Father Geek looks at THE AVENGERS both past and present
Father Geek here with his thoughts on "The Avengers". Well geeks I went to the 1st showing at the Highland 10 here in Austin on opening day. There were about 25 people there , most of them about my age (53). I lucked out in that my $3.75 was covered by my seeing the "Soldier" trailer, coolness, followed by the totally kick butt "Apt Pupil" trailer. Aaaaaaaaaahhh, I was satisfied, in a good mood, etc...etc...etc. Then those great titles flash on the screen, whoa man, could all those ney sayers be wrong? This could be cool? They had my attention, Steed, cold as ice strolls onto the screen, his clothes are right, his manner totally correct, his cool dispatching of his enemies perfectly proper, and there my fellow geeks, only seconds into the film, the movie should have mercifully ended, but it was not to be. I would have to brass it out. Buckle up and ride the ride til the end of the line.
I was a film student when The Avengers TV show was taking the campus by storm. We talked about it in class and in the Union coffee shop. It was different, almost revolutionary, this wasn't like Batman, or Green Hornet, or Star Trek. This show had real style, class, coolness. It was not James Bond, but in a way it was. Steed had a self-confident swagger and those terribly smart Pierre Cardin Edwardian suits. Emma Peel's look was pure Yves St. Laurent and Emilio Pucci, all hip-hugging pants and black leather suits. They had fabulous taste in clothes, cars, art, and wine. I liked the show, but I wouldn't call myself a fan. Oh, I had my share of Diana Rigg stills, still do, but I've never really been into British humour. Not that there's anything wrong with it, this Texas boy just had trouble relating to it, my loss I'm sure.
About a year ago Harry and I got a copy of the script for the feature film. It read alot like the old TV show, with lots and lots of late 60's pop culture references and imagery. I told Harry that it just might work, what with the current interest in all things retro. However I found it some what confusing and hard to follow, and Emma Peel a possible badguy, no way. That won't wash with the fans. Also it was sooooo British , the American audience probably wouldn't support it in big numbers. We decided to with-hold judgement until we heard the casting choices.
When the word leaked out that Fiennes, Uma, and Sean had signed on we felt it was going to work, we were excited once again, but to no just reward. John Steed works for me in this film. It's ashame, because aside from art direction, he is all that works for me in this motion picture, Mother & Father are horrible. Emma doesn't even look good half the time. Sir August is, well he is just terribily, terribily wrong. The Goons might as well not even be in the film for all the effect they have. The Effects look like effects. The music, what music ? I don't even remember any except that end titles stuff that drove me and everyone else to the lobby. Hell, 30 years ago I couldn't get Laurie Johnson's tunes out of my head, and I didn't even watch the show every week. What's with this love affair between the prim & proper duty bound Steed and the married co-worker Peel? Where was all the Champagne from the original? Where was the stable of fantastic classic cars? Where was Emma's wardrobe? (except for the 2 leather outfits it sucked) Where were the people? (an empty London?) Where are the brains of Warner's top brass?
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Aug. 15, 1998, 1:44 a.m. CST
Save your money. Bad? Nope. Had to improve to become bad. Going in, I had go great expectations for Uma Thurman. She still looks like a horse and two of her at a time on the same screen <shudder> is scarier than seeing Psycho the first time! She is a one dimensional actress trying to act like Emma Peel. Doesn't work. No surprise. Ralph Fiennes was fine; until he opened his mouth! Whoever directed this disaster should be dragged screaming from a Humvee through a very thorney desert. Just some thoughts from a somewhat opinionated film fan.
