Written by / 6/07/2012 / No comments / , , , ,

THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN

year: 2003 cast: Sean Connery rating: **


Sean Connery had such a difficult time that he never appeared in another movie again (if you don’t count voice-over work).

Perhaps it's that his character, Allan Quatermain, the famous pulp journeyman who traipsed throughout Africa in search of fortune and adventure, is all but forgotten once the story’s underway.

Like THE AVENGERS later on, we have a collection of “superbeings” but from various literary works: these include Oscar Wilde’s never-aging Dorian Grey; Jonathan Harker’s wife Nina from Bram Stoker’s Dracula; the Invisible Man; Dr. Jekyll /Mr. Hyde; and the only American on board, a teenage Tom Sawyer.

Let’s not forget the bearded/brooding Captain Nemo, whose supercharged submarine provides a much too easy means of transportation from one place to the next. Unfortunately there are only a few locations and the fight scenes are rushed. A few times the camera moves ahead of the action to show what’s in store, deleting any suspense of what our heroes will face. That being the villainous Moriarity from the Sherlock Holmes strata whose goal is to – like any comic book tale – take over the whole damn world.

The movie begins alright. As the league assembles after a giant war machine – far ahead of its time in 1899 – destroys a warehouse (with splendid special effects) we’re ready for action. Connery’s tough-aged Quartemain has had a life full of trouble and he’s up for more – but other than giving Tom Sawyer lessons on sharpshooting, his input is lost and he never seems in charge.

Jekyll transformation into Hyde is reminiscent of The Hulk; the Marvel superhero is a duplicate of this double-edged beast. He’s a cool “ringer” and one of the best players; who doesn’t like seeing a monster destroy stuff with ranging ferocity?

Dorian Grey has dark secrets as does Nina Harker and both have an interesting Gothic attraction to each other. But overall there are too many characters on board and without a real struggle, at least not an intriguing one to make each individual prove their worth.

And the real question is: if Nemo’s submarine is so amazing, what’s the big deal about the antagonist's war machine? Perhaps these gentleman (and woman) had it a little too easy.
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