There are a lot of movies that feature ideas that haven’t been done before, yet there are seldom movies but those ideas that disappoint heavily. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is one such movie. It has a bold idea and is based on a probably amazing book but the execution in the film is quite lackluster.
The graphic novel that it is adapted from, is by none other than Alan Moore. Alan Moore is responsible for some of the best and most high-quality comic books which were adapted into some great films, such as 300 and Watchmen. However, the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen has one of the worst executions out of any of those adaptations.
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The Movie Review
The film is based after a terrorist attack led by the Fantom ensues panic among a huge population of people. He breaks into the Bank of England and steals Leonardo da Vinci’s blueprints that showcase the foundations of the city of Venice. Here, the British government sends Sanderson Reed to recruit a group of some of the most extraordinary gentlemen. He recruits Alan Quatermain, who is the legendary adventurer and hunter.
Here they meet a man named M, who is recruiting a group of exceptional men to find the Fantom in order to bring him down. The league consists of Alan Quartermain, the submarine diver Captain Nemo, Vampire, and chemist Mina Harker and the invisible thief known as Rodney Skinner.
To be particularly precise, the film does a few things VERY well. The first thing is its exceptional cast; consisting of some of the best actors working in the industry currently. The incredible Sean Connery, Shane West, Stuart Townsend, Peta Wilson, Jason Flemyng, Tony Curran, and the legendary Bollywood actor Naseeruddin Shah are all part of this film.
The other thing that this phone does best, is having an aesthetic that is both different yet common at the same time. The film’s overall visual beauty is quite pleasing, and despite being too dark and full of greys and blacks, it manages to feel like a contemporary gothic film.
The characters are decent too, with the actors having decent chemistry with one another; though that is to be expected while working with such professional individuals.
However, there are only complaints about this film when it comes to the direction. It has the pacing of a normal action flick; with events happening here and there that lead to characters being motivated to do things.
It feels unreasonably fast, and at times it also feels unreasonably slow. The pacing has zero consistency, and each scene just happens without there being many contexts behind it. What makes this worse is that the story takes you from one place to another, yet it never focuses on these characters facing any significant improvements.
They do not grow on their journeys and the film shows them as seemingly perfect. It’s fair to say that the director wanted to heavily adapt the book, yet not really showcase much of the book’s more somber moments.
This was a film that completely cashes on its selling point; the book fans. Yet it divulges from the source material at will; while trying to tell a story that should not feel as broken as it does. It feels like the film is divided into parts, yet it isn’t and everything happens in quick succession.
The cinematography in the film is one of the few aspects where I think they lucked out. While the shots themselves aren’t great, and the angles are quite rudimentary; the visual and gothic look of the film help out significantly. So, safe to say that It looks pretty good, despite the fact that the camera work isn’t great.
The Bottom Line
So, in conclusion: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen could have been an amazing movie if it wasn’t for lackluster direction. Every single performance by the great actors and the chemistry between them is indeed extraordinary, yet the film itself is everything but.
It is a film that diverges from the source material. It tries to tell an exciting and unique story with some really great ideas, yet the execution falls flat on its face. If there was a bit more passion behind the film’s production; it was bound to be great. However, as it stands The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is very ordinary.