Aug. 15, 1998, 2:33 a.m. CST
I have to admit that all of the reading I have done on this project, from Harry's first mention of the script being available and then going to read a bit of it, to todays articles, have dissuaded me from viewing this movie. So Harry your clout is truly a powerful thing. But, what I wanted to say, really, is that I am sure that like Warners is doing with the Batman franchise, they will completely misunderstand what the public is trying to tell them. I suppose that they actually believe that if we don't swallow any old dreck that they throw at us then we just have lost interest in a particular product. As in we are tired of Batman (for at least three years, I guess), not that what they gave us was horrible and should have been done better. We aren't idiots (or we would be producers) and we understand what it means when a movie opens without any reviews. We do wait for word of mouth from people we trust and we are intensely tired of hype--it's just tired...anyway I am ranting, not that I think Warners or any other movie companies will make it to the bottom of this article--maybe if I'd started with an explosion.;)
Aug. 15, 1998, 5:52 a.m. CST
Went to see a matinee of The Avengers in Las Vegas with a crowd of 30-40 others. No reaction other than total boredom. What went wrong with this movie. If one didn't read the background on the filmaker's vision of "Avenger Land" then the totally unpopulated streets of London make no sense. For a movie based on an action series, there's very little. Per Ms Thurman she should avoid movies involving spandex and weather control.
Aug. 15, 1998, 6:03 a.m. CST
by Colin fae Dundee
Uma......Wooden Ralph....Dull Sean.....Overacting Plot.....Where? The film...Shite
Aug. 15, 1998, 6:23 a.m. CST
I saw the AVENGERS movie last night here in Dublin, and I really enjoyed it. It isn't a Great movie, but given the poor blockbuster fare of this summer, I felt it was worth the price of admission. However, as others have said,if you didn't like(or know)the TV show there isn't a chance in hell you'll enjoy the film.This isn't James Bond or Men in Black! and it's the better for it. Cheers! P.S. Harry-the site keeps getting better and better.
Aug. 15, 1998, 6:27 a.m. CST
I never thought I'd say this but here is a film which makes less sense to me than "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me". They should have delayed the release and edited it together better. Eddie Izzard still rocks though.
Aug. 15, 1998, 6:41 a.m. CST
Well, the naysayers were right. "The Avengers" was, at best, forgettable-something the TV series never was! It appears to have been written and produced by people with absolutely no concept of the original series and the quirky chemistry that made it the best show on television at the time. What went wrong? Many things. The movie was, IMHO, an aggregation of spy movie cliches tainted by the cynicism of the '90s. The opening sequence-Steed running the "gantlet"-haven't we seen that time and time again? It also destroyed for me the notion that John Steed was, under that "dandy" mask, a natural born killer. Could you ever see Patrick Macnee's Steed requiring "practice"? Then there was the "teddy bear" meeting scene. Let me see, where have I run into that one before? Was it "Goldfinger"? That has become such a cliche that "Austin Powers" did the best version of the scene last year. As soon as I saw the bears around the table I knew at least one of them was a goner. The attempt to recreate "The House That Jack Built" was ultimately a disaster. The problem was the director tried to get too cute. Having Emma leave the frame coming towards the camera and IMMEDIATELY appear in the rear of the scene strained creditability. If you recall, in the original epp, there was always a lag between being able to enter rooms that accounted for the swiveling hallway. Where was that explination here? The concept was picked up by the director (or the screenwriter), played with for a minute or two, and then discarded without as much as a "by your leave." Mother and Father should have never been used-they were constructs of the Tara King days, and even though I am one of the few Avenger fans who enjoys the Tara King epps, I was annoyed that the movie team "cross-pollinated" these characters into what was a one man/one woman show. They were dreadfully played, to boot, and Mother's mobile HQ looked like the evil twin of the LM-50 Urban Assault Vehicle from "Stripes"! While the Bentley was right, why was Emma saddled with a Jag? The oly reason I could see is that it had a hatchback that Steed could shoot out of without having to carry a gun. As for that, I would have imagined that Steed would have found a more inventive way to dispatch the insects. Now, on to the cast. There was not one right casting choice in this movie-with the possible exception of Sean Connery, and even he was sorely misuesd. Ralph Fiennes was NOT John Steed-never could be! At best, he looked like Steed's nephew trying to pretend he was his Uncle John. Fiennes' head seemed to be dwarfed by the bowler to me-it did not look like it was a good fit. Maybe that was because Steed was about a half an inch away from being a skinhead! Also, is it just me, or is Ralph Fiennes just a ferretface? Next, Uma. Boy, am I glad David Letterman won't be hosting the Oscars (TM) next year! "Uma, Emma. Emma, Uma." That had to be the overriding motivation in choosing her for Emma Peel. Uma singlehandedly turned the most liberated woman on '60s TV into a dime-store damsel in distress-I never felt that she had any control over any situation she was in. That was never my impression of Diana Rigg's Emma. Rigg's Emma may have been subdued by the villian temporarily, but you could see that Emma was always looking for the advantage and the moment to press that advantage. Uma's Emma just seemed to be overwhelmed by it all. I think that one of the things that did the movie in was the attempt to be "camp". It was too forced. The TV series allowed a blend of the campy and the modern-Emma's Lotus to Steed's Bentley, the old world style with sci-fi-ish technology. "The Avengers" of television was a blend of the old and the new-the movie seemed to be an attempt to force the new into an old mold. All I can say is, we could have had something here. Guess I'll just have to come up with the money for the A&E box sets.
