Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of fantasy violence, language and innuendo.
Directed By: Stephen Norrington
Written By: Alan Moore and Kevin ONeill
Staring: Sean Connery, Stuart Townsend, Peta Wilson, Tony Curran, Shane West, Nasseruddin Shah, Jason Flemying, Max Ryan, and Richard Roxburgh
You’re sweet… and you’re young. Neither are traits that I hold in high regard. -Mina Harker
A League of Extraordinary Gentlemen was anything but extraordinary. When the trailer for this film hit the theatre it was a big deal, and unfortunately after viewing it I required a cold shower. What seemed like a very fun and original idea was spoiled by a story that simply didn’t translate from paper to the big screen.
The visuals included amazing special effects that offered a dark almost Sin City version of the Victorian Age. The films weak storyline left you more than enough time to view just about everything to the point of being bored with it. If thus much time had been spent on each of these interesting character’s literary or comic book back rounds, especially for those viewing with fresh eyes, perhaps it wouldn’t have become such a source of frustration. Their histories remained that as they were only briefly explored and then promptly ignored for a variety of action sequences and scenes that often contradicted each other and had no sense of logic behind them.
In a Victorian Era slightly different than our own a maniacal madman that goes by the name “The Fantom” is using his technological prowess to engineer a World War. “M” recruits a team of extraordinary characters, some with superpowers and some famous adventurers to battle their evil foe. The team includes Allan Quatermain, a adventurer who leads the team, Captain Nemo, Rodney Spinner aka The Invisible Man, Mina Harker a vampire, American Secret Service Agent Tom Sawyer, Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hyde, and Dorian Gray. It’s a group that is used to working alone, but now they must find a way to battle together in order to save Venice, Italy from a catastrophic explosion that will sink the entire city.
There were no awful performances nor stand-out performances. Connery was strong as Quatarmain and played it well enough, along with his supporting cast, but the script and lost plot seemed to do little for any reasonably stand out performance anyway. The most intriguing character was Dorian and he seemed to be given the most time to really develop himself, and that made his performance more engaging.
Perhaps my feelings of distaste for League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen wouldn’t have as strong if not for the high expectations the film set it self up for. Upon a viewing with no expectations it would have come across as meaningless and fun enough to pass the time, but that was not the case. It was one of the greater disappointments of the year predominantly because it had so many possibilities and was put together but such a talented group of people. Instead, it became a inconsequential super-hero movie that was no more extraordinary than any other motion picture that has flopped. Only because of the smooth special effects and extraordinary character’s do I deem it One Star out of Four.
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