Note: Mr. Cranky did not see this film. Usually, studios will offer previewscreenings of upcoming releases to allow film critics enough time to get a review to press. However, studios will often decline to screen movies like "Critters 4" because, well, what's the point? Occasionally, studio executives with a big-budget bomb ticking in their hands (such as "Godzilla") will try to dodge the preview screening in a desperate attempt to recoup at least some of their losses from the poor ignoramuses who wander in the door on opening weekend. Such would seem to be Warner Brothers' strategy with "The Avengers." This annoys Mr. Cranky. Since I shouldn't have to take this kind of disrespect (and neither should you), I've done what any good reporter at the Boston Globe would do, I just made the shit up. Hey, Warner Brothers -- avenge this:
"The strengths of the show are also the strengths of our script -- its lightness and wit."
-- Ralph Fiennes
"When I read the script, I found something charming about it and was impressed by its sophistication."
-- Uma Thurman
"Hey, five bucks says if I dropped another million in Ralph's and Uma's bank accounts I could get them to beat the crap out of some Lupus orphans."
-- Mr. Cranky
"The Avengers" opens on a cold night in London as a light snowfall gently dusts the palm trees and sandy beaches along the Thames. In this marginal remake of the marginal television series, Ralph plays John Steed to Uma's Emma Peel as the two team up to take on Sean Connery's dastardly Sir August De Wynter (or, if you prefer, "the Evil Bond"). We soon see what the Evil Bond is capable of as he corners Emma Peel in his cabana and introduces her to his friend Oprah Winfrey. That's right, it's then twenty straight minutes of Evil Bond shouting "Emma, Oprah! Oprah, Emma!" over the cabana music until the Space Gorgons arrive to battle John Steed for galactic domination in the night skies above.
It turns out that De Wynter is after the advanced technology which the Space Gorgons (voices by Gilbert Gottfried) bring to Earth -- specifically, the "prostotron," which allows the Space Gorgons to seize upon an enemy's prostate gland and swing him bodily around their heads until amused Gorgon onlookers collapse into gales of their distinctive high-pitched laughter. Through a leap in exploratory camera technology not seen since "Titanic," we witness in excruciating detail the terrifying tool as it probes anus after anus in search of its bulbous target.
Only one man stands in the way of De Wynter's plan to team up with the Space Gorgons and rule the world: John Steed. A masterful balloon pilot, Steeds thwarts the Space Gorgons' aerial attack during a rather impressive musical number, forcing Evil Bond to steal Emma away to his secret lair in suburban Cleveland. Steed pursues, and soon comes face-to-face with the Evil Bond. However, the two are able to resolve their differences via rational conversation and a mutual appreciation for the music of Michael Bolton. Evil Bond turns himself in to the Cleveland Heights Police while Steed makes off with Emma to Niagara Falls.
Steed and Emma's climactic consummation, however, is disrupted in a scene borrowed from "The Crying Game" as Emma takes off her skin-tight leatherette to reveal a thick rug of chest hair and a twenty-foot, coiled penis with a mind of its own which sucks Steed's brain out through his nostrils.
Truly, don't miss it.
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