The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

2003

Action / Adventure

Synopsis


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Cast

Sean Connery as Allan Quatermain
Stuart Townsend as Dorian Gray
Peta Wilson as Mina Harker
Jason Flemyng as Dr. Henry Jekyll/Edward Hyde
720p
650.84 MB
1280*542
English
PG-13
English
23.976 fps
1hr 50 min
P/S 14 / 40

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Jennifer Keenan 7 / 10

Heavens, it wasn't THAT bad!


I've been reading the comments page in a somewhat bemused fashion. It seems to be divided between people who don't like the movie because it's not enough like the original graphic novel and people who don't like it because they've never heard of half of the characters that are members of the League. The latter seems to me to be an unutterably silly reason for disliking a film. Does nobody read the classics anymore? Nobody reads Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker, Robert Louis Stevenson, Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle? I find that difficult to believe. As to the former--not enough like the graphic novel, in other words--just how in the heck can a screenwriter accommodate the dark and twisted visions of Alan Moore in a two-hour Hollywood movie, anyway?

I don't believe that one can compare anything written by Alan Moore to what ends up on the screen being ostensibly "based on the graphic novel". (The same applies to FROM HELL, which is another one most people pan, and one which I think is under-appreciated even though the style is breathtaking. I don't even want to think about the reaction that will ensue once THE WATCHMEN comes out!)

What seems to have been missed by most people is that this movie is about style as opposed to substance. It's based on a graphic novel. That's a fancy way of saying it's based on a comic book. On that level, the film succeeds admirably. The characters are archetypes of their literary forbears. They aren't supposed to be, strictly speaking, human. Of course the plot is grandiose, impractical, and over-the-top. Hello? Aren't most comic books like that? Good heavens, isn't most of STAR WARS?

I don't claim that this is a masterpiece. I do claim that's it's fun to watch if one approaches it with a willing suspension of disbelief. For a couple of bucks shelled out at the DVD rental shop, it takes one to a different world for close to two hours. On that level, it's worth a rental. It's also worth a rental, once one watches the movie, to listen to the commentary from various actors and to realize just how well these so-called "unknowns" do assorted accents that aren't even close to their own. Plus the golfing anecdotes are amusing. (And I don't even like golfing.)

This ain't CASABLANCA. Nor is it TITANIC, for which I eternally thank the gods. (Now, THERE was an overhyped piece of inaccurate trash that pretended to be history, but I digress.) But it's kind of fun, anyway, as long as one doesn't take it too seriously.

Reviewed by clydestuff 8 / 10

A film that deserved a better fate


Many times film have such bad vibes during production that they are rumored to be a terrible mess before they have a chance to premiere. Some films that suffered this fate during filming were The Godfather and Titanic. Both turned out to be box office bonanzas and the trouble they had making it to the big screen was quickly forgotten. Then there are films like Valley of the Dolls and Myra Breckinridge which were legendary for their on the set squabbles and dissension among cast members. The end product of both of those productions were films that should have won awards for being the ultimate in cinema stinkers. In 2003, we are given The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, which had already become legendary for it's problems between director Stephen Norrington and lead actor Sean Connery. Add to that such disasters as a flood wiping out production in Prague and you have a nation full of critics ready to pounce. And film critics being what they are in not wanting to waste an opportunity, pounce they did making it one of the worst reviewed films in the past year. Add to that the fact that Fox made the mistake of pitting it against Pirates of the Caribbean in it's opening weekend and it you have the makings of a box office disaster. Did League deserve it? No, it's a film that in my opinion is fun, highly watchable, and deserved none of the over the top blasting it took from some critics. Maybe if it had come out after Gigli many would have looked more kindly on it.

