The Avengers (1998)

(On VHS, May 2000) Take your usual James Bond template. Insert surrealism. Mix Well. Insert more surrealism. Mix even harder. Never mind if crucial pieces fly outside the bowl as you stir. That’s The Avengers for you; a film that will drive you crazy if you’re not ready for its weirdness and still expect something coherent. Essential parts of the plot were cut in the editing room, leading to big Huh?s such as “how now, brown cow” and a choppy narrative. But amusing images pop up here and there -the teddy bear meeting!-, raising the overall level of the film to something akin to guilty enjoyment. It doesn’t help, after the oddball nature of the rest of the film, if the conclusion is completely ordinary in spy-adventure terms. Still, The Avengers is worth a look, if not a thought.

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