Knowing a film is going to be crap before you go and see it. This is kind of tied up with guilty pleasures, except often there is very little pleasure involved. Last night I succumbed to the League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, a film whose crapness is mainly due to comparison with its source material. If it was not for its source material being so strong, the concept would have never gotten off the ground. But the very medium obscurity of said source material, or at least its source materials source material is what eventually compromises the film into a Wild Wild West re-run with magic in it.

So let us look at the changes and how they undermine the property:
a) Making Alan Quartermaine the leader. Well this firstly removes much of Mina Harker’s mystique, and the entertainingly feminist idea of a female leader. Secondly the idea of Quartermaine as an opium fiend gives him so much more motivation.
b) Mina Harker, not Mina Murray. The gun is jumped on the vampirism too – and for those of you who don’t know the story the brief resume of Dracula (or Draaa – Cooola as a piss-poor Peta Wilson has it) is laughable.
c) Tom Sawyer. Exists as a plot device nothing more. Sadly there is absolutely nothing extraordinary about him.
d) Dorian Grey. This actually works. Until he days “I always wanted to nail you”, which is less impressive.
e) MONGOLIA? I won’t even justify this one.

It is clear that there are bits of this film that an awful lot of work has been put into, especially the first twenty minutes. But then savage editing and incoherent plotting leaves what should be fun, floundering. At least it does not give Connery a love interest (though the comic would have actually justified it a bit). Did I enjoy it? Yes, in a horrific way. But it certainly was not extraordinary.