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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have to admit - I'm a fan of Alan Moore's, but I've managed to miss reading the books for one reason or another. I'm also sure that the books are better in their storytelling and plot than the movie is. That said, I think this is a fairly good popcorn movie - strong action scenes, some good jokes, etc. Having been an English major in college and having read my fair share of Victorian works, I would say that the movie does a wonderful job inhabiting the non-fictional world with fictional characters.
The possible sequel threads that can be pull from this are remarkable. After all, if Nemo is alive, it is possible to see his island base from Verne's "Mysterious Island," Fogg was mentioned circling the world in 80 days, there can be trips attempted to the moon, the Victorian utopias that were created at the time could be visited...etc. And, let us not forget, that if Moriarty was the bad guy in this, are Sherlock or Mycroft Holmes (now that's a character to do a study of drug addiction with) too far behind?
Norrington, as a directors, was better with "Blade" than he was here. I think he was given a better script for that movie, however. I also suspect he really didn't put his heart into it at places (except in Africa - he did some very nice shooting there). Again, all of that being said, he surprised me with what he managed to do with the movie (just as he did with "Blade") and exceed my expectations.
I think a solid 8.0 out of 10 is well-deserved here. Hopefully any sequels will fulfill the promise that isn't completely fulfilled here...go and see it with a friend and eat some popcorn. This is a good summer action flick - but don't expect high art.
I think this was a terrific movie! It was definitely not "artistic,"
I heard Sean Connery was constantly fighting about the artistic "flow" or
something, lol. No, it was purely an escape film. I was highly
entertained. There was plenty of action, humor, a tiny shot of romance
(real romance would have been severely misplaced), visual stunners, eye
candy (Connery, of course, and Shane West...even though they're a *cough*
couple of generations apart), and more. There was a lot going on and not
whole lot of plot, but the fast pace was refreshing. The substance was in
the attention to detail, subtle humor, and terrific performances.
My main complaint is the invisible man...he just didn't seem to fit in really. He definitely had his moments, and seemed to be purely for comic relief, which worked fairly well. Of course they had to make the jester a hero, but hey, that's why it's called an escape. The other complaint is the often hokey dialogue. I mean really..."I've lived long enough to see the future become a past..." (or something similar--yes I'm paraphrasing). That's not original criticism, I also saw that in newspaper review, but it's definitely not the only example. I'm just not particularly good at remembering exact dialogue.
All in all, a movie worth seeing. If you're not too excited about it, wait for the video, but the visual aspect of the movie (impressive wide shots, the huge "ship") is enough for me to recommend plunking down the $6.50 (or whatever) and going to the theater. Just sneak in some homemade brownies and a juice box. :-P
Having heard about the movie League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, I
rushed to get the graphic novel, which I must say is one of the most
intelligent graphic novels ever written. So you can understand that my
expectations were high when the film came out.
My initial impressions when I first saw this were fanboy appreciation. However, 8 years onwards, I catch myself thinking: "What the heck were you thinking?"
Let's start with casting. The perfect: Connery as Quartermain (though the original drug addicted Quartermain would have made the film more interesting), and Shah as Nemo. The rest of the cast is plain forgettable.
As for the story, I initially was a proponent for completely following the graphic novel word for word, until I saw Watchmen, and was disappointed. However, that being said, I wanted something more challenging in the script, especially if you are going to turn a complex graphic novel to the screen. Instead, the story is dull and straightforward. There were many counts of spelling out of inferences in this film, insulting the viewer. As for the action, in hindsight, it was really "Americanized" with all the wild gadgets and explosions--plain boring. Basically, if you saw "Van Helsing", you've seen the action.
My recommendation? One watch is OK. It does get trite. But for all those Alan Moore fanboys, dump it, and just appreciate his graphic novels. It will be hard to bring any Alan Moore movie successfully to screen.
