The Nitpicker's Guide to The Avengers
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The Avengers (Movie)
August 14, 1998

Produced by Jerry Weintraub
Written by Don MacPherson
Directed by Jeremiah Chechik


Plot Summary

When the main lab for the Prospero Project, Britain's attempt to build a defensive "weather shield", is blown up, the Project's lead scientist, Dr. Emma Peel (Uma Thurman), is the chief suspect. But Mother (Jim Broadbent), head of "The Ministry", decides to give her a chance to prove her innocence by teaming her up with The Ministy's top agent, John Steed (Ralph Fiennes). Together Steed and Emma uncover a diabolical plot by a former Ministry man, Sir August deWynter (Sean Connery), to take over the world using a weather-controlling machine that is made up of stolen Prospero technology.

My Thoughts

While I do believe there is definite room for improvement, this film was not nearly as bad as everyone makes it out to be. The sets, locations, and special effects were excellent, and the supporting cast (including Broadbent, Fiona Shaw, Eddie Izzard, and Eileen Atkins) was outstanding as well. The biggest problem was that, just prior to release, Warner Bros. chopped about 25-30 minutes of footage from the movie leaving it somewhat hard to follow for those who had not previously read the novel (as I had done). Also, the film did not really seem to be Jerry Weintraub's vision of the series, but rather his attempt to recreate the vision of the original series. Different elements of the plot seem to be lifted straight from a number of different episodes, as follows...

"Madman attempting to take over the world with a weather-controlling machine"
   - A Surfeit of H0

"The English Village Target Range"
   - Target

"Boodle's Gentlemens' Club"
   - The Outside-In Man

"Mother's office aboard a double-decker bus cruising the streets of London"
   - False Witness

Continuity & Production Problems

Mother needs a new dandruff shampoo. During his early scenes in the movie, (before his trip outside in the snow), white flakes can be seen on the shoulders of his jacket.

When talking to Emma, Steed identifies B.R.O.L.L.Y. as the "British Royal Organisation for Lasting Liquid Years", but a freeze-frame of the logo of the map he finds later at Wonderland Weather reads "British Organisation for Lasting Liquid Years".

In the establishing shot prior to Sir August's appearance at the World Council of Ministers, a large blizzard blows in over the building and the sky darkens. Yet while Sir August is walking through the room speaking, a bright sunny day can be seen through the windows.

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