Friday, July 11, 2003

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is a big-budget summer action movie with the soul of a B-movie. Which is far better than, say, a big-budget summer action movie that thinks it's a Merchant-Ivory film the way The Hulk does. Like a good B-film, LXG doesn't have a lot of down time. And--excepting the slightly annoying "Quatermain's Son" subplot--illustrates character on the fly. But what separates this one from B-territory are all the perks of the A-world: mostly very good effects, superb, and I mean superb fight scenes, and a nice cast.

First off, I have to say that Peta Wilson as Mina Harker is just about my favorite cinematic female vampire ever. She's simply glorious, alternately prim and ferocious, and she visually dominates every scene she's in, towering over all the guys she kisses and bloodsucks.

Sean Connery plays himself very well here, looking like he's having lots of fun. Stuart Townsend plays Dorian Gray as a super-decadent uber-aesthete, which is to say dead-on perfect; Dorian Gray is a far more suitable character to Townsend's range than Aragorn in LOTR (the role which he was fired from after a week of shooting) would have been.

LXG isn't the best film, but I found it a lot of breezy fun. It moves so fast that you don't have time to think about how silly it is. It seems to be getting bad reviews, and I think it will be a little too esoteric for American audiences, but, what the hell--I liked it.

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