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The Avengers Mass Market Paperback – July 1, 1998
This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
From the Inside Flap
Starring Ralph Fiennes as the indomitable Mr. Steed and Uma Thurman as the sexy but deadly Mrs. Peel, The Avengers combines a duo of sophistication, ruthlessness and grit with a healthy dose of humor. The premise; these two British operatives plan to stop evil aristocrat Sean Connery from succeeding with his diabolical plan...to control the weather and take over the world!
Top customer reviews
One big complaint against the film, and it's a completely justifiable one, is that it doesn't make sense. Granted it was never meant to be realistic and at times it's downright surrealistic but the movie, as released by Warner Brothers, was cut from 115 minutes to 89. Most of the cuts involve a prologue that explains why there are 2 Mrs Peels and why Sean Connery's character behaves the way that he does. Additional references to Shakespeare's THE TEMPEST are missing as well as some minor character motivation leaving the final story abrupt, choppy, and confusing thus insuring its dismal reception. Clips of these missing scenes can be found in the film's trailer.
All of the cut material is here in Julie Kaewert's novelization which makes for fascinating reading. Not only are all the inconsistencies explained but the characters have a lot more depth and background. Quotes from Shakespeare's TEMPEST open each chapter and the droll dialogue that was a hallmark of the old TV show is on full display. Most critics complained that Ralph Fiennes and Uma Thurman weren't like Patrick MacNee and Diana Rigg. Well duh, but then they shouldn't have to be. Nevertheless the Warner Brothers top brass panicked and had the film drastically and haphazardly edited before dumping it into theaters.
The filmmakers did a courageous but foolhardy thing. They created a completely rebooted movie for an audience unfamiliar with the TV show. We are introduced to Steed and Emma Peel as if they are new characters just setting out together. Their developing relationship along with the interesting plot twists are what made the movie for me along with Sean Connery's droll portrayal of the principal villain. The 3 principals (especially Connery) and the director were justifiably pissed off at all the cuts that were made. I keep hoping a director's cut of the original 115 minute version will ultimately surface but until then this paperback will just have to do.