Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

My feelings about TV show revivals are well-documented on this blog, but nothing demonstrates the folly of doing it badly like The Avengers does.

The two leads are disappointing, playing such well-established characters as Steed and Mrs Peel as little more than shallow stereotypes. Jim Broadbent gives Mother the depth of a man trying to save the world, but as a result he's the one who I wound up wanting to see more of.

I found the plot quite lacklustre. Maybe I shouldn't criticise since I found it too hard to really follow. It ended with London a bit damaged and deserted with no thought to any aftermath, a bit like new Doctor Who has every single series. (yep, that's the film's ending on the cover above) Even worse, the climax has Steed doing all the fighting while Mrs Peel... doesn't. We keep cutting back to her on her own just doing some rewiring. Surely a big part of her character's mainstream draw is to see her fighting the bad guys at the end?

But I think I can see what they were trying to do. It's more of a tribute film than anything else, taking as many of the best elements from the original show as the writers could recall, and hoping that they would all stick together into one awesome action movie.

However, despite the weak acting and lacklustre plot, their biggest mistake was the re-use of the characters' names "John Steed" and "Emma Peel". Had the makers just created two new characters names, then they wouldn't have set the film up in competition with the original series, and Patrick Macnee's cameo could actually have been as John Steed. No matter how bad the plot, the film would have been accepted as continuing the legend, like the precedent set by The New Avengers, rather than dooming itself to being just a footnote in it.

Unfortunately, for me at any rate, it was a weak cup of tea. Dreadfully sorry about that.

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