 year old kids), but did a little further searching on similar web sites, and found out that the movie contains an instance of the *F word*…
—Nancy W.