Aug. 15, 1998, 6:45 a.m. CST
Just got back from seeing it. There are some good parts, no doubt. But unless you know the original series, and appreciate the total British-ness of it all, chances are you just wont get it. So, not to be insulting, most Americans will say it's crap, as will almost everyone, except for a reasonable chunk of the British audience. As a whole, it was nowhere near as good as it should have been. Uma was dreadful. Ralph was good, once I got used to him. The effects were poor in places. the editing was bad. The chemistry was nil. The surreality was to0p notch in places. But, biggest problem. Apart from the end, WHERE WAS THE MUSIC ???? A
Aug. 15, 1998, 6:46 a.m. CST
Uma-unpack those bags under your eyes!
Aug. 15, 1998, 6:51 a.m. CST
Inevitably, there will be discussions, especially on the West of the pond, as to HOW bad it really is. Well, let me throw my [bowler] hat into the ring right now, and say that B&R was undoubtedly worse ... A
Aug. 15, 1998, 6:58 a.m. CST
A confusing mess. Obviously it was worked over in the last weeks before release. The plusses were the art direction, which i thought was perfect. And Uma Thurman, who is beyond perfect. Uma in a cat suit is worth the price of 10 admissions! I cannot believe the other reviews (above) who disparaged her looks. She makes Rigg look like a short legged skank. But i was so confused with the plot (what plot?) that i became numb. Beauty and art direction do not a movie make.
Aug. 15, 1998, 7 a.m. CST
I know this is off the subject, but I can't get over how miscast, and awful, Uma was. Can anyone point out any performances (other than Pulp fiction, but even that is up for debate), where she's actually been good ? Why does she continue to get hired ? A
Aug. 15, 1998, 7:28 a.m. CST
Angus, do you like girls? If not I can't explain why Uma keeps getting cast in movies. Let me just give you this equation: Uma + cat suit= boner
Aug. 15, 1998, 7:31 a.m. CST
Haven't seen the Avengers yet, and have to admit I'm tempted, even if just to see if it's a bad as everyone's saying. It sounded as if Jerry Weintraub did a good job on paper (the cast looked good, the production design seems to have come out reasonably well), but I always thought Jeremiah Chechnik was a dodgy choice (with Benny and Joon - mixed response -, and Diabolique - almost universally panned - under his belt). But you can see why Warner Bros had a fit and cocked up all the publicity when they thought they might have another Batman and Robin on their hands (except without the same surefire opening weekend). Maybe if some of the advance press had been correct and Nicholas Meyer had been behind the camera and Nicole Kidman had been in front ...
