ZERO STARS/**** Image A- Sound A Extras B+
starring Sean Connery, Naseeruddin Shah, Peta Wilson, Tony Curran
screenplay by James Dale Robinson, based on the comic books by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill
directed by Stephen Norrington
by Walter Chaw Though I'm a fan of Alan Moore, it's pointless to address the myriad departures made by the cinematic adaptation of his graphic novel The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen--doing so would not only take too much time, but also miss the point entirely. Stephen Norrington's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen isn't appallingly bad only because it departs completely from its source material, but rather because it's a work of extreme cynicism and incompetence on every appreciable level, too. Five minutes into the film, a steam-powered tank has already stormed its way into a London bank (demonstrating a technical superiority for the bad guys that instantly invalidates the main conflict of the film) and a German zeppelin factory has gone the way of the Hindenberg--both scenes marked carefully by unhelpful title cards (London 1899; Germany 1899) that become something of an unintentional running joke, the only vaguely amusing thing to follow in what amounts to one of the most painful experiences to be had this year short of dental surgery, an Andrew Lloyd Weber revival-in-the-round, or getting stabbed in the eye with a knitting needle.