Sean Connery's best performance or rather, best role in quite some time in my opinion. I've been waiting for him to return to his no nonsense action roles. This film wasn't the best film I've ever seen, but one of the better ones I've seen this summer. Though i'm not familiar with the graphic novel this is based on, I do know they added Tom Sawyer into the movie to add an american touch. This didn't really hurt or help the movie much though. Overall a good summer action flick with some classic Connery. ... gotta love the invisible man (skinner). :)
For the life of me, I haven't been able to understand why this film has
so many detractors. For the record, I love this film. I'll go into why
later. However, I would like to correct the misconception that people
who like such-films are devoid of brain activity. When I watch a movie,
I look for one thing pure, unadulterated ENTERTAINMENT. And LXG is
exactly that. Sure, we all like to be intellectual at times with
heavy-going films, but if you're looking to escape from the real world
and not going to wonder about the quintessence of life, this movie is
What's not to love in this movie? For starters, the pace is brisk and the audience is treated to a bizarre but intriguing array of characters. The characters start off with palpable mistrust of one another, but as the movie progresses and when the true traitor is revealed, they (with the exception of Dorian Gray) gradually develop a sense of understanding and camaraderie between one another, which was very well done. I have to say that while the pace and SFX of this movie were fabulous, the movie's unifying element was the remarkable Sean Connery as the hunter Alan Quatermain, who curiously enough, only seems to get better with age! He was at turns heroic, jaded, eccentric, aloof and vulnerable at once, delivering his lines in his trademark voice with panache and depth. He held the movie together with his incredible presence and charisma. Quatermain later takes Shane West's Tom Sawyer character under his wing and this gives the movie its added poignancy and warmth.
West also gave a great turn as the immensely likable and courageous Tom Sawyer, the American spy with the lopsided grin, hip swagger and impulsive shooting approach. In fact, the cast all delivered great performances as their respective characters. Jason Flemyng as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde also presented a nuanced performance as the conflicted Dr. Jekyll. By the way, this is the best movie depiction of Mr. Hyde so far (especially if you compare him with the awful one in Van Helsing). Stuart Townsend was also annoyingly dandified and convincingly incorrigible as the beautiful but damned Dorian Gray. I did have some reservations about Peta Wilson initially, who played Mina Harker, but she ahem, bit into her role with relish and her electrifying eyes truly gave off the bloodthirsty air of a vampire. Equally delightful were Naseeruddin Shah as the mysterious but loyal Captain Nemo and Tony Curran as Rodney Skinner, the irreverent invisible man.
All in all, this was, and is, a fun and extremely enjoyable movie. Don't know if anyone realized, but there are certain great movies that can only be watched ONCE. However, there are others that can be rewatched about a million times. LXG is a perfect example of the latter. Watch it often enough and its multitude of hilarious and memorable lines will soon be making their way into your everyday speech. Well, at least that's what happened to me. I still feel as excited during the action bits as I did when I first watched it. So check it out! It's pure escape. And pure entertainment.
This is not a great film, but 'The League of Extrordinary Gentlemen' is packed full of action. It's the type of film that you can go to the cinema to watch and get caught up in the action, fantasy, and adventure. The alliance and the cast of unusual characters in this alliance help the story, and it has pretty much everything the fan of fantasy-adventure or superhero films could ever want in a film. There were a few problems with this film, and I had trouble with some of the realism. For example, the Nautilus could never travel down the grand canal in Venice because it is too large, and the Grand Canal in Venice is really not very large, and it's got bridges across it. Despite this problem and similar ones, it's not a bad film. It's fun, and it was worth a couple of hours and dollars to watch.
LXG (as the logo on the promotional posters for this movie would have
it) is a serious attempt at bringing an interesting and unusual concept
from the comics to the silver screen. It ain't "Spider-Man" or "X-Men",
nor does it try to be, because the attitude and atmosphere come from an
entirely different sensibility. I think that's perhaps why the film met
with such mixed reactions; the strength of your favorable reaction to
LXG probably is in direct proportion to your enthusiasm for
nostalgia-based entertainment and Victorian-era story telling
conventions. And for the mindset of Alan Moore, one of today's most
eccentric and unusual graphic story authors (only Neil Gaiman comes
Screenwriter James Robinson originally gained a measure of fame and a fan following for his skillful revival of the obscure DC comics character "Starman". What distinguished "Starman" (besides wonderfully atmospheric pencils from Tony Harris) was that Robinson used the character (who was an antiques enthusiast and son of the original "Starman") as a way to make the entire series a tribute to how 'cool' and under-rated the original DC characters from the 40's and 50's really were, and could still be to modern readers if only they were given modern production values and a fresh viewing. It seems to me that Robinson was therefore a good choice to adapt Moore's 19th century heroic archetypes to the 21st century movie screen.
