Scott Marks 12:30 p.m., July 26
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Yet another comic-book movie ("graphic-novel" movie, anyway), with no relation to the 1960 British caper comedy, The League of Gentlemen. The present gents, and one lady, are assuredly out of the ordinary, a Dream Team of Victorian fictional characters assembled to save the Empire from early termination: a senior-citizen Allan Quatermain, a kung-fu Captain Nemo, an adult Tom Sawyer, a Hulk-sized Mr. Hyde, a sun-proof Dracula convert, Mrs. Jonathan Harker, an unwitty Dorian Gray, and finally, not the, but an, Invisible Man. Collectively, the, or a, Magnificent Seven. (It should come as no surprise that the archfiend behind the threat will prove to be Prof. Moriarty, apparently having thrown Sherlock Holmes off the scent.) The unpardonable sin of this sort of literary plunder, far worse even than plagiarism or vandalism, is its disrespect for boundaries. The world of the Great White Hunter is not that of the Mad Scientist, nor is Dr. Jekyll's that of vampires, nor is the All-American Boy's that of a Faustian fallen angel. How can this motley crew be expected to work together when they inhabit separate universes? Sean Connery (who really is too old for such rough-and-tumble) and a company of lesser lights, least of all director Stephen Norrington, neither have nor give a clue. Shane West, Stuart Townsend, Peta Wilson, Jason Flemyng. 2003.