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Film / The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

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A 2003 Film Adaptation of Alan Moore's popular graphic novel of the same name, directed by Stephen Norrington and featuring a cast headed by Sean Connery, in his last live-action role before his retirement from acting.

It has the same basic premise and about half of the same characters, but is otherwise rather a departure from Moore's original. Joining the League in the film are Dorian Gray and Tom Sawyer, who is all grown up and a member of the American Secret Service. Due to the film character of the Invisible Man not being in the public domain, the screenwriters invented Rodney Skinner, who stole the invisibility formula and turned himself transparent in order to become a criminal mastermind.

Allan Quatermain (Connery) is recruited out of retirement in Africa, where he relocated after the death of his son, to lead the current generation of the League; Mina Harker (Peta Wilson), Dr. Henry Jekyll (Jason Flemyng), Captain Nemo (Naseeruddin Shah), Skinner (Tony Curran) and Gray (Stuart Townsend) are likewise recruited, while Sawyer (Shane West) joins voluntarily. The League believes themselves to be in a race against time to stop terrorists from destroying a peace conference, but the reality is a little different.

Jekyll and Hyde are a little different; Jekyll gets more screentime than Hyde, and he has to ingest a secret formula to release the monster. Oh, and Mina is now a widowed vampire instead of a divorced Badass Normal. Because of all such changes all tropes on adaptation will address to the comic book and the source novels.

The League of Extraordinary Tropes:

  • Action Girl: Mina, being a full-blooded vampire in this version, is right up there with Hyde as the most physically lethal member of the League.
  • Actor Allusion:
  • Adaptation Distillation: The whole Fu Manchu story arc had to be dropped because the studio couldn't get the rights to the character. The major characters' backstories are seemingly moved around (or not shown at all). And new major characters join the cast who were, at most, background characters or cameos in the original comics.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Dorian Gray and Tom Sawyer are added to the film as members of the League. In the comics both are only represented by visual cameos in pictures.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Dorian Gray was blond in The Picture of Dorian Gray.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • Allan Quatermain is a badass who's every bit the Great White Hunter that he was when he was younger. This is a major adaptation to the comics where he was introduced as a burned-out opium addict. In the source books, Allan was a the mighty hunter but did become more human and less confident after multiple life tragedies but this film version is more in line with that than the comics.
    • Here, Mina Harker retains vampiric abilities from her past encounter with Dracula; in the source novel after Dracula's death she was cured of them. The comics chose to make her a Badass Normal whose defining feature was her mysterious Dark and Troubled Past. Both however avoid making her just a Damsel in Distress as many adaptations have done to the character. While the comic aimed to show her wits and leadership skills more, the movie adds that she has apparently taken up the study of chemistry.
    • Dorian Gray, as compared to his portrayal in the original Oscar Wilde novel. In The Picture of Dorian Gray, there was never any indication that his condition did anything other than prevent him from looking older. In the film, he's not only explicitly immortal but also has a Healing Factor that makes him unbeatable in battle, healing any injuries instantly. (He’s also constantly looking at his portrait in the novel, something he apparently can’t do in the film.)
    • Mr. Hyde here is somewhat of a Superpowered Alter Ego that is Hulk size and is brought out by Jekyll drinking his formula. This was kept from the comic book, where Hyde eventually took over from Jekyll for good. Compared to the source novel both of these are a major increase to Hyde. Hyde was originally smaller than Jekyll but one line can be read to imply he grew in size or health the more he was let out. Jekyll started to change back to Hyde involuntarily and required more serum to revert from Hyde, and it stopped working. Jekyll was under the belief one of the chemicals he used may have been contaminated and that made it work in the first place. Then Jekyll or Hyde commits suicide. It would stand to reason though that if he had more time, he could have gained more stable control over it.
    • Moriarty in the source novel is a small-time Starter Villain whose power and influence are limited to London. In fact, he's not even the strongest crimelord of London and his entire motivation revolves around taking out his rival. In the movie, Moriarty is an international warlord with the goal of starting World War I. He also has a small army at his disposal and is working on reverse-engineering the League's powers for his own soldiers.