The results? Well...they're mixed. But I am not sure an 'unmixed' adaptation would be possible, so I count my blessings.
Purists will no doubt be irritated by the inclusion of Tom Sawyer and Dorian Gray, and by the decision to turn Mina into an actual vampiress. But I didn't have a problem with it, since I realized that the producers wanted American audiences to have someone to identify with, as well as opportunities to punch up the visuals with CGI. And Sean Connery's version of Allan Q is far more vigorous and adventuresome than the frail, elderly, opium-addicted fellow of the comics, so I am all for that too.
I've heard a lot of comments that the movie simply taxes the credulity of the audience, that there are too many plot holes, inconsistencies and "oh sure" moments. To which I reply: It's a movie about Victorian superheroes! It's set in an alternate FANTASY universe! What did you EXPECT??"
But the real problem is that there are simply too many characters doing too many things, and the viewer never really gets a chance to know or care about any of them...and the plot may test the patience of some people,even fans of "Steampunk" style fantasies. And let's face it, unlike "Spider-Man" and "X-Men" (and "Fantastic Four" later), the movie is pretty cold and emotionless. But I'm OK with that as well...these characters were straight out of the pulps and adventure magazines of the day, and "warm and fuzzy" was never their strong suit...or their appeal.
The director and the actors give it a serious, professional try - the acting is what it needs to be to get the characters across as Moore - or even Robert Louis Stevenson - originally intended, and everyone gets some good lines in. (My favorite is Mina's snarky mockery of Allan Q's "A Chase such as this is no place for a woman, even one such as yourself.")
LXG is one of the movies I will pick up as a used DVD for $5-$6 and watch on occasion with a glass or two of Watney's Red Barrel firmly clenched in my hand. It isn't perfect, but it's fun to look at and it's fun to watch unfold.
I've got to say. I'm a fan of the mystic adventure movies..and this was
definitely one of them.Like Van Helsing,it had something special in it.
To the last commenter: You must be bored all the time if you can't
enjoy films because your IQ is 76 or something. And actually..Venice
has streets...yes..i've walked on them.Not many streets but it has
streets.Maybe you should go back if you can't remember things like
that. I really think that people should not demand things from films
they could never make themselves. And please...you could go see your
psychological dramas if you want...and be as boring as you like with
your HUGE IQ.
Well,i'm just gona enjoy little things because those are the ones that make life worth living.And "League" is gona be one of them.
I really enjoyed LXG, mainly due to the fact that I am a huge fan of James Bond films, and this is probably the nearest Sean Connery will ever come to making a proper Bond film. You could imagine Seans younger 007 growing older and becoming very similar to Allan Quatermain, the character he plays here. OK it may be slightly silly to see a 72 year old man getting into fist fights and generally running around like Connery did in films like From Russia With Love, but to me thats all part of the fun, and I would much prefer to see Sean do films like this than the likes of Finding Forrester or Rising Sun. Also the rest of the cast are great too, especially Peta Wilson who is absolutely stunning. Shane West does well as Tom Sawyer when you consider his character seems to be tacked on ( which it was ), he should have a t-shirt with Token American on it. Jason Fleming is OK too, although I thought his Hyde was way OTT. I must admit the only thing that put me off this film was that it reminded me slightly of Wild Wild West, a film I thought was very poor. Would love to see a sequel to this but it seems unlikely as it wasn't the huge success it could have been.
I must confess to be a comic to film anorak. i hadn't read the comic of this one but what a great couple of hours. it is also the first boys own movie that i know a lot of women enjoy. the cast is inspired from the very enigmatic (Sean Connery and Stuart Townsend) to the unusual choices for Nemo and Mina Harker. The whole idea behind it was fascinating and gives them so much scope for a whole series of leagues from varying points throughout history. the effects on Skinner are breathtaking and the CGI for MR Hyde was awesome. not sure what the rating for this film is but i bet my 10 year old daughter and 8 year old nephew would love it.
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