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The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003, Sean Connery, Max Ryan)

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Sean Connery stars in Stephen Norrington’s all-action adventure The League of Extraordinary Gentlemenas Allan Quatermain, called out of retirement in Kenya to help the government avert a world war being fermented by master criminal The Phantom. Quatermain gathers together a top team – Dorian Gray (Stuart Townsend), Captain Nemo (Naseeruddin Shah), Mina Harker (Peta Wilson) and The Invisible Man (Tony Curran) are among those recruited, each with a spectacular skill. From a Venice almost razed by The Phantom to the wastes of Mongolia, the team face perils and death in their desperate race against time.

The film, based on Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s graphic novel, is set in an alternative Victorian world, which, of course, allows free rein for both plot and technology. Quartermain’s team is a heady mix of imaginary characters culled from novels of the period, all of them reformed from their wicked ways (although arguably Tom Sawyer, played by Shane West, was merely mischievous rather than evil).

And, of course, the special effects allow the fantasy conceit full rein as well – Nemo’s huge submarine, The Nautilus, can sail along Venice’s canals without a problem while Sawyer drives a high speed car through the same city’s streets! Director Stephen Norrington, who cut his cinematic teeth in the special effects teams for the Alien films, among others, before moving on to direct The Last Minute and Blade , brings his eye for breathtaking effects to this rollicking film and, if some of the plot strands don’t all quite hang together, the ride is fun all the way.

production details
UK – USA – Germany / 110 minutes / 2003

Director: Stephen Norrington
Writers: James Dale Robinson, based on Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s graphic novel,

cast
Sean Connery as Allan Quatermain
Max Ryan as Dante
Peta Wilson as Mina Harker
Shane West as Tom Sawyer
Stuart Townsend as Dorian Gray
Jason Flemyng as Dr. Henry Jekyll / Edward Hyde
Tony Curran as Rodney Skinner (The Invisible Man)
Naseeruddin Shah as Captain Nemo
Richard Roxburgh as M
Tom Goodman-Hill as Sanderson Reed
David Hemmings as Nigel
Rudolf Pellar as Draper
Robert Willox as Constable Dunning
Robert Orr as Running Officer
Joel Kirby as Copper #2
Marek Vašut as Soldier
Ewart James Walters as Toby
Robert Vahey as Elderly Hunter
Sylvester Morand as Old Traveler
Mariano Titanti as Edgar Shreave
Huggy Leaver as Hanson Cab Driver
James Babson as Marksman #3
Pavel Bezdek as Marksman #1
Stanislav Adamickij as Marksman #2
Michael McGuffie as Copper #1
Michal Grün as Assassin #3
San Shella as Terrified Crewman
Ellen Savaria as Recordist
Riz Meedin as Venice Conning Tower Crewman
Sartaj Garewal as Rocket Room Crewman
Neran Persaud as Crewman Patel
Andrew Rajan as Headphones Crewman
Terry O’Neill as Ishmael

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