The Avengers movie from 1998 has absolutely nothing at all to do with the Avengers movie from 2012, which may be why they also call it 'The Marvel Avengers'. It takes place in a different country. Features an entirely different cast, and though there is one guy hiding in the archives - invisible since the 'tragic accident', there are no people with superpowers. Just so you know. In case you were planning on watching this thinking it was an earlier rendition of the same thing as *hrmph* I was.
There are however people who are doing strange things to the weather - like Gods, controlling lethal metal bees and cloning female doctors. In ways it reminds me of a James Bond spin-off, in ways it makes me feel like it's supposed to be a parody (though it's really not), yet in other ways it makes me feel like it had the potential to be one of the greatest action sci-fi adventures ever made! But it didn't.
Could it be the overly polite, fake yet equally charming and well-worded main characters (played by Ralph Fiennes and Uma Thurman)? Or could it be the mixture between special effects and what seems to be at times incredibly expensive high-budget props and locales - that doesn't fully bridge the gap to the next-level spec-gen effects of the following centuries? It could be the parodical elements too, like the Father and Mother figures leading the investigation... though in a way they're both made for the milieu where the movie takes place, as is everyone else in the cast.
The props and architecture of the movie are parts that make this movie worth watching though, even in regard to the not-always-extremely-captivating plot. The sceneries can be beautiful: the castle, the chandeliers, the maze, the rooftops, the industrial expos, that green field that stretches out to the dawn of infinity... it's a varied and serene combination of obvious stages, open landscapes and expensive both old and new close quarters. These things, combined with props such as the collection of glass domes, cars and interior design - and the fascinating weather effects - make me feel like this movie had a huge budget. Everything about this movie reeks huge budget - even the actors - but in the end there is something about the script that makes it fall short of masterful. It's a pleasant adventure - exciting, enticing, intriguing and fascinating even! But in the end, it's just not quite my cup of tea.
rated 3/5: not bad