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The Avengers

out of 4

All-Reviews.com Movie Review: The Avengers

Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Uma Thurman
Director: Jeremiah Chechik
Rated: PG
RunTime: 83 Minutes
Release Date: August 1998
Genres: Action, Sci-Fi/Fantasy


*Also starring: Sean Connery, Jim Broadbent, Fiona Shaw, Eddie Izzard, Eileen Atkins, John Wood, Patrick Macnee



Review by Susan Granger
0 stars out of 4

There are good pictures. There are bad pictures. And, every so often, there's a truly wretched picture - like "Howard the Duck," "Ishtar," "Cutthroat Island," and "Heaven's Gate." Now, there's "The Avengers." What went wrong with this $60+ million, big-screen adaptation of the popular '60s British TV show? Let's start with Don Macpherson's incoherent script, which not only lacks a plot but strings together silly, elliptical quips that have no relation to each other, the story, or the characters. Then, director Jeremiah Chechik stages a fashion magazine shoot rather than a moving picture, posing and displaying the actors like plastic department-store mannequins in no particular context. Onto the casting...while Uma Thurman and Ralph Fiennes are talented character actors, they lack charisma so, inevitably, when paired, they lack chemistry. Dapper secret agent John Steed and his sexy scientist sidekick, Emma Peel, were once terrific. Now, they're zombie-like caricatures as they pursue a megalomaniacal meteorologist who has invented a weather-controlling device. Sean Connery, who can usually salvage any role, is reduced to bellowing "Rain or shine, it's all mine!" Some of Connery's scenes are quite ludicrous, like when he holds a Board meeting with members disguised as brightly colored teddy bears. As his henchman, Eddie Izzard resembles a gum-chewing dropout from "Clockwork Orange." And Patrick Macnee (the original John Steed) voices a bizarre cameo as an invisible bureaucrat in the Ministry basement. Basically, what was supposed to be a light farce fails, the comedy collapses, the mystery is muddled, and the dramatic impetus is non-existent since there is no logic to the sequence of scenes. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "The Avengers" doesn't even warrant a 1. It's appallingly awful!

Copyright 1998 Susan Granger

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