  • Adaptational Explanation: The film's change of the reason for the founding of the League managed to give an explanation of why Captain Nemo was even there. People had criticized Moore for altering Nemo's character a lot to have him help the British Empire on a small-scale issue. In the film the explanation of an impending world war makes more sense as to why Nemo would care. A deleted scene revealed that there was even greater motivation in that he agreed to help the British in exchange for the independence of India.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • Cleverly subverted with Griffin the Invisible Man. In the source material he was a sociopathic murderer who never cared about anything but himself and his whims. As normal per Moore, the comics upped him to rapist as well. In the movie it is revealed that Griffin did die like in his source novel, but the Invisible Man in the film is revealed to actually be Skinner, a thief who stole some of Griffin's invisibility serum and was turned transparent like him. Skinner is a straight up cheeky hero with none of Griffin's baggage.
    • While the film makes mention of Hyde's terrible acts, on screen he's nowhere near as bad. Jekyll also has more screen presence and can debate his evil side when looking in a mirror. This film presents Jekyll as seeing Hyde as a monster who he can't bother to let free again. Ironically Hyde proves he can have his heroic tendencies when Jekyll willingly lets him out. note  This is different from the comics where Hyde eventually took over completely from Jekyll and was a Token Evil Teammate with questionable attitudes. In the source novel Hyde was believed to be pure evil reflection of Jekyll but still a part of him. This makes it less certain when presented with something bigger than just hedonistic life in London that he'd step up like the comic or movie.
    • Captain Nemo is a bit more of a straight hero here. In the comics he had more issues as things went along, even though he was still a team player. In the source novel, Nemo is at best an Anti-Villain who rebels against the Empire. He does get a bit better after his Villainous Breakdown but this version is still far more openly heroic in helping the British Empire. Nemo does, however, have a tense conversation with Dr Jekyll about how their own pasts are rather questionable at best.
  • Adaptational Villainy: The movie portrays Skinner as a likable thief but the novelization says the League first found him raping schoolgirls while pretending to be the Holy Spirit like Griffin did in the comics.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Mina, in a way. Though she gains superpowers in the movie, she's no longer the cunning mastermind of the team and her status as the protagonist of the story is instead given to Quatermain and Sawyer.
  • Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole: Dorian Gray and his longevity's connection to his portrait. In the original novel, he will lose his immortality should the painting be destroyed, whereas in the movie, he will lose it if he looks directly at it. This creates a Plot Hole as to why Dorian betrays the League. According to him, Moriarty stole the painting and will only give it back if Dorian works for him, despite the fact that the painting being in Moriarty's possession wouldn't necessarily be a danger to Dorian. Ironically, Dorian's decision to be The Mole would have made sense if his immortality was tied to the painting's survival as it was in the original novel.
  • Adapted Out: Campion Bond, Mycroft Holmes, and Fu Manchu ("The Doctor" in the comics) are not present. Bond does appear at the end of the novelization.
    • According to Professor Moriarty, there never were any previous Leagues like in the comics, he made it all up. While the characters who were members in the comics may have still existed here, it would seem none of them had formed any team.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Jekyll has a thing for Mina, something only shown through his voyeurism. She, however, shows no interest in him and is seemingly more attracted to Dorian.
  • All Myths Are True: After a fashion. The film takes place in a universe where all Victorian literature is true.
  • All There in the Script:
    • Sawyer never gets his first name mentioned. When he first appears, he introduces himself as "Special Agent Sawyer of the American Secret Service," and for the remainder of the movie, all the other characters address him as Sawyer. His first name and a Shout-Out backstory is used once in a deleted scene, which can be viewed on the DVD; going strictly by the theatrical release, unless you work out his identity on your own, you'd never know he was Tom Sawyer.
    • In the original script, it is revealed at the end that Skinner is actually an agent for British Intelligence. He was working undercover to see if Sanderson Reed was actually a double-agent working for the Fantom. Also direct mention is made that Sanderson Reed was the second Invisible Man.
    • During the first meeting scene there are three custom made paintings hanging in the background that can be partially or fully seen throughout. While some are pretty easy to guess if you know your books, some were only officially identified by details in the script.
  • Always Save the Girl: After the fight in Gray's library, one of the Fantom's surviving mooks invokes this by putting his knife to Mina's throat until the men disarm themselves. This doesn't quite go the way he expected.
