Time: 89 mins.
Genre: Action Adventure
Never having seen the television show upon which this film is based, I truly had no preconceived notions about what to expect from this experience except quality. How a cast of this caliber could be so blind to the giant plot holes in this story is a mystery that will never be solved. It seems like they just used a story from the series and stretched it out to fill an hour and a half. Not a good basis since I'm sure the series wasn't all that complicated to begin with. I was pretty excited during the opening credits, which had great visual design and a cool score. After all, the movie stars two of cinema's sexiest and talented actors. Plus, a fairly competent beauty. I once thought I could sit through anything either Fiennes or Connery made because they are so charismatic. Never again.
The plot can be summed up in one sentence: Disgruntled, weather-obsessed rich man (Sir August de Winter played by Connery) threatens to take over the world with his weather machine, while our heroes, Steed and Emma Peel, try to stop him. That's pretty much it. There's never any doubt who's behind the drastic weather changes, so our heroes don't really have much to do except try to apprehend him. Since they know where he lives, there's no mystery to be solved. How terribly hard could it be for two super agents to catch an aging eccentric? Sure, he commands the weather, but it's nothing Londoners aren't used to.
The story attempts to be more complicated than it is, by throwing in a silly twist that implies Mrs. Peel is in cahoots with de Winter. If it were actually true, it would have added some degree of character definition, but alas that's not meant to be. An invisible colleague of Steed's (yes, I said invisible) reveals that de Winter was in charge of a cloning program years earlier, but was fired from the project when all he produced was three-headed goats. I'm not kidding. We are left to assume he got better at it, creating an evil Emma, but this is never fully explained. Another intriguing element left to whither by the wayside.