Cool Britannia, an era of the late 90s when loving Britain was the peak of fashion. Everything that celebrates the Sceptred isles past and its future was in. In 1998, at the height of this trend, a British institution saw its adaptation to the big screen. After more than 28 years apart, a crime-fighting team finally reassembled, that team was The Avengers.
Secret agent for The Ministry John Stead is tasked by The Ministry’s chief scientists have gone missing and the satellite network has been causing meteorological mayhem in the U.K. Prime suspect in the satellite’s sabotage Dr. Emma Peel is also called in to lend a hand, but when she is seen acting out of the ordinary and contrary to the mission, doubts are doubly raised over whose side she’s on. Regardless the two must embark on an adventure across Britain before the country and the world faces a permanent cold snap.
The film is well aware that it is not to be taking seriously and takes full licence to explore its style Pastiche of the ‘60s. Similar to the contemporary era James Bond (so much so that even the intro and title theme is reminiscent of Brosnan era James Bond), The Avengers is trope savvy and throws an abundance of references to its clued-in audience, ultimately poking fun in a celebratory way. Some things remain the same Steed still looks dapper in his trademark bowler hat and the theme song is still incredibly catchy to this day.
Uma Thurman and Ralph Fiennes are a fine dynamic duo, exchanging a lot of quips and delightful witty banter, that’s loaded with entendre-driven sexually-charged back and forths, that just makes you wonder how they actually manage to squeeze in any time saving the day? Former Bond, Sean Connery, plays a worthy villain one who is maniacally obsessed with the weather even down to his name, Sir August De Winter. Veteran of the screen, Jim Broadbent is also well suited as his role as Mother, the patriarchal leader of The Ministry. As some of you may have noticed even the character names are puns and jokes, giving the whole experience a charming vibe that is humorously juxtaposed against the Hollywood-style explosions, brawls, and assassin pensioners.
The Avengers is plain and simply fun, a cheeky Union Jack-soaked spy adventure that has the lightest of hearts and its tongue firmly in its cheek. It will make you smile and keep you firmly entertained as armour-plated double-decker command centres drive through the streets of London, and an evil organisation concoct schemes dressed as colourful teddy bears in order to protect their privacy. The Avengers is a silly good time and is not just for her majesty’s secret service.
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