out of 4
All-Reviews.com Movie/Video Review
The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen
|*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 Susan Granger
1 star out of 4
When a major studio, big-budget action-adventure is as dreary and dismal
as this, it's often interesting to dissect its various elements and discover
what went wrong.
Based on the graphic novel (i.e.: comic book) by Alan Moore and Kevin
O'Neill, the story assembles adventurer Allan Quatermain (Sean Connery), Captain
Nemo (Naseeruddin Shah), "Invisible Man" Rodney Skinner (Tony Curran), Dorian
Gray (Stuart Townsend), Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde (Jason Flemyng), Tom Sawyer (Shane
West), and Mina Harker (Peta Wilson), a Dracula-inspired vampire. It's 1899 when
they're summoned by Britain's Secret Agent M (Richard Roxburgh) to sail to
Venice, Italy, to battle a powerful enemy known only as The Fantom.
While these living legends have colorful reputations, they're uniformly
dull - with the notable exception of Quatermain, who struggles valiantly to turn
the American lad into a surrogate son. Working from a clumsy, confusing,
convoluted script by James Dale Robinson, director Stephen Norrington ("Blade")
seems totally at a loss with how to connect with the actors at his disposal. As
a result, emotional relationships between the misfit characters are
non-existent. And it's impossible to suspect disbelief when the special effects
are this silly. "The Invisible Man" is just an actor in white-face makeup and -
even with a comic book mentality - one cannot conceive how the gigantic
"Nautilus" submarine could skim undetected through the narrow Venetian canals,
nor how everyone is able to drive cars. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10,
"The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" is a ponderous, inconsequential 3. Is it
possible that the vision of producer Don Murphy ("From Hell") was actually to
dumb-down a comic book?
Copyright © 2003 Susan Granger
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