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Home arrow Movies arrow The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

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The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Print
Written by Mike Noel   
Thursday, 08 April 2004
The previews for this movie looked pretty good.  I didn't realize that it was another one of the comic book adaptations that have become so common now.  I guess if I had known that I might have been a bit less
eager to see it. 

The basis for the movie is somewhat interesting but unfortunately the execution was flawed.  Around the turn of the 19th century (1899) several interesting individuals existed as we know now through various
works of fiction.  These were people such as Captain Nemo, Dorian Grey, Alan Quartermain, etc.  These people joined to create the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.  These men (and one woman) act as superheroes to save the world from danger. This movie focuses on one such world-saving exploit.

In this situation there is a madman, known as the Phantom, who is arranging world events to try and bring about the first world war (remember, this is prior to WWI).  This madman runs around by the name The Phantom.  To my untrained, non-superhero eye he looks like a large ape wearing a gaudy fur coat and half a mask.  Later we find out that The Phantom persona is just the real bad guy dressed up in a costume to lure the League into a trap.

The rest of the plot is pretty standard.  The good guys discover the bad guy's plans, thwart them, learn that it was a feint, rush to discover the real evil plan, and thwart that one.  I don't usually mind if a movie plot is standard.  Sometimes it's the way that a story's told that is interesting more than the story itself.

But for League, the way the story was told made it worse.  To start with, the special effects were over-the-top.  They weren't consistent with any world at all or even internally consistent.  Specifically, I didn't like the two reditions of Mr. Hyde.  They were totally cheesy. The Nautilus was overdone.  It was way too big.  I can't see how a submarine that is at least 300 feet long can navigate successfully through the canals of Venice!

And one more thing.  I won't spoil it entirely.  But when the identity of M was revealed the painfully obvious question wasn't ansered?  Where was H?  I mean, if you wanted "extraordinary gentlement" he would be the top of the list.  And that would have been interesting.

I was really hoping for something better but I'm afraid that the movie didn't deliver.  But I'll still give it a "freebie" rating because the basic idea of the story could be interesting.

My rating: freebie

Last Updated ( Thursday, 08 April 2004 )

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