The Avengers (1998) Review

Sir August De Wynter: Nothing is impossible, only mathematically improbable.

Beware: Spoilers may follow.  

Today we’re going to talk about The Avengers. Ah yes Marvel’s first big team up that closed one door and—wait this is not the movie and I’ve already done it *voice whispers*. Huh? This is the Avengers? From 1998? Okay, this Avengers is actually based off a 1960s TV series (Marvel’s Avengers is actually called Avengers Assemble in the UK to avoid confusion). Now while I’ve never seen much of it, from what I’ve heard it’s a pretty good series. The same cannot be said for this movie regardless of whether or not how close it is to its source material.  

The story involves evil genius Sir August De Wynter (Sean Connery) who discovers a way to harness weather through a machine and plans to utilize it as a weapon against London and the rest of the world. Thus secret agents John Steed (Ralph Fiennes) and Emma Peel (Uma Thurman) are on the case to stop them. Things get worse when Peel is framed in the sabotage of a government science experiment. Thus Steed and Peel work together to clear the latter’s name while trying to stop Sir August.  

Despite being a movie called The Avengers our heroes are never called that nor are they even avenging anything. But even with that the main problem is that the movie is BORING. There’s little to no passion or energy into this world they’ve created nor the characters they’ve crafted. I think one of the oddest thing that can be remembered from this movie is Sean Connery’s character along with a bunch other peopl in teddy bear costumes in attempt to hide his evil plans and his team. And even that is just pure shock value from all the blandness that’s in this movie. A fight scene breaks out in the process and yet throughout all of this, everyone treats it as if it’s completely normal fighting a people in bear costumes. The agency our heroes work for is led by a man named Mother (Jim Broadbent) and his supervisor, a woman named father (Fiona Shaw). There’s an invisible man who works in archives. Not one person in the room points out that so much of this might be a little bit stupid.  

Ralph Fiennes and Uma Thurman have done good work in plenty of other things but man the writing for this movie really wastes their talents. Their flirtatious banter is only based around a dull joke of them both being polite, a barrage of puns, and innuendos. And it certainly doesn’t help that the two have a complete utter lack of chemistry and that the both of them just sound bored in every scene. And Uma Thurman’s British accent definitely left a lot to be desired But by far the biggest failure goes to Sean Connery as the villain. The man’s certainly done good work in the past but man does he feel downright embarrassing and unfocused here.  

The problem with the Avengers is that its ideas are certainly out there and could be exciting but it has no interest in its own ludicrousness and instead opts for sheer dullness throughout its story and characters. Its ridiculousness is something I doubt would please fans of the show and anything outside of it is dull and thus it winds up pleasing no audience. Let’s just say you’ll have a far better time watching these guys duke it out against an alien army in New York.