Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Uma Thurman, Sean Connery
Director: Jeremiah S. Chechik
Running Time: 89 mins
The Avengers is an American film, based on the 1960s TV show, about a secret British spy organisation, and its top two agents, John Steed and Emma Peel, who must work together to foil an evil scientist’s plot to destroy the earth by taking control of the weather.
This film makes absolutely no sense. In fact, it’s an all-round pretty lame attempt at making a decent James Bond-ish spy movie, with very tame action, largely very poor performances and one of the worst put together plots I’ve ever seen, that made watching and understanding this completely impossible.
I’ll start with that idea, about the totally incoherent plot. Luckily, the first half an hour of the film isn’t that bad, because there isn’t really much of a story going on, but there’s nothing to get confused by, so you can enjoy that part of the film as a simple campy spy flick.
However, when this film comes to establishing its main story line, everything falls apart. You’d think it’d be easy to follow along to because it’s a generic Bond plot, but the editing and structure of the plot is so messy and jagged that you can’t ever understand what’s really going on.
For example, there’s a part of this film where our heroes go to confront the main bad guy, and yet the find that when they arrive there, one of them has been cloned! Following this, there’s all this sort of assumption that the viewer has seen and understood why this random cloning has happened, so it just carries on as normal, without ever bothering to explain why anything is happening.
Away from the horrific plot, the performances here are also surprisingly bad. With the exception of Ralph Fiennes, who pulls of a super suave secret spy pretty well, Sean Connery is awfully plain as the villain and Uma Thurman is horrifically melodramatic in her role as Emma Peel in a performance as bad as her turn one year before this in Batman & Robin.
As well as that, for a spy film, this film is really low on decent action. There’s no doubt that there’s a hell of a lot of fighting going on, but with the exception of the very first scene, which is actually quite entertaining and exciting, the rest of the action is so dull and impossible to understand or get excited about, making this film not only completely incoherent, but painfully boring as well, so that’s why it gets a 3.8 from me.