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The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen - US reaction



Compiled by: Jack Foley

THE movie website, Aint it Cool News, may have proclaimed that '[Stephen] Norrington has made another comic book classic', in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (LXG), but the majority of US critics did not seem to agree.

The film opened in America over the weekend of July 11-14 and was roundly panned by the press.

It seems the difficult shoot (during which star, Sean Connery, and director, Norrington, almost came to blows), has translated to the finished product, to the detriment of the movie itself.

The New York Times seemed to sum the majority of the ill-feeling towards it, by stating that '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'.

Likewise, Arizona Republic referred to it as 'Wild Wild West meets Avengers bad'.

The New York Daily News stated that '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', while Rolling Stone wrote that 'except for Connery, who is every inch the lion in winter, nothing here feels authentic'.

LA Weekly, meanwhile, felt that 'Norrington falls repeatedly into predictable fight sequences and apocalyptic explosions, drowning the few remnants of wit and subtlety under bombast and empty stylistics'.

 

And the hits keep on coming, with the New York Post stating that 'suspension of disbelief is as necessary as popcorn when approaching a summer comic-book movie, but LXG is too preposterous even for this fantastical genre'.

Slightly more positive, was the San Francisco Chronicle, which wrote that 'The League is a movie to enjoy, then to root for and finally to be disappointed by'.

But the Washington Post continued up the negative vibe by stating that 'The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen just plain reeks'.

BoxOffice Magazine, meanwhile, stated that it is 'a well-intentioned but ultimately disastrous attempt to throw a pulpy new spin on one of English literature's most revered figures'.

Indeed, the idea behind the film seems to have appealed to many, but the execution let it down.

The Chicago Sun-Times stated that 'just when it seems about to become a real corker of an adventure movie, [the movie] plunges into incomprehensible action, idiotic dialogue, inexplicable motivations, causes without effects, effects without causes, and general lunacy'.

And Newsday felt that 'The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen may end up being the film that defined the season: underwritten and overwritten, effects-driven, inspired by a comic book and unlikely to drive those on- the-fence audiences back into theaters anytime soon'.

Even those that liked it, such as the Hollywood Report Card, found something negative to say - 'weak climax, but overall, the film is quite enjoyable, never too serious about itself, always in it for the fun and adventure'.

But the general mood seemed to best be summed up by Filmsinreview.com, which stated that 'Connery chews the scenery, beats up everybody in sight, and tries to bully his co-stars into acting'.

The film is due to open in the UK in October.

 

 

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