The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

Year: 
2003
Rated: 
PG-13
Genre: 
Comic Adaptation
Director: 
Stephen Norrington
Writer(s): 
Alan Moore
Actor(s): 
Sean Connery
Stuart Townsend
Jason Flemyng
Tony Curran
Peta Wilson
Runtime: 
110
Review: 

As my best friend said, this movie should have been called "The League of Extraordinary Shittiness."

Before you get your panties in a wad - no, I haven't read the graphic novel, so that's not why it sucks. It sucks because...it just sucks. There's no plot to speak of - the best I could come up with is that the League has to prevent the villain from blowing up Venice, but that doesn't even make sense. Half of Venice gets blown up anyway, yet they declare their mission a success? The partying crowds of Venice cheer at their accomplishment - I guess they haven't noticed that half of Venice is underwater.

I can't complain about the preposterous "technologies" in the movie as being anachronistic - because that's not the biggest problem. The biggest problem is that they don't mesh with geography, physics or even reality. The "nemomobile" - while possible, was just silly looking - and why did it need six wheels? It was also irrelevant - there aren't even any fucking streets in Venice - THAT'S WHY THEY HAVE CANALS! The tank - maybe that was possible....but Nemo's ship? What the ever-living-fuck was that all about? A sword shaped ship/submarine with sonar? It was cool looking and all, but somehow I doubt that the design was seaworthy. And I know for fucking sure it would not fit in the canals - Venice's deepest canal, the Grand Canal, is only 13 feet at its deepest point. Even if the canals were fifty feet deep, that submarine wouldn't fit in the canals vertically, horizontally or from any direction. I'm not even going to talk about that little exploration ball that popped out of the side of the ship. We don't even have anything that technologically advanced NOW. I know all the 'toys' were supposed to add to the coolness of the film - but they didn't they just irritated me.

Sean Connery starred as himself, uh I mean Allan Quatermain. It was fitting actually, since Indiana Jones is a bastardized version of Quatermain and Connery is Indy's Daddy. Jason Flemyng was also rather good as Jekyll/Hyde...all in all, the cast was pretty good, with the notable exception of that little twerp who played Tom Sawyer. He bugged every time he came onscreen. Couldn't they have gotten Billy the Kid instead? I love me some Billy the Kid.

As for the characterizations - I don't know what to think. I don't know much about Allan Quatermain or Captain Nemo, so I can't comment on their characters. I understand the copyright issues behind the Invisible Man, is character was done very well, in spite of that. But what the fuck was going on with the rest of them? In what universe can vampires walk around in the sunlight? Mina was roaming around with no sunblock. Dorian Gray...when did he become immortal? I read the book an awfully long time ago - 11th Grade English - but I think I would remember if he was completely and utterly immortal. And I personally think that he would have been more likely to hit on Tom Sawyer than Mina Harker. Truthfully, the only character that I think was done really well was Jekyll, even if Hyde looked a bit too much like the Hulk's little brother.

I did watch the 'making of' featurettes on the DVD, which actually gave me a little more respect for the film. What I thought was bad CGI turned out to be models. I also figured that Hyde was really good CGI...but it turned out to be a foam suit - go figure.

Somehow, my husband really liked the film. He even said it was better than Spider-Man. What the fuck is up with that? At least we could both agree that it was better than The Hulk.

My more comic savvy friends insist that Alan Moore's comic book, er, graphic novel is really first rate stuff. I'll have to check it out and forget about this silly piece of tripe.

 

"My dear girl, I've buried two wives and many lovers...and I'm in no mood for more of either." - Allan Quatermain (Sean Connery)