What do you get when you combine six famous literary characters,
a guy that used to be James Bond and an evil villain with the
ultra-creative name of “The Phantom?” You get
“The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” an
action-adventure flick combining numerous fight scenes, rapidly
moving storylines and a wide assortment of special features to make
for a decent night of entertainment.
Sean Connery is Allan Quatermain, a seasoned adventurer
recruited to save Europe from war by seeking out a weapons
manufacturer (The Phantom) who plans to sabotage peace talks.
Connery is not alone of course, as he is joined by the League of
And what a league it is. Captain Nemo (Naseeruddin Shah,
“Monsoon Wedding”) provides navigation and
transportation, even using automobiles, which is remarkable since
the movie takes place at the turn of the 20th Century. The
Invisible Man (Tony Curran), Dorian Gray (Stuart Townsend,
“Queen of the Damned”) is an ageless wonder who is safe
from harm and Tom Sawyer (Shane West, “A Walk to
Remember”), the charismatic American agent, and even Dr.
Jekyll and Mr. Hyde make an appearance. What league of gentlemen
would be complete without, of course, an attractive blood-sucking
woman (Peta Wilson)? The seven heroes seem unbeatable but plot
twists, love triangles and troubled pasts all hinder the goal to
save the world.
The movie is fast-paced, with plenty of action, special effects
and battles against evil henchmen. The surprises are much needed
and much appreciated, preventing the box office bomb from being
another film where the all-time good guys beat the bad guys.
The extras exceed expectations for a film such as this, with two
full-length commentaries, an abundance of deleted scenes and a
multi-part documentary on the making of the film. The latter is the
most interesting, with takes on the assembling of Mr. Hyde and the
making of the city of Venice. The sharp picture and clear sound
meet the standards expected from DVDs these days, and enhance an
otherwise mediocre film.
The “League” may look like your standard,
run-of-the-mill fantasy adventure, but solid features, a unique
ensemble of characters and Sean Connery’s voice allow it to
be worth a look.