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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.
This is a pretty good adventure romp. Set at the turn of the previous
century the 'League of Gentlemen' cast are freaks from contemporaneous
literature drawn together to ward off a world war.
The film is a straightforward 3-acter (three big action sequences). There's extensive and largely successful use of greenscreen in order to create grand backdrops and effects. More inventive is the in-shot costuming, gadgetry and vehicles.
Sean Connery leads capably as a Indiana Jones-style adventurer. The supporting cast are OK - I particularly enjoyed Naseeruddin Shah's Captain Nemo - if shackled by a cringeworthy script. The first third of the film is exposition-as-dialogue and there are many exchanges designed for a target, younger audience (although there are some very frightening incidents, again along the lines of Indiana Jones). But it's good clean fun and never deserved the critical drubbing it got on its release. 6/10
This film is not exactly a critic's darling, so I went into it with no
expectations at all, thus I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. It
everything you would expect from a good comics adaptation: Interesting
characters, great locations, flashy action scenes, one-liners and cool
villains to boot(the identity of the true villains turns out only late in
the movie, so I won't spoil the fun for you).
In fact, the film shared a lot with this year's - at least for me - somewhat overrated X-Men United: Character relationships (the Dr. Jeckyl/Mr. Hyde-character undergoes the same emotional turmoil as Nightcrawler did), the Nautilus standing in as a victorian/aquatic version of the X-Jet and the finale, with the heroes subverting the villain's fortress - each contributing his/her special skills - recalled the ending of that film. I found LXG a more compact, focused version of that movie. Certainly the makers of LXG didn't copy that film, since both movies were made basically at the same time.
My point is: I think LXG took such harsh critical trashing, because the filmmakers were messing around with the literal origins of it's characters (Opening the same week-end as Pirates of the Caribbean didn't help much, either).
It's a comic book movie that takes fictional creations of the late 19th century, reduces their complex motivations and character traits to a minimum in order to make them acceptable action-figures for the Spiderman - X-Man-Generation. To me, an unquestioning movie fan, this was part of the fun, but I can understand why more literal-minded viewers were turned off by this. The film exposes itself as an easy target for critics: "Hey, why is Dorian Gray not as deep as he was in Wilde's novel" ? "Hey, Mr. Hyde had nothing to do with the Murders in the Rue Morgue" - and so on. Believe me: Would these characters have been made up by the screenwriters, this film would have been hailed as an origial spin on the comic-movie genre. LXG doesn't pretend to be more than it is - a fun, acion-packed ride - it's only mistake is that it takes along characters we are too familiar with, thus can't accept as X-Men-like cartoon figures. You'll only have fun with this film if you approach it with an open mind: If you can acceppt Cpt. Nemo, Mina Harker and Mr. Hyde as victorian incarnations of Prof. X, Storm and Nightcrawler, you'll have a helluva time, otherwise stay away
This is a good action movie. No, the plot isn't excessively deep and most of the premise is somewhat old fashion. But as a simple action movie with some great, great generated graphics I think it is one of the best so far this summer. I was vastly disappointed in "The Hulk" because of the lame acting and the graphics. This one was visually pleasing and well put together. All in all, this was a very good movie for us "Action Junkies."
The idea is good, the characters sound good (at least on paper), and thats
as good as it gets. The missing elements are plot, story, direction and the
most important, special effects.
I am appaled to see that the special effects of this movie are not even par with disney animations!
I still give it an overall B.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I watch an awful lot of movies, and I seek awful movies as well because they often have interesting ideas behind them.
This is one of the worst films I have seen all year, and one of the most interesting ideas.
I was really impressed with how `From Hell' was put together: its notion of a story of a storyteller telling a story about stories. Depp understands this. Absynthe uniquely accelerates this. All the rest was just the mechanics of film knocking around.
It was with anticipation that I went into the theater this time: This time, we were to have a similar additional layer: a fiction involving fictions, and different kinds of fiction!
The characters here a come from radically different literary traditions: reflection, meta- narrative, games with the reader, games with the world, games with the manner of telling. These are not just different people, they represent wholly different words, different ways of inventing the world in your mind.
Think of the possibilities. Lynch played a game of two worlds fighting in `Blue Velvet,' Greenaway did with `Cook, Thief,' dePalma in `Femme Fatale.' But they involved just two forms of imagination. Here we have five! (not counting Sawyer - he or Huck represents a legitimate six type of literature, but that's not why he is here). This could have been something truly astounding, as cinematic as `Hulk,' and as intellectual as 'Bladerunner.'
Alas. Sean Connery ruins every project he has been in since he began to believe he knows something. He consistently fights the director, stays outside of his vision, avoids collaboration with other actors to seek a groove, and has no patience for cultivating a rhythm among scenes. This is just a bunch of movie parts, jumbled together, some of them fertilized but not washed off.
Real movie buffs owe themselves the pleasure of imagining what this could have been, especially if you know something about Mycroft Holmes, who invents the world by logical meditation.
No actor here survives embarrassment except Peta. I do not know her, but am told she worked in a TeeVee copy of the US copy of the French (actually Dutch) `Nikita.' She has an easy job, since of all the characters hers is the most entrenched in cinematic metaphors, and breathy sex is always easy. But at least she found her character: redhead.
Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 4: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.
Im a huge movie fan. I've seen maybe 3000 movies in my life (voted on
450 on IMDb at this moment) and this movie is one of the worst movies
I've ever seen. Sure it has some good/talented actors, and some good
SFX/CGI (from time to time) but the story is just... DUMB! I've never
read the novel it's based upon, but I guess it must be a novel for
small children, so I can't really say if it is any better or worse than
the book. But I can imagine that they are both extremely repulsive to
any sane adult.
"But it's imaginative" you might say. Yes, imagination is good, without it we wouldn't enjoy any books/movies at all, and I have a huge imagination myself. But at some undefined point, imagination fades into stupidity and later insanity/delusion. And "the League" has greatly passed this undefined point and gone straight through the roof of insanity/delusion. Even after a few minutes watching the movie I was thinking: "What the heck is this?", and later on me and the people I watched it with where starting to ask ourselves if this movie was a joke and "when will the real movie start?". Sitting there in the sofa I twisted myself in agony for a little over an hour before I had to shut the movie down - I just couldn't watch anymore of it.
Any, I repeat: ANY, 7 year old could come up with a better story/better characters than this commercial. I can't see how people see the author of the novel as a "brilliant person". What exactly is so brilliant about stealing characters from other novels, and mix them together in a chaotic and dumb story. Ladies and gentlemen, "The League" is THE prime example of commercial Hollywood stupidity - Don't watch this it!
I think LXG is a very cool concept for a movie. Bringing a handful of Victorian Era characters together into one movie. Instead of having one key character why not have seven characters that play an equally important role. I remember the last movie that had a handful of key characters. Hmmmm Can you say Lord of the Rings? That seemed to do well with the public. LXG spells sequel regardless if it flopped in the box office or not. Overall "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" is a very good movie with a twist in the middle and a typical superhero plot of saving the planet from world domination. Very cool special effects as well. I rated this movie a ten.
"The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" got such punishing reviews when
it was released in the summer of 2003 that it took me two years to
finally get around to watching it. And I must say that, now, having
seen it, I can't understand what all the fuss was about. This is a
perfectly serviceable big budget action movie as such things go - not
much better, but certainly no worse, than half a dozen similar movies
released that summer (it's actually less bloated than the far more
popular "Pirates of the Caribbean" which inexplicably garnered rave
reviews and sailed off with boatloads of money).
It's 1899, the dawn of a new century, one in which all the old weapons of war are fast becoming obsolete and are giving way to far more lethal implements of mass destruction - machine guns, armored tanks, submarines and mega-explosives - all capable of killing far greater numbers of people than was ever thought possible before. Enter the Fantom (sic), a mysterious villain bent on using all this quickly developing technology to wage a global war with himself as commanding general. To counter this, a man named "M" gathers together a group of characters culled from 19th Century literary sources - among them Captain Nemo, The Invisible Man, Dorian Gray, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, even Tom Sawyer! - to do battle against the menace.
Although the script could have done a better job fleshing out the characters and making them more intriguing and distinct as individuals, the film has a couple of interesting plot twists and enough high-tech hardware to keep us entertained, if not exactly enthralled, through most of its running time. The movie is breezily paced and the screenplay has a fun time tossing around a lot of "in" jokes for those in the audience familiar with the literary backgrounds of these various characters.
Sean Connery leads the cast as Allan Quartermain, an aging adventurer contentedly wiling away his golden years in Africa, until he is called back into the queen's service at this critical juncture in the empire's - and the world's - history. Naseeruddin Shah, Peta Wilson, Tony Curran, Stuart Townsend, Shane West, Jason Flemyng and Richard Roxburgh round out the rest of the cast.
There really isn't anything that "extraordinary" about this "League," but if you happen to run across this film on cable some long, lonely night, you may find it passable for an evening's entertainment.
Last night I watched LXG on HBO. Big mistake.
Two reasons: I'd read the graphic novel, and my IQ is over 73.
Just seconds into the film I was already shaking my head. Both in small details and large, they'd managed to completely botch the job. Painful dialog. Embarrassing special effects. Incredibly annoying characters. A script obviously written with dull-witted seven-year-old boys in mind.
I'm trying to envision the Hollywood idiots who sat around a conference table and destroyed Alan Moore's witty and intelligent graphic novel. But then I cringe, because by all accounts Sean Connery was one of them. He must be quite a bit dumber than I had hoped.
I can't remember which scene first made me say "Good lord, that's even worse than I dreamed possible!", but I know I said it more than once.
Oh, and "Venice". I've been to Venice, and Senator, that's no Venice. The one thing EVERYONE in the world knows is that Venice has no streets, only canals! So what do they do? Have a car racing all over huge, completely non-existent streets in Venice.
Why? What were they thinking?
So many other things to insult the viewer. A "graveyard" in Venice. The enormous Nautilus cruising easily though canals that in the real world aren't 1/100th wide or deep enough to fit it. I can't go on. It's just too awful.
Do yourself a huge favor and read the graphic novel instead of seeing this turkey.
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