by Adam Miller
I've developed a bad habit of watching movies in the middle afternoon after long, restless nights and thus falling asleep halfway through them. Of course it doesn't help that the recent slew of movies have been painfully dull.
That's really the problem with THE AVENGERS. I haven't seen the original series, but from what I've read it was a spy show that delivered all of its scenes with a nod and a wink. It knew it was having a good time with itself. This incarnation of the show tries to capture that, I guess, but fails pretty miserably. The banter between Uma Thurman and Ralph Fiennes is painfully awkward. It's so muddled that I'm not even sure if I should blame the script or the actors. Both, probably. If Thurman and Fiennes are eternally restrained even in the face of grave danger, Sean Connery, as the evil August de Wynter (one of the dumbest name-puns I've ever seen) is stupidly over the top. "Rain or shine, all is mine!" He quips.
Actually, that particular line reveals another glaring problem with the film: the lingering suspicion that most of it was left on the cutting-room floor (what an overused phrase that is). For example, Connery and Fiennes are doing battle (by this I mean hitting each other with a cane and an umbrella respectively) in a hedge maze when Connery utters the above battle cry. At this point Fiennes' umbrella goes flying up into the air. The camera tracks it as it descend to Earth. Fiennes catches it and… Connery has disappeared. Where the hell did he go? And why did he leave instead of just killing the unarmed Fiennes right then and there. No explanation is made whatsoever and I'm left to assume that what explanation there was got cut.
Add to this a barrage of idiotic puns about macaroons and mother, a plot to take over the world by controlling the weather, and an infamous scene of bad guys dressed up like giant Teddy Bears at a conference table, and you have THE AVENGERS.