Random Nonsense

The Avengers (the 1998 version, not the new super hero one....though that is probably also going to suck)
harkovast at 7:56AM, Nov. 30, 2010
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
In the 1960's, everything was cool.
It is widely accepted that this was the coolest time in all of recorded human history.
The focus for global coolness was (at this time) Britain.
And what could be cooler than too sexy spies in 1960's Britain, battling to defeat the forces of evil, while trading quips and outrageous levels of sexual tension?

This is why The Avengers was so cool.

John Steed and Emma Peel were secret agents taking on an onslaught of ridiculous plans and diabolical schemes
It was cheesy as all hell, unashamedly so, and there in lay the charm.
The series was, camp, fun, sexy and (as you may already have gathered) cool!
It was also pretty ahead of its time in that Emma Peel was not a shrinking violet or damsel in distress, but an equal to steed. She was super smart and also able to kick ass when ever necessary!

And then Hollywood did a remake….

Now I don't want to stereotype Americans…but sometimes it seems like American movie makers/ tv executives decide to remake something without really understanding (or indeed giving a shit about) what they are trying to recreate.
Also, the movie has the terrible sense of being set in Britain, but made by Americans.
Again, I dont mean that as an attack on Americans, but speaking as someone who live in Britain the country these characters seemed to inhabit bore no relation to any country or culture I have ever encountered.
The people making the film clearly had some ideas relating to British “reserve” and “stiff upper lip” which they seem to have interpreted to mean that Britain is populated by a race of robot people, who have purged all emotion!
The characters don't behave like people, but cold automatons, spouting flat, stupid dialogue at each other from their expressionless faces.
After watching Peel and Steed for a while I started to feel desperate for for SOMEONE to express a fucking emotion!
I couldn't relate to these characters any more than I could relate to the Daleks on Doctor Who! (Hell, at least the Daleks are angry, which is some kind of emotion!)
These two heroic blocks of ice are up against Sean Connery, who thankfully does manage to express some emotion and I guess raise an ironic laugh here and there by putting in one of the worst performances of his long career (and he was in Zardoz!)
Yes, laughing at Sean Connery in a kilt threatening world leaders was a highlight by this films standards, anything to get me away from the soulless androids that appear to inhabit this version of Britain.
Look at this picture-

Look at their faces, do you see that thing they're doing?
It's called smiling!
The Avengers tv show made being a spy seem fun! The characters were funny and playful and clearly having a great time saving the city/country/world on a regular basis.
This is what made it all so charming.
Instead with have Ralph Fiennes (the only man who thinks Ralph is pronounced Wraith) playing Steed as if he has been deep frozen and lobotomised, teaming up with Uma Thurman who is straining so hard to keep her English accent together that she has no energy left to attempt any actual acting.
The characters also CONSTANTLY offer each other cups of tea.
They cant go a single scene without the offer of tea.
No exaggeration.
If this review was modelled after the movie, I would have made at least 3 asides to ask if you wanted a cup of tea by this point.
Yes, British people drink a lot of tea, well fucking done! What a great cultural insight this film offers.
Why don't we make a film about America where every ten minutes the characters offer each other cheese burgers, cause everyone knows Americans eat a lot of cheeseburgers! Or a film about Germany where the characters stop a couple of times a scene for Sauerkrout? After all, those Germans eat a lot of Sauerkrout! Wow, its like you are really over there, isn't it? Or does that just sound like ignorant, boarderline racist stupidity? Welcome to this movies portrayal of Britain.

Editing is something that, when its done well, you don't notice at all.
It is only when it is done badly that it becomes screamingly obvious.
The Avengers was originally 150 minutes long but in an attempt to make the zombie characters seem less boring it was then edited down to 89 minutes.
Now removing over an hour of footage from this film was probably a good idea, but sadly the other 89 minutes were not removed as well.
This left us with a movie that makes almost no sense whatsoever.
You can sort of piece together what is happening, more or less.
Sean Connery has a weather machine that he is using to hold the world to ransom. (He actually seems to mainly use it for destroying literally every single landmark in London, showing once again that the authors of this film learned everything they know about the UK from a London tourist guide.)
The movie struggles to explain this simple premise to an almost mind boggling extent.
Let me give a couple of examples.
A perfect (but evil) clone of Ema Peel is created by the bad guys.
I am not entirely sure why, and she never really does anything. This continued to the point that for a lot of the movie I was unclear if there really was a clone or not.
Lets just recap that.
A main character has an EVIL CLONE but thats not really important to the main story line.
Words…fail me.

