The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003) - Stephen Norrington-Director & Don Murphy-Producer
Viewed on 06 SEP 03    THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN is nothing if not a 19th Century X-Men.   And although it is extraordinarily entertaining, it is hard to understand why.  We have seen all the characters and special effects before: Mr Hyde we have seen as The Hulk, Quartermaine we have seen as Indiana Jones, Nemo we have seen as Sinbad, Skinner we have seen, or rather, not seen as The Invisible Man, and Mina Harker, the vampiress, we have seen the likes of in a dozen other blood-suckers, all just as frightening as she (except Tom Cruise, who, as a vampire, couldn't bite his way out of a wet paper bag...)
After the closing credits, we streamed out of the Emporium SFX theater into the elevator.  A gentleman I'd never seen before said to me, "What a disaster, it was a total flop at the box-office," as though to elicit my concurrence.  I replied, "Wait a minute, you already knew it was a box-office disaster, but you came to see it anyway?  What will you do now, go home, look in the mirror and congratulate yourself?  For some reason, that ended our joint critique of the extraordinarily entertaining 'THE LEAGUE'...  Nevertheless, it can be said that no film, at least of recent vintage, is perfect - and 'THE LEAGUE' is no exception.  When Nemo goes into his private prayer room to worship Mother Kali, and closes the door behind him, it would have been nice to hear a few blood-curdling banshee-wails. Alas, it was not to be.
When you go to a film with as many fantastical characters as THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN, you understand beforehand that it is going to be an adventure-fantasy - the film can't be taken as 'serious' entertainment any more than could Spiderman or Batman.  So if you are in the mood for an adventurous romp through England, Europe and the high seas of the Indian Ocean with some of Literature's freakiest bad-boys, you won't pass this one up. Plenty of plot twists and treachery for everyone.  As mentioned earlier, we have seen all the parts before, just never summed up quite this way.
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