The Avengers - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Avengers Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ September 18, 2017
The initial opening offers an intriguing spy film but everything after is a weird hybrid of exposition and tea inclusion. I can't fault the actors who seem to be doing the best with what they are handed, the overall tone might have worked if the filmmakers knew where they were taking the film. The first 30 minutes are okay, setting the scene for the oddball world here and if it was to continue with this story, it may have worked. The film takes a turn with the introduction of Sean Connery, not a bad choice for the villain but he is very one dimensional. The teddy bear scene is quite inspired but this is a prime example of a hybrid weirdness that doesn't float well, the film is lost within its own ambitions, maybe atudio interference. I have heard that the film was cut heavily and you can't fault the director if the studio abandoned the filmmaker, if it was terrible and left alone by the studio, by all means we throw blame at the director. The film is cut badly and shifts all around the place and is another Warner Bros tv remake that is terrible, Wild Wild West is about on par and never captures the campiness it needed to succeed. Fingers crossed for a longer directors cut in the future. 18-09-2017.
July 15, 2017
1/10 No Tom Hiddelston
June 11, 2017
Dr. Emma Peel (Uma Thurman) receives a phone call telling her to go to a gentlemen's club - no women allowed - where she meets John Steed (Ralph Fiennes), agent of The Ministry, for the first time. The two head off to the Ministry to meet Mother (Jim Broadbent), who informs them the Prospero project - an attempt to influence the weather - was sabotaged apparently by Emma Peel. Dr. Peel claims she is innocent, but she is sent to work alongside Steed to find the real culprit. Mother's off-sider, Father (Fiona Shaw), claims Peel suffers from a mental disease. They go off to visit Sir August De Wynter (Sean Connery), an old ally of The Ministry. He takes an instant liking to Peel, as they both share a love of weather. Steed and Emma follow a lead to Wonderland Weather - a business that artificially creates heat or rain with a special machine - where they discover two dead men in teddy bear suits. The members of a secret organisation - led by De Wynter - all wear teddy bear suits to disguise their identities. One of them, however, looks exactly like Emma Peel. Steed arrives in time to save Peel, as the double jumps off a roof and disappears. Steed and Emma go off to visit De Wynter at his mansion but are attacked by mechanical bees. Alice (Eileen Atkins), a Ministry agent, helps them to flee; nevertheless, De Wynter captures Emma who then tries to escape but finds herself trapped due to the mansion's ever-changing floor plan. She smashes her way through a window, and Steed rescues her. Back at Steed's apartment, however, Peel is arrested by Father, as Steed visits Invisible Jones (Patrick MacNee), a man inside The Ministry, to investigate the meaning of a map Steed found at Wonderland Weather. After viewing some photos of failed genetic experiments including cloning (revealing that the other Emma Peel is a clone), Steed determines Father is working with De Wynter. Father and Peel's clone capture Peel but are confronted by Mother, who is then incapacitated. De Wynter, controlling Prospero and the weather, confronts the world's leaders. He boasts that he controls the weather, and they will have to buy the weather from him, will pay a lot for it, and will have until midnight to pay...

"The Avengers" is a 1998 American action spy film adaptation of the British television series of the same name that ran between 1961-1969. Warner Bros., the film's distributor, refused to allow any early press-screenings for movie reviewers that most releases attempt to generate interest in; such a decision is often made when a studio and/or distributor knows a film will not be received well and pre-release reviews would only be negative. The film was originally scheduled to open earlier in June 1998 but was pushed back until August, often referred to as the late-summer "dumping ground" for films that are not felt to be strong or worthy enough to open on the more lucrative holiday weekends in early summer. The film was a notable failure at the box office, grossing only $48 million worldwide, compared to its budget of $60 million. Mick LaSalle, of the San Francisco Chronicle, warned against poor editing and direction, explaining; "There's.......some business involving a dead ringer for Emma going around causing trouble, and there's some mention of the word "cloning." Then all talk of that is dropped. Everything is dropped. After a slow opening, the 90-minute movie jolts into climax mode. What happened to the middle? Clearly, this wasn't just edited but gutted. No doubt they did us all a favor, but it doesn't help. Instead of just being a bad picture, the missing middle makes "The Avengers" a bad and weird and strangely off picture. One example: There's never a moment when Emma and Steed realize who the villain is. At first, they don't know. Next, they're in a titanic battle to the death. At one point, Emma is shackled and floating around in a hot-air balloon. I don't know how she got there. I must have blinked. Due to internal wrangling at Warner Bros., the decision was made to vastly cut down the running time after test screenings, reducing the 115-minute film to 87 minutes, sacrificing much coherence and continuity in the process. Key scenes removed included the opening sequence in which "Mrs. Peel" infiltrates and destroys the Prospero science installation; early trailers included the scene where she says the words "How now brown cow" in a false telephone box to gain admittance. The movie was originally scored by composer Michael Kamen, who included the original Avengers theme; however he was unable to re-score the film after the radical editing, so was forced to drop out. The recut version of the film was scored by Joel McNeely. The original script was used for the film's novelization and included all the material which were first shot and then removed from the film. The original cut has yet to surface; Warner Bros. has no plans to release a director's cut or special edition in any form, despite that director Jeremiah Chechik has offered to recut the film for free. The film was panned by critics. The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes consensus reads, "A TV spinoff that lacks enough energy to spin, The Avengers is an ineptly written, woefully miscast disaster." The purists disliked it for its disrespect to the original series (particularly the introduction of a romance between Steed and Peel - a carefully ambiguous subject in the series). Newcomers were lost by all of the misfired attempts to capture the mood of the original. Rod Dreher in the New York Post called the film "a big fat gob of maximum crapulosity, the kind of shallow, stupid, big-budget cow pile that smells of Joel Schumacher", referencing the previous summer's likewise poorly received Batman & Robin, which also starred Uma Thurman. David Bianculli stated, "This Avengers film is so horrendously, painfully, and thoroughly awful that it gives other cinematic clunkers like Ishtar and Howard the Duck a good name." Jay Boyer in the Orlando Sentinel said "The Avengers is, without a doubt, the worst movie of the summer". Reception in Britain was equally hostile. The Birmingham Post stated "The Avengers is being slated by critics as the worst film ever made - such a turkey, says one, that the makers should have handed distribution to (mass turkey producer) Bernard Matthews". Alan Jones in The Radio Times stated "The cult 1960s TV series gets royally shafted by Hollywood in this stunningly designed blockbuster that's stunningly awful in every other department... Terrible special effects and zero chemistry between Fiennes and Thurman make this notorious disaster a total waste of everyone's time and energy." Commenting on the truncated released cut of the film, New York Times's Janet Maslin noted, "At a pared-down, barely rational 90 minutes, "The Avengers" is short but not short enough."

