Newest Reviews
Ritual of Evil
Vigilante Diaries
Happy Death Day
You Can't Stop the Murders
Legend of the Mountain
Man: The Polluter
Wolf Warrior II
Journey to the Seventh Planet
Ghost Story, A
Lady in the Lake
Devil at Your Heels, The
Paddington 2
Two Jakes, The
Re: Born
Dracula Sucks
Perfect Weapon, The
Hollywood Babylon
True Legend
Die Laughing
Thor Ragnarok
Killing of a Sacred Deer, The
This Beautiful Fantastic
Monocle, The
Substitute, The
Hallucination Strip
Birth of the Dragon
Revenge of the Pink Panther
Newest Articles
Stop That, It's Silly: The Ends of Monty Python
They're All Messed Up: Night of the Living Dead vs Land of the Dead
The House, Black Magic and an Oily Maniac: 3 from 70s Weird Asia
80s Meet Cute: Something Wild vs Into the Night
Interview with The Unseen Director Gary Sinyor
Wrong Forgotten: Is Troll 2 Still a Thing?
Apocalypse 80s UK: Threads and When the Wind Blows
Movie Flop to Triumphant TV Revival: Twin Peaks and The League of Gentlemen
Driving Force: The Golden Age of American Car Chases
Madness in his Method: Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufman
  Avengers, The Not NeededBuy this film here.
Year: 1998
Director: Jeremiah Chechik
Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Uma Thurman, Sean Connery, Patrick Macnee, Jim Broadbent, Fiona Shaw, Eddie Izzard, Eileen Atkins, John Wood, Carmen Ejogo, Keeley Hawes, Shaun Ryder, Nicholas Woodeson, Michael Godley, Richard Lumsden, Daniel Crowder, Nadim Sawalha
Genre: Action, Science Fiction, Adventure
Rating:  4 (from 2 votes)
Review: John Steed (Ralph Fiennes), an agent with The Ministry, is one of their best men, as shown when he runs their gauntlet of training exercises, managing to avoid the pitfalls and succeed with a not inconsiderable nine out of ten score. But the head of the department, Mother (Jim Broadbent), is concerned that trouble is afoot, so calls on Mrs Emma Peel (Uma Thurman) to meet with Steed at a gentlemen's club for a head to head; intrigued, she takes up this offer and quickly finds herself in an adventure...

While the audience found themselves in something of a confusion, and the filmmakers found themselves in a quandary - what had happened to their movie, which on paper, and even during filming, had seemed like such a sure thing? The answer to that, and reason this was such a flop with audiences and critics and those who decided they had better things to do with their time than watch this, which was just about everbody, apparently resided in a crisis of faith in the project at the studio. Director Jeremiah Chechik found himself taking the blame for the mess that was the recut and reshot results, and never directed another film again.

He found a second career in series television after a long period of inactivity, yet while you could see it was not all his fault, this version of the beloved sixties television show was either aiming for its spirit and missing, or trying to make a more serious reboot for a franchise which never needed that level of grittiness in the first place. If anything, this was more The New Avengers of the seventies in tone, except that had been softened by cold feet at Warners so we could see that it had been more violent, more intense, before the re-editing struck the two hour version. Either the suits were wrong, Chechik was wrong, or the truth lay somewhere in between.

For a film that was thoroughly lambasted, there were nevertheless hints that it had some good ideas before they were swamped with a tone suggesting one of those American sketch shows spoofing a hit they had no real grasp of. Every so often its tourist's idea of what Britain was like hits a target of genuine novelty, so the plot is taken up with Scottish scientist with a not very Scottish name August de Winter (Sean Connery) tackling the British obsession, the weather, not a bad jumping off point in theory, but hard to translate to a quirkfest where the effects were mainly a cold snap, a thunderstorm and a hurricane, nothing really the cast could get to grips with.

Connery was good casting, and apt considering Patrick Macnee's Steed was as much a small screen spy icon as Connery was on the big screen, yet Fiennes and Thurman were miscast, with no sexual tension between them which led to the characters being practically forced to be as intimate as the plot would allow (they even kiss!) where the chaste relationship in the series was far more engaging. The Mother character from the Tara King season is plonked down here with an evil equivalent in Father (Fiona Shaw), and other tone deaf casting concepts included Eddie Izzard as a mute henchman (apart from one groaningly crass line) and Shaun Ryder of all people who is barely introduced before being gunned down by Eileen Atkins. Severe arthritis led Macnee to appear in voice only, and hearing his short scenes only reminds fans of what they preferred about the original as this devolved into a lot of noise, bereft of wit or even much steel. Only the teddy bears and the eerily empty land- and cityscapes pointed to what might have been. Music by Joel McNeely.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 1516 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman

Recent Visitors
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Jason Cook
Paul Shrimpton
  Jony Clark
  The Elix


Last Updated: