Avengers, The (1998)

Reviewed By Chris Parry
Posted 11/12/98 22:29:34

"'I'm leaving this movie' 'Not before tea' 'Fuck tea, this stinks'"
1 stars (Total Crap)

What a hokey piece of crap this film is. You'd kind of expect as much seeing as the original 60's TV series was like Austin Powers on way too much dope. It was smarmy, it was stupid, it was even sexist, but it was camp so it was kind of fun. The Avengers (WB style) has all of those factors, bar one. It is not in any way camp. And without the camp you only have smarmy, sexist and stupid.

Eternal cardboard stand-up, Ralph Fiennes, plays agent John Steed, an upper crust type equipped with a steel bowler hat, an umbrealla (Oooh.. Dangerous) and the ability to quaff much tea. He plays the role made famous by Patrick MacKnee, who makes a cameo as an invisible agent. Fiennes is a fine actor when the role requires a bland, almost crying, personality-less individual, but MacKnee was the smarmiest motherfucker alive. Fiennes is *WOEFUL* in thie role.

Every joke is delivered not deadpan, but more bedpan. He seems like if you poked him in the eye he'd just blink and keep staring at you.

But Fiennes looks like Jim Carrey next to the abominable, half asleep, tawdry, bubble nosed, Uma "Mrs Hawke" Thurman. Honest to goodness, whatever Uma was paid to wander through this film is about 200% too much. She should be sent a bill for her part in making this movie insanely sleep-inducing. Utterly devoid of personality, utterly devoid of talent, Uma's star has fallen. Those for who getting a glimpse of Uma in a leather catsuit is enough reason to see this film might want to check out Batman And Robin instead. She looked better there and at least tried. Or better still, take a picture of the poster. It'll last longer and is cheaper than paying seven bucks and two hours of your life.

But, oh, there's another person who's part in this disgrace that can must be identified as the primary source of wankiness therein.

Jeremiah Chechick.

You remember that hack, don't you? You would if you had to sit through Diabolique, the last thing he directed. Why the dunderheads at the WB felt the urge to place such a gormless fool in the role of big budget blockbuster director is beyond me. The whole piece is SO badly put together that you start to lose track not only of what's what, or who's who, but why the heck you're wasting precious hours of your existence watching this utter drivel.

So let's get to the pretension of story. Sir Auguste De Wynter is a mad old former Government scientist who, kicked out after being a tad too eccentric with experiments in weather control and two headed lambs, has decided to hijack the world's weather and hold the planet to ransom. How he achieves this is never explained in any way more detailed than "It's all ions and protons! Ions and protons, I tell you!" - oh, okay.

Researched well, was it Mr Scriptwriter?

Steed is hooked up with Dr Emma Peel (Uma) who's only reason to be involved in any way shape or form in the investigation is that she's the chief suspect. That's great. Let your suspect solve the crime. What the hell were the writers thinking?!

So usually with big budget failures like these, special effects will save the day. Not here, good folks. The effects in this crap are something akin to the worst animatronic lion in Jumanji. It is AWFUL. There isn't a decent effect in this movie that couldn't have been created using a copy of "Paint" and a 286 with 512kb of memory.

One last point of note, why is it that WB superhero/TV adaption flicks never use extras? How is it that when tornadoes and storms threaten to destroy London that there's not a single person in the streets to run away and look scared? Batman And Robin had the same deal - big city, lots of disaster, no people.

The script right here tries very hard to be classy, sarcastic, smarmy and British, but it comes across (with the awful comedic timing of the leads) as extremely labored. The jokes are awful. The innuendo is nearly unidentifiable. The conversation sounds nothing like any I've heard before. And every failed joke is followed by the line "tea?", like some kind of pompous British "ba dump bump". The first few didn't make me laugh. The last nine tea references made me squirm. the 'tea faucet' on the dashboard of Ralph's car gave me the kind of repulsive heeby jeeby's I haven't had since Bat-Clooney showed off his Bat-Visa Card and said he "never leaves the cave without it".

NOTE TO WB FLUNKYS: If you're going to spend tens of milliions on a movie, try spending half a million on a story and another half mill on script development and DON'T greenlight it until it's worth seeing, let alone making. Then you might want to hire an extras agency, perhaps some co-stars that don't resemble sub characters in bad Scottish soap operas and , oh yeah, you might want to try getting an original idea for a change. Just one will do. Prove it's possible.

NOTE TO PUNTERS: You don't want to see this movie. It's not even one of those Speed 2 type disasters that are worth seeing just to laugh at when a joke falls flat or when a special effect.looks pathetic or when the story becomes a runaway train of stupidity and disbelief. This is just a very very very bad movie with no redeeming qualities and the worst thing is the WARNER BROTHERS KNEW THIS MOVIE WAS A DISGRACE BECAUSE THEY WOULDN'T ALLOW MEDIA PREVIEWS!!

That, ladies and gentlemen, is a clear indication of motives. Warner Brothers Films would like to stop you, the consumer, knowing that their movies stink to high hell, before you have forked out seven of your best. They are ripping you off. They are ripping me off. The lesson here is NEVER see a movie when the studio refuse to allow it to be reviewed. And if you can help it, never see a WB movie under any circumstances. Cunts..

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