    Mook: I knew it! I knew they would do anything to protect you.
    Mina: See, now, that's your biggest mistake... thinking that I need them to protect me.
  • America Saves the Day: The main reason for Tom Sawyer's inclusion; the studio requested that an American be added to the cast (which, as Young Gun shows, creates a huge anachronism). But in terms of the movie, Sawyer wasn't the only one who saved the world from having a world war.
  • Anachronism Stew: All over the place. In the first scenes alone, for instance, the British soldiers being attacked are straight out of World War I rather than 1899. And that isn't counting Nemo's automobile, which wouldn't look too much out of place in the 1920s-30s. It is best to assume the fiction being true part has led to some alternate history, as we could just keep going with examples that otherwise make no sense.note 
  • Anti-Hero: Skinner, Hyde, and Nemo all have somewhat unsavory pasts and are a little reluctant to work with the others at different points, but have some good inner nobility.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: During the Venice bombing, the League try to ask Jekyll for Hyde's help, but Jekyll declared that he never wants to turn back into Hyde ever again. Dorian asks, "Then what good are you?" - as the team leave Jekyll behind to contemplate his purpose without Hyde.
  • Artistic License – Geography:
    • At one point, the League are trying to prevent too much of Venice blowing up, so they speed around it in Nemo's automobile. This is impossible, since Venice isn't so much a city as a group of islands joined by numerous bridges, with admittedly plenty of walkways and narrow streets but no proper roads. It would be hard enough to get around the place on a horse and cart or even a motorbike, let alone the enormous car they have in the film.
    • Furthermore, a vessel as massive as the Nautilus shouldn't be able to traverse the Venetian canals (which are around 5 metres deep) so easily.
    • For the climax, the League travel in the Nautilus and track the Fantom via the stolen exploration pod, up the Amur river, to one of the great lakes of Mongolia. Despite the events of the movie explicitly taking place in summer, Mongolia is depicted as a frozen wasteland. Being located in the center of a continent, Mongolia is very hot in summertime, and cold at winter.
  • Artistic License – History: Besides the Anachronism Stew already noted, the depiction of Venetians celebrating carnival is completely wrong - Napoleon Bonaparte banned the festival when he invaded Venice in 1797, and it wasn't reinstated until 1980, more than eighty years after this film is set. Although, M did say it's held in secret.
  • Artistic License – Physics: In Venice, Dorian Grey and Quatermain jump out of the Nautilus car Sawyer is driving at high speed and simply and nicely land on their feet... when they should be rolling painfully on the ground until they lose the speed of the car that was carrying them so fast.
  • Avoiding the Great War: The plot involves the mysterious Fantom supplying weapons for a world war, which he was orchestrating. The term "world war" is even mentioned for audience members who weren't paying attention.
  • Badass Bystander: When Quatermain is attacked at his club one of the other hunters there gets out his own rifle, getting a shot at the assassins which injures one with some splinters. After being forced to dive for cover he still yells out a warning to Quatermain when another killer comes at him from behind.
  • Badass Longcoat: Mina, Sawyer, and Quatermain wear dusters in the final battle while Dorian wears a long suit coat.
    • Skinner wears a long coat as well and is a shrewd, invisible thief who knows how to make an entrance and is able to figure out the whole Evil Plan while spying.
  • Badass Normal: Quatermain, Sawyer, and Nemo all lack in powers of their own (and Sawyer lacks Nemo's big ship or Quatermain's decades of adventures) but are capable of keeping up with those who do have powers.
  • BFG: Quatermain's elephant gun, Matilda, which is also I Call It "Vera".
  • Big Damn Heroes: Towards the end of the film, Skinner helps Sawyer finish off the flamethrower, but he gets badly burned in the process.
  • Big "NO!": Hyde yells "No!" when Dante drinks an enormous overdose of Jekyll's potion.
  • Bizarre Beverage Use: When Dorian Gray's home is invaded by agents of the Big Bad, Skinner - the invisible man - splashes scotch on his face to dissolve the white cosmetic he uses to make himself visible, so that he can swiftly shed his coat and attack the enemy unseen.
