Based on an underground comic book, The League of Extraordinary Gentleman can be summed up in one word ordinary.Despite plenty of special effects and action sequence after action sequence, LXG has a vast and empty filler feel. Its the kind of movie that you forget almost as soon as you exit the theater.Sean Connery plays British adventurer Allen Quartermain. As the film opens, Quartermain is recruited by the wealthy Englishman M (Richard Roxburgh) to stop a madman known only as the Phantom.Quartermain is joined by several popular literary characters including Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the Invisible Man and Tom Sawyer. The rogue group of crimefighters sets out on a chase across Europe, trying to stop the Phantom from starting a world war.There is a certain goofy charm in the idea that these characters would come together as sort of Superfriends of the Victorian Age, but that novel idea is bogged down in a horribly executed film.The special effects are so extravagant that they border on silly. Take, for example, the pirate Captain Nemos lavish submarine. Sure, the sight of a ship the size of a Manhattan high-rise is impressive, but are we really supposed to believe that it can race effortlessly through the ocean?Director Stephen Norrington creates a murky-looking film that resembles his previous Blade. While the look was OK for Blade, it only creates a more depressing mood for this sludge of a film.Then again, perhaps Norrington is just trying to cover up James Robinsons ludicrous screenplay. The movie meanders from action scene to action scene without a real purpose, but the scripts major flaw is the way it reveals the identity of the Phantom.WARNING: KEY PLOT POINT ABOUT TO BE REVEALEDThe audience learns about midway through the film that the Phantom is actually M, meaning that M has essentially hired these people to stop himself. I realize that villains have tragic flaws, but this has to be the stupidest flaw in the history of cinema. Granted, the film tries to explain it with a hokey idea that he was trying to steal their secrets, but that really makes no sense, either.Its a credit to Connery that he manages to wade through this mess with his dignity in tact. Then again, Connery has always exuded class and commanded an audiences respect. Its a shame this film couldnt do the same. Sportswriter/movie reviewer Micheal Compton, who was disappointed when he first found out League did not a.) involve baseball or b.) star Kevin Costner, can be reached for comment by e-mailing mcompton@bgdailynews.com.The League of Extraordinary GentlemenStarring: Sean Connery, Stuart TownsendDirector: Stephen NorringtonRating: PG-13 for intense sequences of fantasy violence, language and innuendoPlaying at: Greenwood 6Grade: D

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