Thursday, August 28, 2003

Some new plugs for new links: Dani and Harle.

Mel, I owe you big time. I feel significantly better now, though the sentimentality of the whole thing still cannot be ignored…

I finally got to watch LXG last Sunday… SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen:
I found Nemo!

Sean Connery stars in this rather ambitious “period” film that attempts to put together some great literary figures (I assume they all are…) in Dorian Gray, Alan Quartermain, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Mina Harker, Tom Sawyer, Captain Nemo, and the Invisible Man. United to bring down a powerful evil attempting to catalyze a world war, this league of extraordinary gentlemen (Misnomer here.) have their hands full in trying to dig into this mystery amidst all the mistrust between the individuals. As a side note, Quartermain looked like Joseph from Jojo’s Venture, but moving on…

The special effects were competent, and nobody can fault them for it, really. While it certainly doesn’t seem as though they were at Matrix: Reloaded level, they managed to do some nifty tricks that simply made the movie breathtaking to watch. Of course, the choppy editing during action scenes took away a lot of the impact, as this was meant to be an action fix film for me… Captain Nemo was pretty entertaining to watch, and his classic line: “I walk a different path” simply blew me away. He really had some good moves in him, and he was probably my favorite member there.

Dorian Gray, the immortal, turned out to be the traitor in the group, contrary to the suspicions that it was the Invisible Man. Mina Harker, a vampire (Who, in the film AND book of Dracula by Bram Stoker, wasn’t one.), took him down in a rather interesting fight to the finish. Apparently, to take down Gray, he needed to see his own picture which ages in his stead in order for his spell of immortality to be broken. Having watched wrestling all these years, this was a swerve that I was really expecting. The suspicion on the poor Invisible Man was way too obviously contrived, so I really knew there was someone else worth taking note of, and Dorian Gray was the logical choice. Mina was a curious character, and I loved how she showed up the sexist adventurer in Alan Quartermain.

Mr. Hyde was no Hulk, but he had his charm. He also had a special power: a super-fast wardrobe change. There was at least one instance wherein Mr. Hyde would appear, completely ripping Dr. Jekyll’s clothes into shreds, then the potion wears off, and the next scene, which is assumed to be IMMEDIATELY AFTER Hyde’s last scene, depicts Dr. Jekyll as FULLY AND ELEGANTLY CLOTHED. Doesn’t make sense, does it?

Tom Sawyer was… eye candy. He hardly did anything memorable for the whole group, and he even got Quartermain killed. Stupid dolt should’ve been left out of the group, where he could’ve been useful in trying to attract pre-pubescent teenage girls while he was in London.

The villain wasn’t very imaginative, but the plot he devised to gain access to the League’s secrets was spectacular. I liked how well the story weaved itself into the swerve, though I expected the swerve. James Moriarty, while he was a welcome surprise as the main villain, was not given enough of a background to make any significance in the film, and there wasn’t one mention of Sherlock Holmes, his dreaded nemesis. James, who called himself “M” at the start of the film, gave me the impression he was that guy in James Bond who gave Bond weapons for each mission. Seems possible that the connection was intended, considering Sean Connery WAS the original (And arguably still the best.) James Bond.

The fights were ingenious, beyond a doubt. Connery’s bored demeanor may have worked for other films, but I feel he could’ve done better in this one. He was one of the few good performances in this film, though I feel this was obviously not his best effort. Of course, it wasn’t his worst either. *cough*TheAvengers*cough*. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the pacing of the film, and how well they tried to tell their story. It wasn’t exactly a standout film, but with all the negative flack this movie got, with the mindset that it will really blow set into your head, you can’t help but actually love the film given that it doesn’t live up to its anti-hype.

Overall, LXG was worth watching, and certainly satiated my action fix. It had its problems with choppy editing, lemon actors in between stellar ones, and overall lack of appropriate backgrounders on the rich worlds these characters came from. While they all had their respective books for us to check, this is a far more daunting task than knowing the story of ONE character, as was the case in Spider-Man, or Daredevil, or an already collective team like the X-Men. LXG failed to fill in the gaps for the uneducated to know what all of this is about, and this worked to the disadvantage of the impact of the conflict with a villain who, if given enough background, should actually strike fear in the viewer and not blank stares for lack of comprehension.

Marcelle’s Evaluation: B/B+

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