  • Blackmail: The reason Dorian agrees to be The Mole is because the Big Bad has stolen his portrait and will give it back if he cooperates. Interestingly for a villain, he actually keeps this promise. Even The Mole seems a little surprised by that.
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: Dorian Gray owns a gold-plated Luger.
  • Body Double: Of a sort. In Kenya, Quatermain's friend Nigel tells visitors that he is Quatermain; it allows him to have some fun while enabling the real Quatermain to avoid autograph hounds and those who just want to badger him about his adventures.This ends up backfiring on him horrifically, as he's murdered by assassins after proclaiming himself to be Quatermain.
  • Bond One-Liner: Quatermain gets in several during the fight in Kenya. Appropriate, given his actor.
    (shoots a mook in the face after the mook murders his impersonator) "Wrong Quatermain!"
    (smashes a mook in the face with a whiskey bottle, then glances at the label) "Wicked waste."
    (impales a mook on a rhino horn that's been mounted on the wall, then a Union Jack flag that was hanging over it falls down and drapes over him) "Rule, Britannia."
  • Book Ends: Near the beginning of the movie, Allan Quatermain shoots a villain at a long distance with a rifle, wounding him. During the film he teaches Tom Sawyer long-distance shooting. Near the end, Sawyer shoots the Big Bad with a rifle at long range, killing him.
  • Boom, Headshot!: When a mook murders Nigel in the tavern in Kenya, Quatermain stands, draws a revolver, and shoots the mook squarely in his unarmored head, killing him instantly.
  • Bowdlerise:
    • The film in comparison to the comic is far tamer in some regards. The comic tends to draw on more overt violence and sex as a part of its Deconstructive Parody. The film went for a more action adventure tone and goes ligther. Even in terms of how seedy the setting is the film has a more benign portrayal of British Intelligence, with The Reveal of Moriarty as M being a kind of surprise; in the comics, the latter was always a British agent whose criminal activities were knowingly enabled by the government.
    • Pretty much every character has prejudiced remarks sawed off from the comics. A lot of which were Moore's additions by assuming such characters would have certain beliefs. In their sources most of them rarely ever discussed some of the subjects.
    • The character of Griffin is this compared to Hawley Griffin in the comics. Hawley Griffin was a rapist and murderer. The murder part had been there in the source novel but Moore added the rapist part. His replacement, Skinner, is merely a cheerful, mischievous sneak thief.
    • The film features romantic subplots mostly around Dorian Gray, Tom Sawyer and Henry Jekyll having interests in Mina Harker. There is merely a makeout scene between Mina and Dorian in the book, while the comics would have a more explicit sex scene between Mina and Allan Quatermain as they engaged in a May–December Romance. That element is nowhere to be found in the movie.
    • Captain Nemo is also considerably more jovial and more of a team player, which is a complete reversal from both the comic and Jules Verne's book in terms of personality. Even if we are to assume this takes place after his Villainous Breakdown, it can still be argued he is distinctly less raw than the comic or book.
    • Hyde is much tamer than his comic counterpart. Hyde of the comics comitted full on page bloody crimes. Movie Hyde discusses misbehaving but is mostly shown doing heroric things. His backstory of murdering prostitutes from the comics is left out in favor of the League mentioning him doing terrible things. Within the book Hyde pretty much did what he wanted but given he was not the super strong monster of the comics his range of trouble was nowhere near the comics level.
  • Britain Is Only London: The only part of the country shown in the film. Also, Skinner - despite being played by Scotsman Tony Curran - has a Cockney accent.
  • Broken Pedestal: Sanderson Reed expresses disappointment when Quatermain has no interest in helping Britain again, and seems apathetic to the notion of a world war, as his past exploits have left him rather cynical. With disdain in his voice, Reed tells him to at least do it for Africa, since the war will spread to every British colony.
  • Brown Note: The concussion from the tank's main gun firing in the opening sequence puts the pursuing constables on the ground, groaning and helpless. Justified considering they just had several artillery shells powerful enough to blow the vault door off its hinges go off in a confined space; the bigger surprise is that the pressure didn't outright kill them and that the Fantom and his men can still communicate.
