Sunday, September 07, 2003
Allan Quartermain teaches his young American pupil how Brits do it.
I managed to sneak out again last night for some well deserved R&R at the nearby mall. I caught the last full show of the movie The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen after quick dinner. The thing is I shouldn't have spent money for dinner if I knew beforehand I was getting the LXG snack pack at the concession stand (the snack pack consists of one drink inside an LXG tumbler, popcorn, chips, and hotdog with a special LXG box carrier) which cost a lot more than my dinner! But being the souvenir hunter that I am I shelled out the dough. Contrary to most of what I've read in reaction to the movie I really enjoyed it. Well that's aside from the fact that Sean Connery's in it (go mahn!) and that I never read any of Moore's LXG GNs before. What stuck in my mind though is the main theme of looking for acceptance and forgiveness. Almost all of them have lived long lives and inspite of their party-hardy days the ghost of their past continues to haunt them and hopefully in fulfilling a grand request to save the whole of Europe from the brink of war they'd be able to purge their sins. It's like the twelve labors of Hercules, which according to how the story goes, did try to make up for the murders of his wife and children in a temporary fit of insanity. For the most part they did succeed in quieting those ghosts inside of them but not totally. In the end they managed to form a sort of early version of Reformed Villains Anonymous that goes on a world tour.
Another recurring theme that I like about the movie is the importance of mentoring as shown between Allan Quartermain (Sean Connery) and Tom Sawyer (Shane West). Quartermain, being a loner showed extraordinary fortitude in taking the newest and youngest member of the team under his wing. Though the older man lost a son the same age as Tom, theirs was more of a friend-to-friend mentoring rather than a father-figure/younger man relationship. One leader near the end of his days passing all his wisdom to someone inexperienced but has the potential to be great someday. Except for the contrived ending these two themes make this movie a really good one for me, who cares if it didn't remain faithful to the original? This movie should be made to stand on its own merit and not on someone else's.