Aug. 15, 1998, 7:38 a.m. CST
I took my family to go see this movie last nite. Let me tell you I have never ever wanted to get up and leave during a movie since my parents took me to see Reds when I was 8 year old. The whole audience was mortified by the badness of this film. NO PLOT, BAD ACTING, WHERE WAS THE EDITING. Now I know people are saying well it was in the spirit of the original, Well I'm sorry if it was like the original. Then the original must of sucked too. Even my 5 year old son who has no taste in movies(he likes em all no matter what) kept asking me if it was over soon.
Aug. 15, 1998, 7:53 a.m. CST
Hoppsy, Yes I like girls ! When I saw this movie, I was actually with my wife, who is American, and although she's quite appreciative of British humour, she said that Americans just wouldnt get it. Uma has a great figure, no question, but SHE CAN'T ACT, imho. At all. And does she pull in audiences ? No, not really. And she has a bad mouth, when seen in profile ! :) A
Aug. 15, 1998, 8:35 a.m. CST
by Matt McCourty
QUESTION ONE: What's the first thing you learn in "My First Book of Photography"? ANSWER: Well, It's something to do with not having big vertical lines like trees and poles "growing" from people's heads. WHY? Because it looks amateurish and, well, crap. QUESTION TWO: So why did John Steed have an enormous white line sprouting from his bonce in the chess-playing scene in "the Avengers"? ANSWER: Well, because the director hadn't read "My First Book of Photography". WHY? Because he's amateurish and, well, crap.
Aug. 15, 1998, 9:53 a.m. CST
by Allen C
Okay, I liked the movie. The bears were a stroke of genius I thought that had everyone in the theatre laughing. Biggest complaint I've heard is the full extent of the evil plot isn't revealed until the end, leaving most of the audience confused as to what was going on. Well, after the movie, I watched my copy of 'The Living Dead', an old episode, and about ten minutes before the end, they finaly showed the audience the evil underground military base. It was all part of the mystery and style of the show. So, yes, there were confusing parts. Yes, there were surreal parts. Yes, it was very 'British'. And yes, Uma was the wrong choice for Emma Peel. But yes, it was an enjoyable movie that came about 85% of the way to capturing the feel of the series. And yes, I am hoping for a sequel, and while I love Emma, considering Uma, I'm pulling for Tara King.
Aug. 15, 1998, 11:13 a.m. CST
by Wong Kar Wai
Okay, I'm not happy. I'm tired of paid my hard earned cash to watch second rate movies coming out of Warner Bros. Don't they understand? Is it so hard to comprehend? Heads need to roll and roll quick before they, yet again, fuck up another perfectly good Batman movie. Anyone who would pass up a Kevin Smith script for Superman Lives on the off chance something better comes along, is not too bright. Jeremiah Chechik, I feel real sorry for you.
Aug. 15, 1998, 11:28 a.m. CST
I have a feeling that some of the Avengers nay-sayers, even the "I've seen every episode on the day it aired" brigade, seem to be missing how *well* it adhered to the spirit of the original. The Avengers TV series never, not even once, gave a crap about the audience. They told fabulous stories and threw in whatever elements they wanted, and if the audience didn't get it, then they never would. This film didn't give a quarter to the audience, didn't compromise one iota in making sense, and entertained me hugely from start to finish. I think the only failures were the little subtitles, which were unecessary. Otherwise, this was a movie that did exactly what the heck it wanted, and thumbed its nose at anyone in the audience who paused to say "wait..." I saw it with three other huge TV series fans and five others who don't know much about the show and we all enjoyed the daylights out of it.
Aug. 15, 1998, 11:40 a.m. CST
First this is not the worst film of the year (summer or week come to that ) . It is a silly film , but the TV series could be ass clampingly silly sometimes . I had a bemused smile on my face for most of the movie . I do not want to talk about the performances , everyone has commented on miscasting etc . However I do feel I have been hyped (albeit negatively ) into the Cinema . I went to see how bad it was going to be , as did a number of others in the audience . But to no avail , this is not a golden turkey (although I would like to know the Medved Bros opinion of the film ) . I have a horrible feeling this will become an overpriced cult movie (remember Connery in Zardoz ? or do most reviewers film references begin and end with Spielberg and Lucas !) If the film was so bad it stimulated me to write this .
