out of 4
All-Reviews.com Movie/Video Review
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
Buy movie posters!