Another example-
Early in the film Sean Connery meets with his evil council of evil (who are all dressed as Teddy Bears…don't ask). He asks if any of them want to quit his evil scheme and two raise their hands and so he kills them.
So far, so cliche. It is stupid shit, but it makes a dumb kind of predictable sense.
The teddy bear characters do not appear in the movie again until just before the final battle where all their dead bodies are laid around Sean Connery's evil layer.
Why? What was the point of that? Why didn't he just kill them all at the first meeting? Why kill two of them and then kill the rest later? Especially when the rest of them had agreed to help him, why kill his own allies? Is this meant to make him seem more evil? More insane? Or maybe make the movie just seem more shitty (I know where the smart money is!) These characters are introduced, do nothing, don't appear through out the film till the end when their bodies are discovered.
This is, without exaggeration, the worst editing I have ever seen in any film ever!
It is like editing via combine harvester!

This movie manages to both piss all over the source material, show total ignorance of the country it is meant to be set in AND manages to fuck up even the most basic concepts of film making.
The characters are lifeless, the writing terrible, the special effects cheap looking and the story equal parts unimaginative and confusing.

Let me leave you with one final funny observation about this shit storm.
They caste the comedian Eddie Izzard as Sean Connery's henchman.
Izzard is a fantastic comedian, known for his witty observations and quick witted, semi-improvised style.
Who better to play a character who never speaks?
No seriously, they caste Eddie fucking Izzard as a SILENT character!
Perhaps the edited out hour featured Megan Fox doing all her scenes in a Burka?

Some movies almost set out like they are trying to bomb.
If that was the case here, then this movie was a roaring success, hitting its goal perfectly.

But on the bright side, at least we still have the original show, which remains as great as ever.
Now if you will excuse me, I am going to grab my brolly and my bowler and go back to watching The Avengers as they should be!

For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
metabad at 1:57PM, Nov. 30, 2010
posts: 33
joined: 1-6-2006
The characters also CONSTANTLY offer each other cups of tea.
They cant go a single scene without the offer of tea.
No exaggeration.
If this review was modelled after the movie, I would have made at least 3 asides to ask if you wanted a cup of tea by this point.
Yes, British people drink a lot of tea, well fucking done! What a great cultural insight this film offers.

But no matter what the score, when the clock strikes four…everything stops for tea!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
Canuovea at 3:15PM, Nov. 30, 2010
posts: 287
joined: 6-25-2010
What? Of course the British offer each other tea all the time! It's a part of their national identity! What else would they do? The can't very much offer milkshakes can they?!

Saying the British don't offer people tea all the time is like saying Native Americans aren't all savage tree huggers that act all mystical all the time!

Or that Canadians don't keep all their streets clean and live in Igloos! (Wait a minute… if they live in igloos, how can they have stree… hmm)

Or that Germans aren't all efficient democracy haters who must bow to authority!

Or that the French aren't rude and impossible to govern!

Or that Russians aren't all crazy!


Yeah. Enough of that.

That movie sounds like complete shit. It really really does. And, know what? I tend to agree about how many American movies miss the point, particularly if they're remakes (but don't get me wrong, there are a great many good ones, just the bad ones… eck).

Now, I didn't see the Eddie Murphy (I think it's him) remake of Death at a Funeral, but my goodness did the trailers look… bad. Completely bungling it. The British version was subtle, collected, patient, quiet, and absolutely hilarious. I didn't get anything like that from the new one…

Maybe that reflects a kind of general cultural style. I dunno. After mocking stereotypes I should be careful what I say though, eh?

Now, I must be off to my Iceversity where I will learn about American history… I'm still trying to wrap my head around the idea of solid ground and warm climates though.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM

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