The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen starts off with a fantastic premise. Bringing together great fictional characters to stop a world war from starting should provide a pop-culture kick for the actors and the viewers. Sadly, Steve Norrington has directed the film with such a heavy hand, and directed the actors to take the proceedings so seriously, that not a moment of levity or fun is allowed to grace the screen. The audience should have no problem accepting the basic premise, but it is far more difficult to suspend disbelief during a high-speed car chase through European streets in 1899. Such outlandishly silly scenes could still work if the film had a light and airy tone, but the explosions are so loud and the editing is so rapid that the film assaults the audience instead of letting it enjoy the surroundings and the goofiness. Sean Connery holds the screen, but mostly because there is nothing else worth looking at. Even he can't seem to work up much enthusiasm for the material. Stuart Townsend, Peta Wilson, and Shane West have been given interesting ideas rather than characters to play, limiting their seemingly game performances from being anything other than three of the more obvious wasted opportunities in this boring, disappointing would-be summer blockbuster.