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Review The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen a.k.a. LXG (2003): The film is incredibly underrated!

genre: comic book adaptation, action, adventure, fantasy

The first time I saw this film, was in the cinema and loved every minute of it. Then I saw it a couple of times after and yes I could see the flaws. But are they so huge that they prevent the enjoyment?

I don't think so. If anything, I think I found a new appreciation for this film. As a superhero film and comic book adaptation, this was pretty spot on. I mean, there are a lot of things going on that are too far-fetched and fantastic. Yet, it is brought with a certain earnestness and sincerity that you do want to buy in the events that are displayed to you. So yes, there is a simple story and a lot of focus seems to be on the remarkable characters and the action. Could they have elaborated on the characters a little more? Absolutely. Is it necessary? Not at all. One of the plot elements relies on the surprise factor. For a first time viewing, it's perfectly fine. On multiple viewings, one could argue if a deeper characterization had not made the film more memorable. Still, the action and spectacle is actually pretty good and maintains to be fun even if you have watched LXG several times. I am not familiar with the comic book this is based on. But I do know the works where the extraordinary gentlemen are featured in. To have them function as a team of superheroes is quite brilliant if you ask me. And it is quite a shame that they have not done anything with it ever since. I mean Universal Studios did try to create the Dark Universe featuring various horror icons, like Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy and The Invisible Man which is very similar and was something I was looking forward to. Too bad, they dropped it completely.

Apparently, Sean Connery hated his experience with The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen due to production delays and creative differences with the director. So much so that he withdrew from acting to never ever return. Of course, I can understand that Connery did not have fun making this film. To be fair, it did seem like an odd project for him to be part of. It's highly likely he just was too old to understand the source material and what the appeal was. Then again, what did he think the project entailed? I mean, didn't he read the script? Still, despite his complaints and resistance, it does look like he was professional enough to do his bit. He easily is one of the best characters in the film. Actually, I liked all the extraordinary characters. They all got their moment to shine. 

Overall, I think the film is incredibly underrated. Could, and should, it have been better? Absolutely. Is this therefore a bad film? Not by any means. Apart from some CGI effects, everything holds up pretty nicely. The action and spectacle is glorious, and the pacing is fast enough. You will certainly have a good time! 

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