Comic book movies are notoriously difficult to make. It is difficult to remain close to the comic and yet still be original. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is one film that critics are divided over and, as luck would have it, it is an adaption of a comic.
The film centres around a group known as the league of extraordinary gentlemen who are gathered by a mysterious man working for the government known as M at the turn of the 20th century. They are recruited to stop the Phantom, a madman who is trying to start a world war, from attacking a conference of world leaders in Venice. I can’t say too much about the film because the description would just be filled with spoilers.
This is a good film. The premise is great and its nice to see literary characters of the 19th century brought to the screen and brought together in this way. It’s actually quite surreal seeing Tom Sawyer, Alan Quartermain, Mina Harker, Captain Nemo, Mr Hyde and the invisible man on the Nautilus hunting Dorian Gray and professor Moriarty. Its like if Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker and Mark Twain got high and started writing bad jokes. I like the look of the film as well as its characters, however I find that some of th other minor characters are not developed enough. We are never told who the hell Lieutenant Dante is and he is featured in SEVEN different scenes including one where he tries to kill Nemo and Hyde. The invisible guy who tries to kill Sawyer is the same guy who recruited Quartermain in the first place. WE ARE NEVER TOLD THIS. Also the plot holes are just enormous. Why bother destroying Venice if there was no meeting in the first place. The continuity is crap, people disappear between shots clothes move, it’s really pretty awful. Also the effects vary between really good and pretty lame. In one scene we can see pyrotechnic strings attached to people, used to set off sparks to simulate armour being shot. The sea doesn’t move. THE FUCKING WATER STAYS STILL. besides from the many glaring mistakes, I enjoyed this film. It was a decent attempt but to be fair it was severely lacking in decent effects and the plot holes are just enormous. However I quite liked it, if you want a better version of the film then read the novelisation.
Not a great movie but the premise is brilliant: