"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 is an extraordinary bore.
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