(US); 1998; Rated PG-13; 89 Minutes
Ralph Fiennes: John Steed
Uma Thurman: Emma Peel
Sean Connery: Sir August de Wynter
Eddie Izzard: Bailey
Eileen Atkins: Alice
Produced by Susan
Ekins and Jerry Weintraub; Directed by Jeremiah S.
by DAVID KEYES
Thurman is a gifted actress. It's no coincidence that every
movie she's been in happens to be a movie where she is the
center of attention. If the film is bad or good, she always
stands out. Sometimes, she can even make a bad movie almost
decent. She's got the fluttering eyes and the crooked smile
that we can all appreciate, and the voice and talent that
everyone can come to recognize. From "Jennifer 8" to "Pulp
Fiction" to "Batman And Robin," here is a woman who, no
matter how good or bad the picture is, manages to make every
movie she stars in hers. If she was in some of the worst
movies ever made, like "Dazed And Confused," I could stand
to watch them.
is a figure of beauty and strength, and she once again tests
our observance in "The Avengers," the new movie follow-up
to the television series of the same name. She's great in
it--so great that I'm almost tempted to recommend the movie.
But I can't, because "The Avengers" is a severely doomed
movie weighed down by dull story, meaningless plot direction,
and clumsy characterization. I imagine those faults existed
in the television series, and what these movies do is make
them worse than they really are, because instead of expanding
on story and improving upon faults, they stretch the story
too thin and overdo the special effects, chase scenes, characterizations,
examples on that bill are "Lost In Space" and "Star Trek."
"Lost In Space" is one of the worst movies of the year,
because instead of capturing flavor that made the series
so popular, it was too over ambitious and destroyed any
little redeeming value that series probably had.
have a feeling the genre of movie remakes is about to crumble,
and "The Avengers" is proof of that. It is totally incompetent,
unorganized, and very predictable. It's almost like watching
a 30-minute television show by slowing down the tape so
that the final result ends in two, and if that isn't bad
enough, the movie is almost identical in story and direction
to the James Bond series. But the James Bond movies go on
and on and on--there's no stopping them. "The Avengers"
will not have a sequel, likely because most movies that
are bad just aren't followed by them (unless, of course,
you take "Police Academy" in mind). It's good movies that
get sequels (most of the time, anyway), and if "The Avengers"
had something decent about it (other than Uma Thurman),
I'd at least expect consideration for a sequel.
movie is so disorganized that I'm not even sure what it
was supposed to be about. Emma Peel (Thurman) is (I guess)
a government agent who has been assigned to work with John
Steed (Ralph Fiennes) in hopes to stop a madman named Sir
August de Wynter (Sean Connery) from manipulating weather
patterns on the planet which would give him natural control
over all the earth.
are moments of the movie that suggest this type of material
could work great as a comedy, strangely enough. Connery
himself says some frighteningly realistic and humorous lines,
all of which seem to lift a little of the dark clouds which
set over the script. This dialogue, along with Uma Thurman,
give at least some quality to "The Avengers," unlike "Lost
In Space," which had absolutely nothing decent about it.
That, I guess, deserves one and a half stars for this movie,
which is probably more than most would give it. But I'm
just being nice--after all, did I mention that Uma Thurman
manages to make any movie she's in watchable?
"The Avengers" is somewhat watchable, but just barely. The
director of the movie is Jeremiah Chechlik, who, you may
remember, was publicly bashed with another one of his films,
called "Diabolique." That, too was a remake, only it had
a certain delicious evil woven into it, which made me give
the movie a positive review. If "The Avengers" had a decent
script, I would have given it a positive one, too. The final
word here is that "The Avengers" is severely screwed up,
with, of course, the exceptions of Thurman and Connery,
who at least try to make moments of the picture seem somewhat
even more plausible is how the studio released the film.
They opened it up on Saturday, probably to avoid criticism
by film critics. Now if you want to make money off of bad
movies, that's the way to do it.
1998, David Keyes, Cinemaphile.org.
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