Using a popular series of elaborate comic books as his foundation, director Stephen Norrington (Blade) has constructed another special effects-heavy superhero fantasy for the screen. (Have you had enough of those yet? Because there are several more on the way.)

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemenis a sort of X-Men for bookworms. It is a fantasy that brings together such legendary figures as Allan Quatermain (Sean Connery), Dr. Jekyll and his famous Hyde, the Invisible Man, Mina Harker from Bram Stoker's Dracula, and, exclusively for the movie version, an American character: Tom Sawyer.

The results are provoking fans of the comic books to voice their disappointment with the way the film alters the comic narrative. Critics, regardless of its faithfulness to the source, are not much impressed. Religious press critics view it as just another noisy, violent, indulgent summer entertainment.

David DiCerto (Catholic News Service) writes, "Despite an intriguing premise and imaginative effects…Norrington's comic book-inspired film is the most recent example of Hollywood genuflecting at the altar of excess—justifying megabudgets with tedious, over-the-top action sequences at the expense of a well-crafted story and three-dimensional characters."

Michael Elliott (Movie Parables) reports, "Norrington…opts not to explore or exploit these rich and vibrantly described characters. They, for the most part, appear flat and uninspired in LXG—something of which they have never been accused in the context of their original stories. Additionally, the action scenes have been filmed and edited (or rather chopped) in such a way to make viewing them difficult. As a result, the film feels rushed and often disjointed. Much of the final third of the film ...

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