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THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN

Queen Victoria, who has reason to believe the world is about to be obliterated by evildoers armed with weapons of mass destruction, seeks help from an assortment of oddballs, ranging from Allan Quatermain to Dorian Gray and Tom Sawyer.

CAST: Sean Connery, Stuart Townsend, Peta Wilson, Shane West, Jason Flemyng

DIRECTOR: Stephen Norrington

"There is something extraordinary about ‘The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,’ and that is the extraordinary ordinariness of its awfulness. It's not brazenly bad or heroically bad or stridently bad. It's bad in all the old, dull ways of being bad: poor performances, absurd story, dreary special effects, witless dialogue and the excessive length of someone taking himself far too seriously…The action sequences are all but indistinguishable from one another, or from a fire drill in a fireworks plant: lots of running and screaming and incoherence, while buildings collapse all over the place…‘The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’ just plain reeks." --Stephen Hunter, The Washington Post

"The listless movie adaptation of ‘The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’ has the sweat stains of wasted energy; it's dreary, yet frantic…Mr. Connery's choice to portray Quatermain as unflaggingly stalwart displays a lack of nuance, killing off any hint of subtext. The closest he comes to fallibility is a weary cantankerousness that registers more like hostility than weakness…the movie is neither gentle nor extraordinary. ‘Gentlemen’ may be a better movie than other Connery fantasy-action films like ‘The Avengers,’ but then again a glass of muddy water looks good to someone just coming in from the desert." --Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times

"‘The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’ assembles a splendid team of heroes to battle a plan for world domination, and then, just when it seems about to become a real corker of an adventure movie, plunges into incomprehensible action, idiotic dialogue, inexplicable motivations, causes without effects, effects without causes, and general lunacy. What a mess." --Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

"…one more bloated effects-o-rama lumbering through a formula plot (super-villain out to rule the world) without much zest, imagination or awareness of its own absurdity…its tendency to wildly overblow everything gradually becomes unintentionally funny… the film's endless action sequences are tediously by the numbers, the cast sparks no particular ensemble chemistry, and Connery -- though still oozing with irascible movie star charisma -- seems patently disinterested in all the silliness going on around him." --William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"‘LoEG’ gets off to a smart start with lots of blow-'em-up action and lots of Sean Connery… The picture dips a bit once the League is fully assembled and they take off for Venice to capture the Fantom before he can foil a multination conference that could avert war. However, the plot takes another twist that gives the film a potent second wind… Connery, of course, is the standout -- an aging lion in winter, still at the top of his game, even if he does need glasses to shoot down a man half a mile away…However, even the mighty Connery can't keep the movie from being stolen by Townsend, who gets most of the best lines…Townsend neatly tucks the film into his elegant trouser pocket and walks off with it." --Eleanor Ringel-Gillespie, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"What do Jules Verne, Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde have in common? Answer: They're all doubtless spinning in their graves at having their classic works besmirched by the ludicrous, often unintentionally hilarious, ‘The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’…a fatuous screenplay by James Robinson and incompetent direction by action-movie hack Stephen Norrington (‘Blade’) have turned a high-concept premise into the worst comic-book movie yet…Laughable line readings abound, as do incoherent plot detours, noisy and pointless chase scenes, explosions and sword fights, all of it taking place in a gloomy, after-dark milieu, presumably to disguise how bad the special effects are." --Megan Lehmann, The New York Post

"Mounting an escapist epic with characters pillaged from a century's-old booklist would challenge even the grandest filmmakers to stay on their toes. Toes get stubbed here on every available foot… Norrington and Robinson don't have enough fun even with the lower-form spoofs and games available to them in a would-be thrill ride. As a bottom-scraping summer blockbuster, ‘The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’ is ‘The Wild Wild West of Western Civilization.’" --Michael Sragow, The Baltimore Sun

"Clearly those Hollywood moguls think we'll swallow any wild idea they pitch at us… several characters are deprived of their most interesting traits -- the Invisible Man is now a common crook, Dr. Jekyll is a pallid wimp, and the pathetic, opium- addicted Allan Quatermain becomes none other than Sean Connery. At least he gives a real movie-star performance, which is more than the other gentlemen manage. Extraordinary? Balderdash!"--David Sterritt, The Christian Science Monitor

"The movies don't always do right by comics, and, to judge by ‘The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,’ the latest comic to hit the big screen, it's clear that the problem isn't with the source material: Comic books aren't giving movies a bad name — it's the reverse." --Manohla Dargis, The Los Angeles Times

"In a summer of big-budget sequels, prequels, remakes and homages, no film is more ambitiously derivative -- or dramatically unsatisfying -- than Stephen Norrington's ‘The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’… the muddled narrative is merely there to form bridges between action scenes…once you get past the film's whimsical conceit, it falls into the rut of all save-the-world cartoons, and the literary hodgepodge turns quickly silly…Like every popcorn movie this season, ‘League’ ends with the hint of another episode. We can only hope not." --Jack Mathews, The New York Daily News