THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN is another movie based on a graphic novel, a type of comic book. Though it tries hard to capture the thrills of comic book movies like SPIDER-MAN and the X-MEN movies, it fails to generate their emotional, dramatic power and richness.
Set in 1899, THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN opens well enough. After some action set pieces, Sean Connery’s character, Allan Quaterman of KING SOLOMON’S MINES, is asked to help England stop a madman trying to start a world war. Drafted by a mysterious figure who calls himself simply “M,” Quatermain joins forces with six superheroes: Mina Harker of Bram Stoker’s DRACULA, who has herself become a vampire; an invisible thief who stole the invisibility serum from H. G. Wells’ original INVISIBLE MAN; the immortal Dorian Gray from Oscar Wilde’s short story; American secret agent Tom Sawyer; Captain Nemo of Jules Verne’s science fiction novels; and, last but not least, Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde, who transforms himself into a super-sized, animalistic brute much like THE HULK whenever he drinks his own secret potion.
The story leads this “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” and Woman, from Paris to Venice to a secret fortress in the frozen wastes of Mongolia, where the madman is building a large mechanized army to take over the world. There seems to be a traitor within The League, however. Can they remain united long enough to foil the villain’s plans?
Unlike the second X-MEN movie and SPIDER-MAN, THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN doesn’t stop long enough to delineate more than a couple of its superhero characters. It also fails to give moviegoers a compelling villain to match wits on an equal footing with the amazing Sean Connery, who still has what it takes to play a bigger-than-life hero full of grace, dignity, and grit. Thus, despite its highly original story, and a surprise twist about the villain at the end, THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN probably will disappoint fans of the comic book genre and fans of the original graphic novel.
THE LEAGUE also contains a mixed worldview. Although there are some positive moral and redemptive/Christian elements due to its setting, there are references to Hinduism and witchdoctors among the heroes. One of the main focuses of the movie, however (besides stopping the evil villain’s plans), is the fatherly bond that grows between Quatermain and Tom Sawyer, who reminds Quaterman of his own dead son. In addition to the objectionable worldview elements, THE LEAGUE also has some light foul language and very strong action violence, including a couple scary scenes where Mina the vampire feasts on the villain’s henchmen and where Dr. Jeckyl transforms into the humongous Mr. Hyde and back again.
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SUMMARY: THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN stars Sean Connery as adventurer Allan Quatermain, who teams up with six superheroes to stop a madman from controlling the world. Despite some positive moral and redemptive elements, THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN may disappoint action fans and contains some paganism, light foul language and very strong action violence.
(Pa, B, C, O, P, H, LL, VVV, S, N, A) Mixed pagan worldview with moral, redemptive, Christian, and occult elements, including positive references to God, Hindu character worships Kali the goddess of death, and references to witchdoctors, as well as some patriotic elements, and one selfish character expresses humanist sentiments; about 11 light obscenities and five light profanities, including use of British curse “bloody”; some very strong action violence, including lots of automatic gunfire, point blank shootings, explosions, lots of fist fighting, some martial arts fighting, vampire hero feasts on a couple victims and licks blood, man stabs vampire, chest wounds of immortal man disappear after he’s shot point blank, large Hulk-like creatures toss normal men around like toys, large Hulk-like creatures fight, several impalings, tanks crash through walls and fire cannons, buildings fall like dominoes, flame-thrower used against people, burning body, images of burnt flesh, and water floods ship; references to past sexual rendezvous; upper male nudity; alcohol use; brief smoking; and, light miscellaneous immoral elements, such as one hero is also a thief by vocation.
GENRE: Science Fiction/Fantasy