The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is a bad adaptation of a very good original story. What if the various fictional characters of Victorian fiction all lived in the same world? It’s an excellent premise. The original graphic novel told the story well, faithful to the original characters. Sadly, that’s not true at all here.
- Mr. Hyde looks horrible. It looks like the large foam costume that it is. Utterly unrealistic.
- Mr. Hyde acts … totally wrong. First, Hyde is supposed to be the evil side of human nature. Without any trace of good. Here, that’s not the case. Hyde, at different times, is selfless, even heroic. In the source material, he threatens to rape Mina … Just to make her uncomfortable. He’s totally out of character here.
- Several of the characters didn’t appear in the source material. For good reason.
- In Dracula, Mina is an intelligent woman. There, she created, and executed, the plan to stop Count Dracula. Instead, here the film makers threw the character of an intelligent, brave woman out the window. They made her into a semi-vampire. Because, clearly, powers make up fo lack of characterization. Also, she had an affair with Dorian Gray. Which, in Victorian times, would have been unthinkable. Here, it’s treated as “oh, so what?”
- A massive waste of good actors.
- It’s horribly cliched. Instead of following the original source, the filmmakers took an interesting, original story and turned it into a typical action thriller. Here, explosions take the place of characterization.
- Sean Connery (The Longest Day) as Allan Quatermain. The literal “great white hunter”. He becomes the backbone of the team. He develops a father/son relationship with Tom Sawyer for no reason.
- Naseeruddin Shah as Captain Nemo. In addition to the Nautilus, he’s created a Victorian race car. Why? Because the script called for it.
- Peta Wilson as Mina Harker. A waste of an interesting character.
- Tony Curran as Rodney Skinner. Frankly, one of the few interesting characters. A thief who’s stolen the Invisible Man’s formula. Without thinking through the consequences. And later, pays a high price.
- Stuart Townsend as Dorian Gray. Introduced, apparently, to have a “duel of the immortals” with Mina. Replacing interesting characters with another action sequence. No relationship to the source material.
- Shane West as Tom Sawyer. Again, no relationship to the source material. Instead, he’s introduced primarily to have a forced father/son relationship with Quartermain.
- Jason Flemyng as Dr. Henry Jekyll / Mr. Edward Hyde
- Richard Roxburgh as The Fantom / “M” / Professor James Moriarty. The villain. His “surprise revaltion” surprises nobody.