Aug. 15, 1998, 1:14 p.m. CST
Hate to say this to Hoppsy, but Uma Thurman has got to have the most disgusting figure a woman can possibly have. She's annorexic and has these huge, wide hips. Which makes looking at her in a skin-tight leather suit a hard to live through experience. Diana Rigg Uma is not. After seeing her so-called "acting ability" and her so-called "awsome figure" in BATMAN AND ROBIN, it makes you wonder what sort of drugs are filtering through the offices at Warner Bros.
Aug. 15, 1998, 2:52 p.m. CST
I think the big question here is, was Avengers a suckfest of incredible proportions, or do us yanks just not get the superior British sense of humor? I think this is simply a question of national pride and patriotism. We have more than our share of national pride and patriotism in the good ol' USA, but when someone makes a suckfest movie about one of our national icons (i.e. Batman) we don't sit their and try to defend it. I love a lot of British humor, and television. I haven't seen much of the original Avengers admitedly, but I love Python, The Prisoner, Tripods, drug-induced Beatles songs, etc. as any green blooded geek should. I also love anything surreal. I love surreal and dadaistic artwork. I love anything Terry Gilliam does. Now THERE is a man who knows how to be surreal. The Avengers movie was just a pathetic attempt at surrealism. I think comparing it to Batman and Robin is very apropos, on many levels.
Aug. 15, 1998, 2:54 p.m. CST
Also, take a look at any Tim Burton movie. He does a much better job at "surrealism" than this pathetic Avengers movie.
Aug. 15, 1998, 4:43 p.m. CST
Here are 2 friendly emails I had, in reply to my earlier comments (see above), from Mansy911@aol.com who I presume must be Uma's agent. Glad to see that he/she is taking this well .... First: YOU'RE AN ENGLISH PRICK! WHAT WOULD YOU KNOW ABOUT FILM??? And second: SHE CAN'T ACT??? YEAH RIGHT. THAT'S WHY YOU'RE A BUM IN ENGLAND AND SHE'S A BIG ICON IN TINSELTTOWN. YOU DUMB FUCK - HEAD! AND WHY'D SHE GET THE NOMINATION FOR " FICTION ", HUH??? THERE'S A REASON FOR THAT! AND OF COURSE SHE PULLS IN AUDIENCES, YOU IN - GROWN NAIL! E. G. " THE TRUTH ABOUT CATS AND DOGS ". LASTLY, BAD MOUTH!? YOU GOT BAD BREATH, SO WHAT YOU TALKING ABOUT!? Thanks for the constructive advice, Mansy911. A.
Aug. 15, 1998, 5:05 p.m. CST
Thomas, and others who care: I will be glad to acknowledge Uma's acting ability. However, surely I can only acknowledge that, when I see it. Being an attractive woman is not synonymous with acting ability. If such luminaries as De Niro laud her, then yes, I agree, there must be something there. However, as a ticket buying member of the public I reserve the right to determine who is worth paying to see, and who is not. Everyone can do the same. And as most people will acknowledge, sometimes lesser performances or films receive higher commendation by the academy than perhaps they warrant. This is all just my opinion. A.
Aug. 15, 1998, 5:10 p.m. CST
Thomas, that made me chuckle ...
Aug. 15, 1998, 5:16 p.m. CST
Who are these people ? Mansy911 sounds like a nut. I've never seen so much profanity. I guess I'll have to agree with Angus here, because I'm English too. And Uma's accent in this movie was not English. It was some sort of pseudo-English-I-Learnt-It-In-Acting-School accent. Robin William's Scottish accent in Mrs Doubtfire was better than that. Being a woman, I have to actually admire Uma's body, but it stops there. The Truth about Cats and Dogs. Didnt that take $6 in America ? YEah, Mansy911 was the only one who saw it. And what about A Month by the Lake ? I dont even think that took $6, as noone even knew a movie existed, let alone Uma starring in it.