League has an extraordinary premise for a fantasy/adventure film. The idea of using legendary figures from literary fiction to combat a madman The Fantom who is out to destroy the world is much more original than the sequel based films such as Tomb Raider and Terminator 3 that we were subjected to this summer. (League is based on a comic book series that I have not read, nor if I had would not use as a comparison.) Our team of intrepid super heroes consists of Alan Quartermain (Sean Connery), Captain Nemo (Naseeruddin Shah), a now vampiress Mina Harker (Peta Wilson), The Invisible Man (Tony Curran), Dorian Gray (Stuart Townsend), Tom Sawyer (Shane West) and Dr Jekyll/Mr. Hyde (Jason Flyming). The cast does an excellent job of bringing each character to life. Connery has been highly criticized for his portrayal of Quartermain, but for those who cannot appreciate his presence I suggest you try watching Richard Chamberlain in the same role in his two films. That'll teach you. Peta Wilson gives Mina Harker a strong seductive personality that reeks of sexual tension. Stuart Townsend manages to make Dorian Gray the most watchable of the characters by surrounding the character in an aura filled with flair and Mystery. Jason Flyming brings a new characterization of a tormented Dr. Jekyll, who as Mr. Hyde is transformed into a creature Bruce Banner would be proud of. Shane West exudes a boyish charm as Tom Sawyer befitting his character. Though seldom seen except in covering makeup, Tony Curran manages to give the Invisible Man an unmistakable personality. If there was a flaw in the casting I would have to say it was Shah as Captain Nemo. His characterization is for the most part one note and empty, devoid of personality.

The story moves along at a nice even pace. It quickly introduces the characters so that we are able to get to know their personalities, then moves ahead with the action. Writer James Robinson and director Norrington make equal use of each of the characters abilities so that none of their talents are wasted. The production design, set decoration and art direction are all top notch, giving us a dark and brooding turn of the century look we haven't seen before. There are the usual minor plot holes and flaws one could find if they took the time to study this film, but films like this weren't made for film class. For that you watch Citizen Kane. Films like League are made for an audience to have a good time while loading up on the popcorn and soda and nothing more. And I did have a good time. After the critical blasting League took in the press I steered clear of it for quite a while. Fortunately, several months later, I gave it a chance and am certainly glad I did. I suggest you do the same.

My Grade B



Reviewed by realteng 5 / 10

An underestimated but very interesting movie


This movie was badly criticised by many critics and fans... I don't believe that the movie's quality was 'low', but i detect two reasons:

1. 'what? automobiles, submarines, rockets, tanks, automatic rifles, explosions that sank Venice? all those in 1899? no way!'

OK, those people maybe don't know that the movie is based on a comic book!! The comic book is fantasy, it is in an alternate Jules-Verne-like universe where all fiction was real... That book (and this movie) belong to the genre 'Steampunk', a movement that is interested in presenting an alternate Victorian age with an extra-evolved steam driven science that never actually existed. IF you read the comic you will see that: a bridge that connects England and France, technology made by Tesla and Edison, zeppelins, airships, anti-gravity devices... some of these are indeed mentioned in science fiction works of that time, and since the comic is set in that kind of universe, then all these are real.

The book (and the movie) don't want to convince you that these events actually happened in 1899. The movie doesn't want to tell you that Venice was half-sunk by an explosion and was later rebuilt. It is just another universe, an alternate reality... it's fantasy!

there have been some Steampunk movies, and were never considered serious: for example Van Helsing and Wild Wild West. They were too much, too unreal... but if you accept that they happen in a Steampunk universe you will enjoy them

(i suggest you make a search for 'Steampunk' online.. Wikipedia is a good start)

now to the other reason

2. 'LXG is not faithful to the comic book'

no, it wasn't but they didn't want to adapt THE book into a movie! can someone who watched Spiderman 2 tell me on WHICH issue of the spiderman comic book series that movie was adapted?

Spiderman 1 and 2, (and all the comic-book movies) are not trying to adapt a certain issue of the Spidey series into a movie: they try to compress some events and characters from Spidey's universe and present them combined on screen

i don't think that LXG was less faithful to the comic book than Spiderman or Batman were to their respective originals... LXG wanted to tell a story that happened in a universe similar to that of the 'League' comic book, not a certain story of the series..

i hope that if all could understand this, they would enjoy this movie as it really should be enjoyed

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