Friday, April 24, 2009


Well, after a rather long period of time I'm finally posting something on my blog. A movie review. I love movies, and I had to write this one up for school anyway, so here it is. Oh, and just as an extra note, I am not always going to be reviewing current films, just any movie that came out after about 2000. Well, without any further delay........

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is Nothing Extraordinary
A movie review by Douglas Desautell

When directors search for promising film material, they often delve into a book genre that is particularly conducive for filmmaking and has withstood the tests of time for decades: comic books. One of the latest comic-turned-into-movie creations is The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore and directed by Stephen Norrington (Blade). This film combines elements from Victorian-era adventure stories, science fiction, and the modern superhero genre into one action-packed movie.
The plot, set during the year 1899, is fairly basic, and follows the adventures of Allan Quatermain (Sean Connery) and a host of other outlandish daredevils, including Dr. Jekyll from Robert Louis Stevensons book Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Dorian Gray from Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. As is expected with films of this type, the group of heroes must battle against an evil tyrant named “Fantom”, who plans to throw Europe into a massive war and in the ensuing chaos conquer the entire world. At first the old and tired Quatermain, living peacefully in his mansion in Africa, has no wish to help Britain—his home country—but after his mansion is destroyed by a group of assassins he reluctantly agrees to lend a hand. Quatermain and the other heroes learn that Fantom has planted a bomb in Venice, and that if the bomb is successfully detonated the entire continent of Europe will be thrown into turmoil. In their adventures (and misadventures), the heroes must defeat countless numbers of scoundrels and cutthroats; nevertheless, they manage to survive and eventually infiltrate the fortress of the devious Fantom, where a vicious final battle occurs.
This film is loaded with impressive special effects and several desperate battles: Quatermain attacks dozens of bloodthirsty assassins, gets into many brutal fistfights, and is forced to fight men covered from head-to-toe in bulky suits of iron. Yet action alone does not make a good movie, and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is a prime example of Hollywood’s tendency to focus on all of the action while forgetting that a good story is just as important. Cliché plot twists, uninteresting betrayals, and stodgy acting coupled with a rather far-fetched plot (even for a film of this genre) make this movie all brawn with no brains. Connery’s performance at best is only mediocre, and fans of him will almost certainly be disappointed. The heroes remain static throughout the film’s entire 110 minutes, with only a few shallow alterations and switching of sides.
Diehard comic-action fans may be satisfied with this garden-variety film, and a few literature buffs may be intrigued by the inclusion of several notable literary characters, but general audiences will certainly tire of this film very quickly. In the end, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is just another summer action movie with nothing new and certainly nothing extraordinary.