Aug. 15, 1998, 7:47 p.m. CST
This movie sucked so much that we made a website about it. http://www.ugcs.caltech.edu/~vic20/avengers
Aug. 15, 1998, 8:06 p.m. CST
I liked Steed well enough, though he didn't completetyl fulfill me. Kinda like Keaton in Batman. He was good, I wanted more, seeing other Batmans made me appreciate Keaton. That's how Fiennes's Steed was to me. Uma as Emma? Iffy. She didn't work more often than she did. But Sean Connery's Sir August was horribly written, and it was obvious Connery wasn't having any fun.
Aug. 15, 1998, 9:26 p.m. CST
by American Avenger Fan
Why am I not surprised that American audiences are already whining and crying about Avengers? It was sexy, stylish, and pure British campiness at its best. Fiennes was tongue-in-cheek fun as Steed, and Thurman's Peel is certainly appealing to anyone with 20/20 vision. (The cat suit certainly gets two thumbs up.) Unfortunately, American audiences will bash it... No Bruce Willis. Pity. (This from the same group of folks who give Bill Clinton record high approval ratings. Go figure.)
Aug. 15, 1998, 10:32 p.m. CST
Well, I just got back from the theater, and yes, I did decide to watch "The Avengers". All though my hopes were not too high from the beginning, I still had some lingering thoughts of encouragement for the film due to its somewhat descent casting. I agree with Father Geek in that the opening of the movie was great, it really had me looking forward to the movie, it did set me in the mood. Although the movie did lack music, drink, sports cars, and an underdressed Mrs. Peel... I can not say that the movie was a total flop. It was not good, but it wasn't bad. I have to say that it was more or less like watching a cartoon or video game in live action. Those maybe the intentions of the director. If so, he did a good job. If not, he needs to find another job. My friends wanted to see the movie for one reason, and that reason was Mrs Peel. They were greatly disapointed. And I must say I was, too. However, we shouldnt judge a movie for its lack of T and A... but for its lack in emotion and character. I am afraid this lacked in both. But it was in a way, a "half-way" enjoyable movie. Half-way.
Aug. 15, 1998, 10:35 p.m. CST
by The JAS man
I was pretty young when the series was on, but I do remember that there was a ton of chemistry between Steed and Peel, Steed was extremely classy in a very understated way, I loved the Bentley, and, well, let's just say that Dianna Rigg was a significant contribution to my adolescent years. No one else will ever come close. Uma tried and failed miserably. This movie just didn't have the right feel. Maybe it was the music or the editing or the timing, I don't know. I couldn't really bring myself to care very much about the characters. And I think Uma is absolutely homely. She did the leather suits justice, but that face... yecch! I do agree that the opening credits sequence and the Soldiers trailer were worth the price of admission.
Aug. 16, 1998, 1:50 a.m. CST
It seems most people here are talking about this film in relation to the old series. Well, I have never seen an episode of the Avengers in my life. And I thought the film was a wonderfully bizarre action film. I WISH Hollywood had the guts to off more gigantic Teddy Bears, and stuff invisible secret agents into a stuffy room in the basement. The Avengers constantly subverted my expectations for an action/spy film. Maybe that's why so many people hate it. I think that's what makes it, if not great, then at least refreshing. (I still can't get over those teddy bears....)
Aug. 16, 1998, 2:04 a.m. CST
Thomas, The part of your posting that made me chuckle was "Don't listen to him about her but listen to me)", which just appealed to my sense of humour. Other than that remark, was a more general response, as opposed to a critical reply to your posting. If not appreciating Uma up to now is my loss, then so be it. Please don't infer any of my comments to be personal attacks, as I really don't subscribe to writing in that fashion. Getting back to the real subject, having slept on it, I have more memories of amusing and original sequences in the film than I do of bad ones. A.
