The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)
Plot: In the year 1899, the British Government hires retired agent Allan Quatermain (Sean Connery) to lead a group of super powered individuals known as the ‘League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’ (based on literary characters) to stop a man known as ‘the fantom’ who plans to start a World War in order to sell new weapons, creating an arms race.
I was shocked when I saw this movie…because I kind of liked it. I cannot believe this has a 17% on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s based on a very popular comic book, which I have no doubt is far superior. But as a movie…it’s okay. I’m totally baffled on why this is so hated. It moves at a good pace. The characters are likable. The acting is strong. It’s got good energy. It’s visually appealing. There are solid twists and turns. And it’s got Sean Connery! Come on! Although, I must admit, had he not been there, it could have been very different. When you have people turning into vampires and huge hulking ape like guys running around, there’s potential to look silly, but it worked. The action sequences are thoroughly entertaining, especially when all these buildings are coming down. Now don’t get me wrong. The film has its problems. I detest the little throwbacks to Sean Connery once playing James Bond. Really…his boss goes by the name of M? Wow. And one of the villains had a golden gun. Ugh. I’m all for suspending my disbelief in a movie, but there’s one scene where Connery’s character Quartermain is standing right in front of a bunch of guys with semi-automatics and they miss him. That’s a little much. Although I guess this could have been a throw back to Bond as well and that his super power is not getting hit by bullets. The biggest flaw here is that the heroes’ superpowers are way too strong. There’s just no way they can lose. They needed to be tempered some how. They do a good job of developing these characters, but it comes in the middle of the film where they don’t progress the story at all. The music is also pretty shitty. It’s a fun ride and never boring. It’s not bad.
Rating: 6.5 out of 10 (slightly better than ‘meh’)
Category Rankings (Spoilers Throughout):
Best Performance: Sean Connery as Allan Quatermain
-This one was pretty obvious. His casting was essential. I’m not sure how this movie would have turned out if someone else was in the role.
Worst Performance: Shane West as Tom Sawyer
-He’s just really nasally and sounds like he’s twelve. When he’s shooting his guns, he scrunches up his face in really embarrassing fashion. He shouts ‘I got him’ at one point, which is delivered a thousand times worse than Luke Skywalker yelling the same line in Star Wars.
Best Line: “You will not live beyond today…that I promise.” –Allan Quatermain
-That’s a pretty bad ass thing to say to the villain while you’re fighting him. Or maybe Sean Connery is just able to sell it.
Worst Line: “I hoped I’d get to nail you one more time. I didn’t think it’d be literally.” –Dorian to the Vampire Mina after nailing her through the heart
-Yes, they were lovers. Not only is this a terrible pun, but the writers make sure you know it’s a pun by adding in the ‘literally’ part. There’s also something about saying ‘nail you’ in the year 1899 that doesn’t feel right. It’s just a terrible line all around, let’s move on.
-When Hyde fights Super Hyde, they just mash the shit out of each other. Captain Nemo gets in there as well. Although Super Hyde is much stronger…how the hell does regular Hyde keep up with him?
-It’s at the very beginning. This stupid soldier just stands in front of this large metal tank putting his hand up to stop it. It’s obviously not going to stop. He stands there for a good ten seconds. Jump out of the way! Unbelievable.
-It’s the first scene with Allan Quartermain fighting and seeing how bad ass he is. He takes out his rifle and wounds a guy from a sizable distance with one shot. It’s his signature.
-Before the last action sequence, all the League members put their hands in the middle, and I really thought they were about to shout ‘Gooooooooooooooo team!’ But they don’t. Still a bad moment though.
-Allan retorts to Sawyer’s shooting ability with ‘Oh, I saw. It was very American. Fire enough bullets and hope to hit the target.’ I’ll accept this insult only from the original James Bond.
Bad Ass Moment:
-When Captain Nemo’s ship the Nautilus first comes out of the water, it’s so fricking huge and massive; you can’t help but not be impressed.