I did not grow up with the original "The Avengers" (1961-1969) but I know of the show, the main characters and the actors. This is yet another example of a film that was slaughtered in the editing room when they reduced the 115-minute film to 87 minutes, sacrificing much coherence and continuity in the process. Everything in the film feels random, campy, poor and as said there´s no coherence nor continuity which gives us a very confusing film. With A-list stars like Ralph Fiennes, Uma Thurman and Sean Connery you´d think there would be potential, but the end result is far from it. All three seems to have no idea what´s going on due to mediocre direction. I reckon charm, style and fun was the main pillars of the tv-show, but with the film all of that is not in place. It´s a weird and strange unfunny film in many ways and you really struggle to find anything that is good about it. The effects are shoddy and the script silly in an Austin Powers way. Once the colourful teddybears appears in the film you realise that this film will never recover.

Trivia: Peter Bart's book "The Gross" covered the film's unfolding disaster in great detail. Among other facts: Warner Brothers greenlit the film largely on the strength of a star-packed cast and their appreciation of Jeremiah Chechik's work on Diabolique (1996) and were horrified when seeing what the first cut was like. The first screening took place in front of a "largely Spanish-speaking, working class" audience in Phoenix, Arizona, who hated the film; the studio then forced Chechik to cut many of his favorite scenes, and conduct reshoots; and the final cut went from 115 to 89 minutes, and was completely incoherent. The studio even refused to hold further test screenings, or to have an official premiere before the film's August 1998 release. Ralph Fiennes said of the film, "I think it's a badge of honor to have a real flop on your resumé".
½ May 26, 2017
The late '60s TV show The Avengers was quirky, slightly surrealist but never boring. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for this timely film. There is absolutely no chemistry between the two leads, no witty repartee (only patronising English cultural cliches like "Do you fancy a cup of tea?") and Sean Connery should be memorable as the villain but is given little screen time to make an impression. It is basically the worst kind of British movie- that being a British movie with a Hollywood mentality. Terrible, just bloody terrible old chap.
February 18, 2017
The late '60s TV show The Avengers was quirky, slightly surrealist but never boring. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for this timely film. There is absolutely no chemistry between the two leads, no witty repartee (only patronising English cultural cliches like "Do you fancy a cup of tea?") and Sean Connery should be memorable as the villain but is given little screen time to make an impression. It is basically the worst kind of British movie- that being a British movie with a Hollywood mentality. Terrible, just bloody terrible old chap.
December 27, 2016
Sean Connery is a superb actor, but he should never have appeared in the worst movie ever based on a live-action TV program.
October 20, 2016
I wanted to see this film when it first came to video, but looking back, I praise God that I dodged a bullet!
½ May 26, 2016
Failed attempt at remaking the 1960s TV show.
March 28, 2016
Butchered by studio interference, this maimed version of Chechik take on the 60s classic is oddly fascinating, if bungled. A game cast and good production values are let down by unbalanced tone, a choppy plot and a series of lame, trimmed gags.
March 24, 2016
Saw this a long time ago and it was forgettable.
January 28, 2016
A movie has to be pretty bad for me to give it one star. I'm not one of those people who either loves or hates everything, and everything is either five or one stars. (I hate those people though). Most movies are 2,3, or 4 stars, unless they really and truly stand out. This movie deserves its one star.
January 16, 2016
This was just ridiculous. I had to stop watching
½ January 14, 2016
This was an interesting kind of bad
½ January 11, 2016
Total misfire. The TV series it's based on is still well regarded. This mess is done in by a terrible script, awful pacing, and poor casting decisions. Warner Bros. released this did the year after "Batman & Robin." Yuck.
November 10, 2015
Missed the point of the original TV series. Ralph Fiennes is actually pretty good in this. The great Sean Connery's talent is pretty much wasted. Remade somewhat as Kingsman: The Secret Service.
½ October 26, 2015
Yuck. Not even Sean Connery adds anything.
½ August 31, 2015
What a bloody waste of film, cast and above all characters of Peel and Steed.
August 1, 2015
Uma Thurman looks great. Nothing else much to write about. Another of those movies which thinks that joining random scientific terms in random order makes a sci fi movie.
Skip it.
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