  • Canon Foreigner
    • Skinner is the only member of the League who is not directly imported from a 19th-century novel. This is because Griffin isn't in the public domain, at least as far as movie rights goes, unlike the rest of the League's members. Furthermore, Griffin is mentioned as the source behind the invisibility potion, but not by name.
    • Dorian Gray is not a League member in the comic book but he does appear to exist in the comic's universe. Dorian Gray's portrait appears on the cover of Volume 1 as a Freeze-Frame Bonus, as does a painting of the Nautilus done by Basil Hallward, the artist who painted the portrait in the book. A darkly humorous "Paint By Numbers" version of Gray's portrait is also included in the bonus materials for Volume 1.
    • Tom Sawyer, though, is more Artistic License. Mark Twain's original novels are set before The American Civil War. (Southern slavery largely drives the plot of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Huck runs away with his foster mother's house slave to keep her from selling him.) As Twain continued with two more books and various unfinished works, he didn't bother with things like internal continuity. As such, a producer of this film used the idea that since Tom Sawyer, Detective featured Tom as a teenager and was published not long before this film's timeline, they could base his age on that book's publication date rather than his chronological age from the first one. This is one truly unavoidable point in trying to merge multiple sources together: different authors have different priorities on what is important to them and their stories.
    • On minor levels, M's two associates, Dante and Sanderson Reed, are neither from the comic book nor any other fictional work.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: Among the members of the League, Quatermain and Nemo are the only two members that the Fantom can't kill right away. Allan is needed to capture Hyde (and with him, Jekyll's formula), while the Nautilus is required in order to keep whatever members survive his initial attack in close proximity to Dorian so he can collect what he needs. Once that's done, the villain wastes no time trying to murder them both.
  • Captain Obvious: Everyone. Just about every character will say aloud something the audience can clearly see for themselves, or explain what they are doing instead of trusting the audience to figure it out.
  • Cartwright Curse: Quatermain says that he's outlived two wives and many lovers.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • When the League members first enter Dorian Gray's house, Quatermain notices that one of the paintings on the wall is missing (leaving an obvious painting-shaped splotch). Anyone who knows the story of The Picture of Dorian Gray knows how important the painting is to Mr. Gray, but what isn't revealed until late in the movie is that the Diabolical Mastermind the Fantom stole the painting to extort Dorian Gray into working for him as The Mole.
    • Anyone who watched the movie carefully enough saw all of the actions of The Mole which were later revealed to be his tricks to obtain the League's superpowers and Nemo's technology. But in case you missed them, there's a brief montage of them during The Reveal. Also counts as a Rewatch Bonus, since they're easier to spot on a second viewing.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Allan Quatermain spends a scene teaching Secret Service agent Tom Sawyer how to shoot his elephant gun, counseling him on taking his time and feeling the shot. This is vitally important at the climax, when this skill is needed to take down the escaping Diabolical Mastermind.
  • *Click* Hello: When the Big Bad is making ready to leave his lair, Quatermain and Sawyer get the drop on him, with the former pointing the barrel of a Winchester rifle at the back of his head. He then goes on to deduce that their adversary is in fact the notorious Professor James Moriarty.
  • Clueless Mystery: Quatermain works out the true identity of the Big Bad, but there's never any indication given of how. The only clues come in the form of his secretary calling him "Professor," and The Dragon calling him by his real first name (which is a very common one). We have to assume that, In-Universe, Moriarty's criminal career is well known enough for Quatermain to have assumed this.
    • This is explained in the novelization: Quatermain is shown to be an avid reader of The Strand, he overhears "Ready, Professor?" at the beginning of the record Dorian left them (and indeed he is later shown to be fiddling with the recording, making sure he heard that sentence right), and when he and Sawyer sneak around M's private quarters, they hear a conversation between M and Dante where Dante refers to his boss as James. With all of that in mind it wouldn't be too difficult to imagine Allan putting Professor, James, and M together and coming to this realization.
  • Complexity Addiction: Many of the Fantom's actions and inactions can be excused in some way or another given the shrewd and paranoid crowd whose secrets he wants to steal. Caution is required in those cases. But letting Skinner live to act as a potential scapegoat for Dorian's espionage not only proves to be instrumental to his undoing, but largely excessive, as all he needed to take from him was a skin sample and he already had him in custody for quite some time.
