The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen movie took a little while to get out to New Zealand, and since I normally try and avoid reading reviews before going to a film, it has taken until now for me to become amidst all the success of Spidey, and the two X-Men movies, it is still perfectly possible for a big-budget studio to take a great comic book concept, and produce a terrible movie.
My condolences if you liked it. I myself was perfectly expecting to enjoy a curious and spectacular movie, based on the cool trailer clips, the well-known cast, and last but not least the highly-respected reputation of original creator, Alan Moore. But it was not to be. Like everyone I have spoken to, I have to say that this film was a tragic waste. Talent, concept, money... it had them all. What it totally failed to add to the mix, however, was a good story.
Instead, we saw a trite, linear, road-trip movie which used explosions as the key tool for plot advancement. To call this movie shallow would be an insult to tidal flats everywhere. The only tension I felt while watching this movie was the crick in my neck I got from having sat too far forward in the near-empty theatre.
But there is a silver-lining to be considered here. It's the simple fact that a corporate powerhouse, a CGI-processing server farm, and a trailer-full of gold-star A-list names is nothing, I say nothing, without the ten pages of hand-written, loose-leaf synopsis which makes a genuinely interesting screen play. For the want of 4,000 words of carefully constructed outline, plot, sub-plot, and conclusion, that $40 million of shot and post-production is nothing more than a short sentence in next year's Leonard Maltin Video Guide.
And that, my friends, is why you can still buy comics. Because yet again the old adage rings true - "Content is King". Sit on the sofa with a good comic, and you'll find yourself carried deeper into the realm of imagination than any bad movie will ever take you. Plus, just think of the money you'll save on over-priced popcorn!