Aug. 16, 1998, 2:51 a.m. CST
I'm Malaysian, and I just saw the movie today. It's not THAT bad, but the script really really stinks aka Batman & Robin with all those dreadful puns that are intended to be witty but are not. The action is choppy in places and Ralph, Uma, Sean and co obviously gave only 10% of what they can do. It's not totally awful, but it's far from great. And the ending left me bereft like an open bag of week-old corn chips - stale, unsatisfactory and totally corny.
Aug. 16, 1998, 5:51 a.m. CST
Just thought I'd throw this in, since other people are already talking about it. I don't know which is worse, an American actor using an American accent in a movie set in England while everyone else is using British accents (Prince of Thieves), or an American in the same scenario but this time can fake a British accent... most of the time... with varying thicknesses of accent... and sometimes forgetting to use it. It's like reading a book that's plagued with punctuation, grammar and spelling errors, and you can't help but notice them. The good news is, this was not a good book, so there was nothing to devalue. -Maruku
Aug. 16, 1998, 8:49 a.m. CST
As someone who watched and liked the TV program, and wo also loves movies, I couldn't be mor disappointed in this offering. Stupid script, poor, poor acting and probably one of the weakest efforts at direction I can remember. Do they think we're fools? They should pull this turkey and go for a do-over.
Aug. 16, 1998, 12:46 p.m. CST
Awful. Mind-numbingly awful. What a wasted opportunity. Ralph Fiennes does the best he can with the idiotic dialogue. Uma is stylish but inconsequential. You can practically see the paycheck reflected in Sean Connery's eyes. My apologies to the producers of "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me", "Superman IV" and "Bela Lugosi Meets A Brooklyn Gorilla".... i was wrong about movies not getting worse than those. What was there, 20 minutes trimmed out to make the plot incomprehensible? Is that script available online somewhere? I'd love to see what's missing. It might have made it make sense, but nothing could have made this a good movie. Dammit.
Aug. 16, 1998, 3:19 p.m. CST
Geez, you'd think that Schlockmaker had had a hand in this film from the reviews! It's a decent film, really it is. It is not an action film, it's not a blockbuster. It's a small, surreal film that is fun and has a large budget. Yeah, it's surreal, but so was the series. I loved the series when I was younger, and have bought all of the remastered videos. They are pretty messed up too! Could it have been better? Yup, sure could have. Is it good enough to be fun to watch? Yup. The acting was okay, Uma was tolerable, accent and all. Did she display great range? Nope, but I didn't get the impression she was supposed to. It's a one dimensional character, guys! Rest assured, Batman and Robin, Godzilla, etc. are still the leaders for crap on film, this isn't even close. Go see it! Besides, any movie that has Uma Thurman in skintight leather and knee boots is a worth a look.
Aug. 16, 1998, 4:11 p.m. CST
by Brinke Guthrie
I went into this movie really wanting to like it. Especially since the last movie i saw, "Snake Eyes" was so bad that i walked out; and i got in free. Having said that; i liked The Avengers; but i am not sure why. I like the recent hi-tech glossy remakes of tv-shows, like Mission: Incoherant, and The Saint..and I guess i would give Avengers a modest thumbs-up. I woulda liked to have more of the theme, and there were some things i didnt get..(the bear suits?)..but Uma looked great, and I would give anything for the Jag.
Aug. 16, 1998, 7:04 p.m. CST
I've been thinking about my dissatisfaction with "The Avengers" and I've come up with a reason for my feelings. I hate to disagree with the people who feel that the movie has been faithful to the spirit of the TV series, but I think the movie has been anything but faithful! In analyzing the series, I've come upon a key element that was seemingly missed by the production team. You see, the TV series was based (whether consciously or not) on a contrast between the Edwardian past and contemporary England. Steed represented the foppishness of the Edwardian era, while Peel was cutting-edge contemporary. The problem with the production team was they assumed that the the contemporary aspect of Peel had to be of '60s style. It was of the '60s only because that was the era it was set in. To keep the dynamics of the contrast between the old England and the new, the movie's Peel should have been a '90s woman. To put her in '60s clothes, '60s cars, etc., is to make her a retro figure, too. That's why it didn't work, and it wouldn't have worked, even with the most perfect actors in the roles of Steed and Peel.
