The Avengers

1 out of 5 snowstones
If a movie has two Uma Thurmans in it and still sucks, it must be horrendous. 'The Avengers' is that movie. Instead of being utterly British, like the TV-series that inspired this monstrosity, the movie is what Americans think is utterly British: saying 'Quite' when you mean 'Yes', remaining witty and calm in life-threatening situations, and, apparently, having a cup of tea in your car while being shot at by giant electric killer bees. Sadly, neither Ralph Fiennes nor Sean Connery (who are, after all, British) cared to point out this glaring oversight to anyone working on the film. Rarely has the yawning abyss between Britain and the States been so neatly defined. 'The Avengers', it is rumored (and if you watch the movie, you can believe the rumors), was cut to shreds and then patched back together. Such things usually happen after test audiences boo the first draft off the screen. However, in this case, there were no test screenings, which must mean that the producers were the ones doing the booing. And, truth be told, it must be somewhat perplexing to see several dozens of millions of dollars wasted on a ridiculous story about a mad scientist, Lord August de Wynter (subtle puns there!) who tries to terrorize London �with bad weather. Yeah, good luck with that.

Steed (Fiennes) and Mrs Peel (Thurman) go back and forth to De Wynter's country estate several times before they finally figure out he's the bad guy. To us viewers, it's blindingly obvious, since the only other suspect is Mrs Peel herself. The 'evil Peel' is a clone, as it turns out, probably made by De Wynter on those Sunday afternoons when he got bored from working on his world-dominating weather manipulation device thingy.

I could say the plot unravels as the movie ends, but for the lack of plot to unravel. Instead, Big Ben explodes; it snows in London (snow is the worst meteorological catastrophe imaginable to people living in Hollywood); and Steed kills De Wynter while Peel shuts down the world-dominating weather manipulation device thingy. Oh, and the happy couple makes a narrow escape as more stuff explodes.

Dialogues that are meant to be witty but sound more like repartees from a Schwarzenegger movie; quotes from British literature to give it a semblance of culture; a secret meeting of evildoers all dressed in giant teddy bear costumes (no, that's not tongue-in-cheek, it's just not bloody funny); decent, capable actors shamelessly prostituting themselves; the nightmare just doesn't seem to end. As a testament of Hollywood vapidness pushed to the extreme, it's excellent; but as a movie, it is a giant turkey ready for roasting.

Posted by cronopio at 10:46 PM, March 03, 2004