The Avengers (1998)

avengers poster 1998 movie uma thurman ralph fiennes sean connery
3.5 Overall Score
Story: 2/10
Acting: 4/10
Visuals: 4/10

Some interesting visuals

Tone never established, interesting visuals are counteracted by bad visuals

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Avengers

Studio:  JW Productions

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  August 14, 1998

MPAA Rating:  PG-13


Not drinking tea would be uncivilized

Someone is working against the Ministry…and it appears to be framing Emma Peel (Uma Thurman).  Now Uma is teamed with agent John Steed (Ralph Fiennes) to prove herself innocent and expose the real villain to Mother (Jim Broadbent) and Father (Fiona Shaw).  The trail leads to Wonderland Weather and a man named August De Wynter (Sean Connery) who might have a plan of his own…and a secret ally.

Directed by Jeremiah S. Chechik, The Avengers is a big screen adaptation of the classic BBC series which ran from 1961 to 1969.  The movie struggled during filming and suffered major edits.  It was released to poor reviews and poor box office returns.  The movie won a Razzie for Worst Remake or Sequel with nominations for Worst Picture, Worst Director, Worst Screenplay, Worst Actor (Ralph Fiennes), Worst Actress (Uma Thurman), Worst Supporting Actor (Sean Connery), Worst Original Song, and Worst Screen Couple (Thurman and Fiennes).


Today is the day the Teddy Bears have their Business Meeting!

When the original series The Avengers would air, I was always excited as a kid and thought it was going to be Marvel’s Avengers…then to discover it was a weird British couple fighting crime with ease.  Despite this, there was something interesting about the suave couple.

The Avengers takes that intrigue, British style, and detached crimefighting…and ruins it.  The problem is that the original series was a weird balance of James Bond-esque spy thrills and that British humor that is so tricky that it can’t be found very easy.  Add to this a horrible, cut-up plot that doesn’t make any sense and you have a movie that was destined to fail.


My name is Winter and I control the weather…get it? Irony!

The actors obviously don’t know how to handle the script.  Uma Thurman kind of muddles her way through Emma Peel’s style and poise, and Ralph Fiennes just doesn’t have that prim-and-proper style that Patrick Mcnee had in the original series.  The movie was such a bad experience for Sean Connery (combined with the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) that he ended up retiring from acting.  Fiona Shaw and Jim Broadbent take the role of Father and Mother, and Eddie Izzard plays one of Connery’s henchmen.  Original star Patrick Macnee plays an invisible man (the actor suffered from arthritis) in his last screen appearance but original Emma Peel star Diana Rigg turned down an offer to appear in the film.


Bubbles…the only way to travel

The visuals of the movie also are rather schizophrenic.  I get what they were going for, but it just didn’t work (the old series plus a bit of a Prisoner feel).  The movie uses an old style of looks (giant teddy bears and told style tech), but it also used high tech aspects.  The movie should have picked one style and it could have really established itself visually instead of being half Austin Powers and half Mission:  Impossible.

The Avengers is a movie that could have been a lot of fun but instead is a hard to follow chore.  It is one of the movies that probably could not have been saved, but it feels like the script needed an editor and some decisions made before putting it to film.  With a budget over $50,000,000, you think Hollywood would think more before going all in…but time after time that is proven not to be true.  The Avengers is another example of this.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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