League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (1)

Copyright © 2003 by Tony Medley


 I first saw Sean Connery in a forgettable thing called Darby OíGill and the Little People, circa 1959.  He didnít show much promise (it was a musical).  A few years later he was cast as James Bond in Doctor No, which was, for him, akin to dying and going to heaven.  Almost immediately after Doctor No became a hit he started complaining that he didnít want to be typecast and wanted out of the Bond thing.

 Well, he got out, finally, and did make some good movies (The Man Who Would Be King comes to mind).  But heís come full circle with League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, which defines trash.  Iím getting tired of watching films full of scenes devoid of rationality, but I donít write Ďem, I just see Ďem.  There must be one standard, generic script in Hollywood that everyone uses.  There are all these bad guys, see, and they have automatic weapons, see, and the good guys are all unarmed and surrounded by the bad guys and the bad guys open up with their automatic weapons and start spraying the good guys with nine million rounds a second.  Everything is shot; the walls, the chairs, the tables, the books, the glasses, everythingÖeverything, that is, but the good guys, who never get hit with anything.  Nine million rounds a second are sprayed all around and not one single, solitary bullet hits a good guy.  How many times hence, in nations yet unborn and accents yet unknown are we going to have to watch this?

 To make it even more ridiculous, you must compare it to the scene of Connery shooting targets from a ship.  The shipís rocking (well, it should be rocking, being at sea and all, but itís actually not rocking; with all the money they spent on special effects, they couldnít come up with one that simulates what itís like to be on a ship in the middle of the ocean), the targetís floating hundreds of yards away in the ocean.  Connery has a bolt-action long rifle.  He waits while the ship sails farther in one direction as the target, a small balloon type thing, floats off in the other direction.  He waits.  It floats.  He waits some more.  It floats some more.  Finally he slowly squeezes the trigger and demolishes the target.  The way I see it is we are supposed to believe that the bad guys can have automatic weapons and can spray the good guys who are only ten feet away from them with nine million rounds a second and canít hit anybody, but Connery can hit a floating balloon four inches in diameter, about a mile away from him from a floating ship with a single shot.  This is the level of the intelligence of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

 Conneryís the Executive Producer of this, so who was he to complain about the quality of the James Bond series when heís responsible for something like this?  Where does he get off trading on his name to entice people, mostly loyal fans trusting him, to come to see this garbage?  This must be the quintessential film that spent all its money on silly special effects.  They certainly didnít spend anything on the script, or the director, or the other actors. 

 Thereís no tension because even though this is overburdened with violence, we know that none of the good guys is going to get so much as a scratch.  Talk about a film without a story!  There is no logic or reason to this whatever.  Itís just one violent special effect after another. A Plot?  We donít need no stinking Plot!

 Iíve now seen three Hollywood movies in a row, Charleyís Angels II, Legally Blonde II, and now this.  They are all equally repugnant.

 July 12, 2003

The End