Howdy people of the north, south, east and west, and welcome to Day #9 of Month of Superhero Film Reviews 2! During this month I’ll be reviewing of some of the best, average and worst comic book adapted films. Today I’m going to be talking about The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
Ah The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, I remember this film well. I remember seeing this in the cinema back in 2003 and I really liked it, I thought it was a bizarre and intriguing kind of teaming up of unconventional heroes in a cool time period. I only found out about the hatred for the film a good few years later. Before this year I hadn’t seen this film for ages, so was curious to see how it holds up in this modern superhero film world.
The story can be summed up as the following:
“It’s 1899 and ‘The Fantom’ is trying to start a World War. The job of preventing this from occurring is given to Allan Quatermain. During the briefing with ‘M’, Quatermain discovers that he will be working alongside a host of various characters, from the Invisible Man and Captain Nemo to Dorian Gray and Dr. Henry Jekyll). Together, they are the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.”
The story is decent, but does have a great deal of flaws. For me the film felt a little generic, cliché and underdeveloped. Certain plot points you can see coming miles away, things happen and never get an explained and there are certain illogical situations brought on thanks to the questionable script which allows a lot of the characters to say or do things that make you wan to roll your eyes. Now I’ve seen this film a good few times since I was in my early teens and while I still find it entertaining, the problems with plot and character development have become more apparent.
Now let’s talk about the cast. Sean Connery as Allan Quatermain is fine, the character seems pretty interesting and cool from the way people talk about him and his legendary actions, but only on a few occasions does he show off any of his skills or gives insight into his former life. Naseeruddin Shah as Captain Nemo is the best, Nemo has poise, good wit, is a team player and a great sense of style too. It also helps that he has an awesome submarine and can kick ass with a sword. Jason Flemyng is another person who fares well as Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, I like how the film addresses the struggle between Jekyll and Hyde and Flemyng does a good job at portraying both personalities. I just wish Hyde’s design wasn’t so bulky. Tony Curran as Rodney Skinner is cool, he’s mysterious but primarily around for humour purposes and he’s quite charming and funny. Peta Wilson as Mina Harker is beautiful and deadly, but was a little over the top with her performance. The same could be said for Stuart Townsend as Dorian Gray who can be cool at times and other times he can be really cheesy and Shane West as Tom Sawyer is fine if a bit bland. And finally Richard Roxburgh as the Fantom/M he was okay but wasn’t too threatening or scary.
Now let’s talk about the presentation. Visually the film is pretty good, there are some cool action scenes, good use of CGI and there’s good lighting too. That being said in the action scenes I wasn’t too keen on how quick cut the editing was and how the action kept switching from one person to the other without allowing the scenes to be shown in their entirety. Also the CGI while it looks good for its time and great for stuff like the Nautilus, other times it can look fake and blurry. As for the soundtrack by Trevor Jones it has some decent moments when the music is fueling the action scenes but overall it’s a bit forgettable.
And lastly how does it compare to the comics? Well I’ve never read the original Alan Moore material, but from what I’ve heard and researched, this film was not a very good representation of the source material and that is one of the main reasons why people give this film a lot of its criticism.
So to conclude The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, is a decent film and I still find enjoyable in watching it. There are problems with this film and that mainly comes from the lack of development for the characters, story and the formation of the team, it’s the Avengers done wrong. I’m looking forward to the reboot and hopefully that’ll be a better adaptation than this film.
That’s 9 reviews done, only 21 more to go. So have you seen The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and if so what are your thoughts on it? Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts yo! Come back tomorrow and I’ll have a new film review online, until then peace out!