Aug. 16, 1998, 9:24 p.m. CST
by Meyer Horowitz
The script was garbage. The stars were overpaid. Why is it that nobody in Hollywood is willing to accept the fact that the screenwriter is more important than the director! Unless there is a good blueprint, the film is inevitably a failure. Another waste of time and money.
Aug. 16, 1998, 10:23 p.m. CST
by David E Miller
I saw "The Avengers" today, and understand why nobody can agree about this film. When I first heard about the remake of the TV series, I'd just seen "Austin Powers" and thought surely Elizabeth Hurley would make the perfect Emma Peel. Uma Thurman was NOT a good choice. Sean Connery should be as embarrassed to be in this film as surely Schwarzenneger was to be in B&R. He was a pretty sight in that white suit, though. As for John Steed, perhaps P. Brosnan would have done the role justice (?). I grimaced through the teddy bear meeting, didn't see any point at all to the balloon sequence, and the invisible "cameo" was the final straw. I appreciated the Escher staircase, but felt the repeating room sequence was dumb (it reminded me of a ST:TNG take that at least, in the SF context, made sense). I agree that the bee attack, thanks to a few close-ups and life-size models, was the best the film had to offer. By the way, I never understood the "Emma Peel" portrait in August de Wynter's home, nor why there existed an "Emma Peel" double. The only explanation was that Emma Peel was a Gemini. Is that supposed to suffice? Also, why, once the double is dead, does the real Emma Peel suddenly dress up in black leather. Doesn't Sir August know the double is dead? Is she trying to fool him, or did the film makers just think we needed a little more sleek leather to look at? As for movies based on TV series, check out "The X-Files." If you like the series, you'll LOVE this film. I wonder what they'll do with "Hawaii 5-0," which is due out sometime soon? Overall, I think if they were to edit out the teddy bears, the invisible man, and the balloon, replace ALL of the actors, write a coherent script, and get rid of the goofy henchmen, this could be a really fun film!!!! Do you want to see some good movies this summer? See "The Spanish Prisoner," "Return to Paradise," and "The X-Files." For good laughs, see "There's Something About Mary"---if you are not sensitive to gross humor. Oh, was this about "The Avengers?" I forgot this was about a very, very forgettable film.
Aug. 16, 1998, 10:24 p.m. CST
by John McLame
I never watched one episode of the show, so this could mean I just didn't get a zillion references, but man...ZZZzzzz.. This movie put me to sleep. Ralph & Uma were entertaining, but the story was lame as hell. Sounded like SpikeLee's The Adventures of British Shaun..
Aug. 17, 1998, 9:26 a.m. CST
Hey, Greg. Up yours!!! Just because I don't find Uma Thurman's "wide-load" hips, doesn't mean I'm gay. Diana Rigg had curves that I adore, but they were curves in all the right places, which makes her physically attractive to me. Same deal with Catherine Zeta Jones. She has curves, but not the wide-ass hips matched with the skinny chicken-legs that Uma Thuman has. Sorry. To me, she had no place even being considered for the role of Emma Peel. She should stick to dramas. And I'm sorry that you disagree with me about her attractiveness. But keep your stupid-ass, lewd, self-centered comments to yourself. You don't know me, so therefore have no damn clue as to my sexual orientation (VERY, VERY hetro). So, please, as difficult as you may find this to do....think before you post next time.
Aug. 17, 1998, 12:27 p.m. CST
by gary '99
all you females who moan and bitch about what's wrong with uma thurman in looks(!) and acting talent take a hike!!! she is drop dead gorgeous and a fine acting talent to boot.the picture was everything a fan of the series could want,although sean was too hammy for my taste. too bad this will bomb and we won't see another AVENGERS product for along time!LONG LIVE uma!
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