The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Review by Ross Anthony

Comparisons with this and the earlier "X-Men" feature film are no doubt common, as both sport a cast of quirky super-humans. Regarding entertainment value, I find this film somewhere between the X-Mens ('Mens' looks funny). I loved the first X-Men, but wasn't so impressed with the second.

League takes to the screen with another group of altruistic (somewhat human) super heroes. Banding them together is the fun part, with Sean Connery (the most human hero) more or less chaperoning audiences through the production. This human element makes accepting a vampire, an invisible guy, an unkillable artsy type, Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, etc., more palatable to those more inclined to love movies than comic books. To that bunch add the token American, Sawyer (no doubt a play on Tom Sawyer). I've been told his inclusion is purely a movie decision and he's nowhere to be found in the graphic novel.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Overall, the film is quite enjoyable, never too serious about itself, always in it for the fun and adventure, up for a good sideways compliment and dry humorous line. Seldom, if never, dull; League endures two or three harsh cuts, I suspect chunks of the film may be on the editing room floor. This may explain an almost indecipherable climax moment.

Original and fresh, out of the gates with strong Sean Connery type strength, and solid action, the film splinters a bit on the whole and undermines itself with a rather cliche (let's go blow up the bad guy's den) wind up. Could have been an 'A' film with a better third act. As is ... a mighty 'B+.'

Though Townsend plays Gray with grace, would have liked to see Depp in that part -- and Pitt as Sawyer. Oh, and tremendous art direction (sort of a "Wild Wild West" verve) -- Kudos!

Interesting bit from the production notes:
"Ironically, the submarine set suffered the greatest damage during the catastrophic floods that struck Prague in early August. Water levels reached more than 20 feet high in the warehouse that held the set, destroying virtually everything inside. Garnering headlines across the world, and prompting Sean Connery to make a TV plea for assistance on behalf of the beleaguered city, the flood was the worst to strike Prague in more than 130 years, and was estimated to be its second or third worst flood in 1000 years. Dozens of cast members and crew had to be relocated, most in the middle of the night.

  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Copyright © 2003.
  • Starring Sean Connery, Naseeruddin Shah, Peta Wilson, Tony Curran, Stuart Townsend, Shane West, Jason Flemyng, Richard Roxburgh, Max Ryan, Tome Goodman-Hill.
  • Directed by Stephen Norrington.
  • Screenplay by James Dale Robinson.
  • Based on the comic books by Alan Moore & Kevin O'Neill.
  • Produced by Don Murphy, Trevor Albert at 20th Cent Fox/Mediastream III.


Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit: RossAnthony.com

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:04:46 PDT