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The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen

movie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen

Starring: Sean Connery, Stuart Townsend
Director: Stephen Norrington
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 112 Minutes
Release Date: July 2003
Genres: Action, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

*Also starring: Peta Wilson, Shane West, James Babson, Tony Curran, Jason Flemyng, Tom Goodman-Hill, Richard Roxburgh, David Hemmings, Max Ryan, Naseeruddin Shah, San Shella

Review by Steve Rhodes
1 star out of 4

"The Empire is in peril!" in THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN. The movie is in peril too, being anything but extraordinary.

The clunky and constantly confusing script sets the action in 1899 as a collection of literary figures are rounded up to battle a megalomaniac known as The Fantom, who is out to start a world war in order to set off a global arms race in which he will be the arms merchant. The movie is an H.G. Wells take-off, written blandly and badly by James Robinson and based on the graphic novels by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill. I have no idea who the target audience is supposed to be for this lumbering movie starring Sean Connery as Allan Quartermain, Naseeruddin Shah as Captain Nemo, Peta Wilson as Mina Harker, Tony Curran as an invisible man named Rodney Skinner, Stuart Townsend as Dorian Gray, Shane West as Tom Sawyer and Jason Flemyng as Dr. Henry Jekyll/Mr. Edward Hyde. The movie never takes the time to develop any of the characters since it is too busy showing off its special effects, which they cloak in darkness in the hopes that you won't notice how atrocious they are.

The worst of the characters is Mr. Hyde, who looks like a non-green reject for The Hulk. Video games have better drawn images than Mr. Hyde.

In a film this miserable it's hard to pick out a favorite ridiculous moment, but I have to mention one. If you were an invisible man, would you sneak into Connery's bedroom and miss dropping by the gorgeous Wilson's? Well, that's exactly what Skinner does.


THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN runs a long 1:52. It is rated PG-13 for "intense sequences of fantasy violence, language and innuendo" and would be acceptable for kids around 9 and up.

My son Jeffrey, age 14, gave it **, saying that he liked Connery and the ideas behind the plot but found the twists needlessly confusing. He complained that the film assumed too much prior knowledge to work, and he questioned what the target demographics for this movie could be.

Copyright 2003 Steve Rhodes

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