Friday, December 7, 2012

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

Buy it, Rent it, Net-Flix it, Skip it or. Why aren't you watching it right now.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. LXG for short.

In an alternate Victorian age, where the characters of novels actually live the fate of our world is in their hands. Sounds like a great mix.

Starring Sean Connery as Allen Quatermain. Naseeruddin Shah as Captain Nemo. Pita Wilson as Mina Harker. Tony Curran as Rodney Skinner the invisible man. Jason Flemyng as Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde. Stuart Townsend as Dorian Gary. Along with Richard Roxburgh as M. With Shane West as Tom Sawyer. Also Sean Connery's hair piece.

In 1899 Europe stands on the brink of war. A man calling himself The Fantom. He attacks London looting a bank with drawings. Kidnaps scientists from Germany.Each blames the actions on the other and  are ready to cut each other to pieces. MI-6 decides to bring together a team of extraordinary people together to prevent this. Starting with Allen Quatermain who has exiled himself to Kenya after losing his son. Seeking to be left alone, A decoy that Allen uses to keep story seekers away is murdered and Allen avenges the decoy's murder. M's righthand man Sanderson Reed witnesses the entire thing. Stating that a war in Europe would spread to the rest of the world Allen agrees. Heading to England Allen is welcomed by M to join the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. M explains that previous times of trouble The League has been brought together. Captain Nemo appears with Rodney Skinner followed by the arrival of Mina Harker a chemist. Allen not being impressed states as much. M states that Mina's previous meetings may get a member of The League to join the group. Given their mission the group leaves to head to the home of one Dorian Gary. Allen notices a young man following the group but says nothing. Arriving at Gary's home the group is caught by The Fantam. He makes them a one time offer to join him. Allen noticing one of guards for The Fantam is dressed differently  makes eye contact and then all hell breaks loose. Captain Nemo displays his martial arts discipline of Shin Sun Do. Skinner removes his clothing that he was wearing to allow the others to see him, engages in grabbing and beating soldiers with their own guns. The Fantam escapes. While regrouping one last henchmen grabs Mina the others lower their guns and Mina reveals that she is Nosferatu. And no she isn't Italian. A vampire for those who don't know. Allen questions the man that had been following the group. He introduces himself as Tom Sawyer of the U.s. Secret Service. Traveling to Paris on Nemo's Nautilus the group captures Mr.Hyde. Hyde who looks like a huge human-monkey is offered a chance to return to England if he helps The League fight the The Fantam. Hyde agrees and changes back to Dr.Jekyll. Allen and Sawyer start to form a bond, explaining to Sawyer that his shooting enough bullets until he hits his targets is very american. We also learn that Mina and Gray have had a previous romance. A message from M the group leads the group to Venice to protect a peace conference that with stop the coming war. When The Fantem's men start blowing up the supports to sink the city The League stops the sinking of Venice but learns of a traitor in the group. The Fantam who tells the heroes his plan before he thinks he kills them. (I guess he didn't see a James Bond movie). And the credits roll. Just kidding. The heroes live to set-up a showdown with The Fantam....

Where to begin. For those who don't know LXG was a comic created by Allen Moore and Kevin O'Neil. Moore who is well known for not wanting any of his works to be translated to film.

The film fails on some levels, a few in gets right but mostly it gets things wrong. Ok the good. Connery is as always a blast. Quatermain is haggard and beaten. Kinda like how Connery was in real life. This is as of Dec 7th,2012 his last on screen performance. He stated in the past that he didn't star in The Matrix or The Lord of the Rings film because he didn't understand them. The man is James Bond. If this is his last film it's a shame. Naseeruddin as Nemo is great. Haven't seen him in anything since, His part was under played. Pita Wilson nothing to say. Tony Curran who is talented but always under used. Here he has the best lines and plays the part in want seems like a reckless who the hell care way. Flemyng as Hyde/Jekyll is played with the Dr. of science who unleashed the monster. Stuart Townsend if he is as much of dick in real life as people say then they casted right. For background he was fired from Thor,he was playing Fandral, because he was acting like the movie was about his character and not Thor. He was also fired from The Lord of the Rings films, he was Aragon, so go with that. Again all rumors but you never know. Shane West as Tom Sawyer. Now producers for the film felt that the American film watchers would not watch the movie without an America hero so Sawyer was shoehorned in. In a cut scene we learn what became of Huck Finn. West and Connery build a father and son like relationship as stated earlier, but it felt rushed.

The Effects while great in some places like The Nautilus and landscapes. The outfits and props are great. Now this film came out in 2003 same year as the Ang Lee Hulk film, but where that film had a hulk that was to green and looked like Shreik, Hyde was a mess. Plain and simple so scenes  they went live special effects which look horrible.(much like my spelling). I'm a huge fan of in camera special effects. Godzilla being a perfect example. Yes the rays where added but until the 1998 Tristar screw-up Godzilla had been a man in a suit. Back to Hyde the CGI  effects suffer trying to match to what was done in camera and failed. It's a rough rough outing.

So is it a skip it, rent it, Net-flix it, buy it, or a why aren't you watching this right now. It's a skip it.

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