The comic book, the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, follows
a group of questionable heroes led by scientist Mina Harker. The writer,
Alan Moore successfully incorporated literary heroes such as Captain
Nemo, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde with the Invisible Man, adventurer Alan
Quartermain and immortal Dorian Gray. The result became what is known
as the first association of superheroes due to the late 19th century
setting. The comic book became and is a cult classic whose sales will
no doubtedly increase thanks to widespread exposure that will be generated
by the film.
The new blockbuster film by the same name and noted in trades
as LXG has the same characters but with slight alterations. Mina
Harker is now not only a scientist but a vampire due to a romance
with an infamous Transylvanian. She also is no longer the leader
of the group. That role is claimed by Alan Quartermain (Sean Connery)
legendary adventurer whose exploits include finding King Solomon’s
Mines and leading teams through the ancient exotic jungles of Africa.
Added into the mix (for American representation) is the youthful
spy Tom Sawyer (Shane West).
The plotline is pretty straightforward. A madman (The Fantom,
yes no PH) is inciting war amongst neighboring European countries
by committing terrorist attacks against one and blaming the other.
With the entire world now threatening war, the British government
commissions a league of individuals with unique powers to unite.
Hence the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is formed to hunt down
the madman and stop him. Along the way, the League is attacked
repeatedly allowing for each member to show off their special powers
that they contribute to the cause. In one thrilling scene, Mina
Harker is held at gunpoint by an enemy soldier. Thinking the only
female is helpless, the League surrenders only to witness a shocking “feeding.” The
group pursues the Fantom for half the film and then the plot does
(rather obviously) provide a slight twist causing the League to
change tactics. But for this kind of film are you expecting depth?
The film is a highly entertaining flick that allows one to see
the full onslaught of a Hulk-like Mr. Hyde rip through brick walls
and humans alike. One sees the glorious submarine, Nautilus (Sword
of the Ocean) of the “pirate” Captain Nemo. One sees the pluses
and minuses of being invisible as well as the terrifying thirst
of Mina Harker. Visually, the film is mysterious yet exciting with
a tone that takes the comic book seriously. No surprise, as the
movie was directed by Stephen Norrington, the genius savant who
also directed the hit comic book movie Blade. Acting wise, the
cast seems to thoroughly embrace taking artistic license with their
rarely seen characters. All in all, League of Extraordinary
Gentlemen ranks as one of the better comic book movies and a solidly enjoyable