  • Composite Character: The Fantom. With his name spelled with a "F" and his penchant for global terrorism, he appears as the pulp villain Fantômas. Yet he wears a mask resembling the Phantom of the Opera, which Quatermain lampshades. Likely this is because the Phantom is much more widely known by today's audiences than Fantômas. This of course taken to even more complicated extremes when he is revealed to be M from James Bond, who in this universe is also the notorious Professor James Moriarty. So the final film version is one book character masquerading as two other characters in which one is a composite of two other characters.
  • Cool Boat: The Nautilus, Nemo's massive futuristic submarine.
  • Cool Car: Nemo's "Automobile", which was mostly a souped-up 1950s style convertible and is far ahead of its time. Also, it runs on seawater.
  • Cool Sword: Nemo wields a scimitar in battle.
  • Curse Cut Short: During the car chase scene in Venice, Sawyer takes control of the wheel and has to avoid falling debris at one point, giving a loud yell of "WHOA!". The way he moves his mouth afterwards indicates the next word Sawyer used would have started with "sh".
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: This world has a lot of technology entering it long before it ever did in our real world.
    • Nemo has developed a lot of advanced technology, but keeps it to himself because he doesn't want it used for evil.
    • The villain actually intends to steal Nemo's technology, along with some others, to darkly play the trope by selling it to people to fuel wars.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Quatermain has lost many of the people he knew, particularly his son.
    "With each past exploits, I lost many friends, both white and black. That, and so much more. I'm not the man I once was."
  • Deadpan Snarker
    • Dorian and Quatermain regularly make quips. The Diabolical Mastermind gets in a bit of this too.
    • Skinner is constantly making wisecracks.
  • Dead Partner: It was cut from the final release of the film for pacing reasons, but a longer version of the "What now?" scene after the Nautilus is bombed by Dorian and nearly sunk explains that part of Sawyer's motivation for joining them is this trope.
  • Death by Adaptation:
    • Quatermain. He did eventually die in the 2012 story arc Century: 2009, but he was still alive in the comics when the movie was released. Although it's speculated that the shaman was reviving him at the end.
    • On a side note, Ishmael dies by Dorian shooting him with a golden gun. In the comics, Ishmael lives until 1925.
    • Griffin the original Invisible Man really is dead, like in his source novel.
  • Deathless and Debauched: Dorian Gray is both ageless and indestructible thanks to his portrait, and devotes himself to an exclusively sybaritic lifestyle: he wears nothing but tailored suits, lives in a decadent mansion, shares a nightcap of highly-expensive Amontillado sherry with Mina, and according to the novelization, most of the books in his library are obscenely pornographic. In fact, the only reason why he joins the League at all is because the thrill of violence offered a welcome change to his usual routine. It's actually because M is holding his portrait hostage. As soon as his work's done, he intends to head right back to London, claiming to be "in the mood for vice."
  • Decomposite Character: Fantom is a combination of The Phantom of the Opera and Fantômas but the novelization said he based himself on an in-universe opera phantom.
  • Determinator: Well, how else do you explain Tom Sawyer knowing how to drive a car?! He will not give up in his pursuit of the Fantom, or in any individual chases or fights despite him outmatched he may seem.
  • Diabolical Mastermind: The main villain is the Fantom, a wealthy arms manufacturer with highly advanced technology (which he forced a group of kidnapped scientists to make for him) and a desire to start a world war to drum up business. In reality, the Fantom is James Moriarty, the brilliant criminal mastermind from the Sherlock Holmes stories, who wants to analyze the League's super abilities and reproduce them in a form that can be given to others.
  • Disaster Dominoes: The bombs in Venice set off the domino-style collapse of one building after another.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Jekyll's sweaty and sick appearance and him looking at the potion box almost affectionately, Hyde encouraging him to take it before seeing one of the bottles is missing, reminds one of a junkie trying to fight against a fix and makes the elixir seem addictive despite how much pain it puts its taker through.
  • The Dragon: Dante, the Fantom's right-hand henchman.
  • Dramatic Curtain Toss: In the finale, Mina does this on Dorian Gray's portrait, exposing it to him so he'll be stripped of his immortality.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: After performing a Mugged for Disguise on one of the Fantom's mooks, Secret Service agent Sawyer joins them and ends up saving the League from being butchered.
  • Driven to Suicide: One of the Fantom's men swallows poison so he won't say anything.
  • Enemy Rising Behind: Mina pulls this in the finale part of the movie during her fight with Dorian Gray.
  • Epic Hail: The movie opens with a London cop racing to the scene of the Fantom's bank robbery blowing hard into his whistle to summon more cops.
  • Epic Launch Sequence: A small one that's easy to miss, but near the end of the film, when Nemo orders the Nautilus to go ahead full, the massive "Sword of the Ocean" goes from a dead-stop to a speed fast enough for hydroplaning to push the bow out of the water within about two seconds.
  • Exposed to the Elements: Skinner basically says that his penis has gone numb due to having to be naked in the winter to remain invisible.
  • Everyone Has Standards: In spite of Skinner's past as a notorious thief, Mina's reputation as a vampire scientist, as well as Quartermain and Nemo's opposition towards imperialism (especially that of the British Empire), they don't take so kindly that Moriarty was using Quartermain to capture Jekyll, as well as stealing and synthesizing Skinner's invisibility formula, Mina's vampire blood and Nemo's technological science for his ulterior plot of creating a world war for profit. Nemo even finds the idea of Moriarty coercing the kidnapped scientists to synthesize their abilities by holding and threatening their families to be quite monstrous.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Downplayed. While Jekyll himself is no saint given to his notorious crimes for mass murder and assault as Hyde, he knows damn well that he only drinks his serum in small vials only to keep his dirty urges at bay if necessary, and that he disapproves of Moriarty stealing and synthesizing his serum for his ulterior plot.
    Jekyll: (angered by Moriarty's true plot) I will NOT let my evil infect the world!
    • Even Hyde himself counts on a weird example, as he is horrified to witness Dante drinking himself a large quantity of the Hyde serum from a big flask to become a more dangerous monster than Hyde would ever be.
    Hyde: (shocked to see Dante drink the large dose of the Hyde formula) NOOOO!!!!! Not the whole thing!
  • Evil Counterpart: Granted that the League were already morally grey at best, but during the final confrontation in the fortress, Sawyer, Skinner, and Quatermain have to face an invisible man named Reed working for Moriarty, and his chief henchman Dante takes a huge overdose of the Hyde serum that turns him into a more malevolent version of Hyde.
  • False Flag Operation: British and German troops have been covertly raiding each other to seize one another's scientists. It was all actually the Fantom, engineered to falsely accuse the British and German governments and set them at odds with each other.
  • A Father to His Men: Nemo is this to his crew. Ishmael's death is clearly painful to him.
  • Film Adaptation (Live-Action): A one-time adaptation of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
  • Firearms Are Cowardly: Downplayed. The British characters don't have a problem with single-action firearms; however, when it comes to automatic firearms, notable disgust is given.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: The League (minus Dorian), who didn't get along for much of the film, until they truly become a team before infiltrating the Fantom's Mongolian compound.
  • Final Speech: Ishmael manages to live long enough after being shot to reveal Dorian as the traitor.
  • Flat "What": Quatermain after M aka Moriarty informs him that he would be in the League.
    M: I must say, the delight is mine, meeting so notable a recruit to this newest generation of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
    Quatermain: League of what?
  • Foreshadowing
    • Both The Fantom's ring and the door to M's office are emblazoned with the emblem of the Masons, a subtle hint made long before the reveal that there is at least some connection between the two.
    • As the Fantom makes his escape from the first battle, one of his henchmen shouts at him "Run, James!"
    • Minor one, but when Quatermain mentions he met Dorian at a university, Mina assumes that Dorian was a child when he met Allan. Allan corrects her, stating that he was the child - subtly foreshadowing Dorian's immortality to those that never read or watched his story.
    • After Jekyll accuses the mysteriously absent Skinner of stealing one of his vials, Dorian is the one who keeps reinforcing that Skinner's a traitor, reminding people to be mindful of him and shouting that he must've alerted the men shooting at them to the League's location. He's actually trying to draw suspicion from himself, since it's revealed later that he's the actual mole.
    • During a discussion with Captain Nemo, Quatermain says (referring to himself), "Old tigers, sensing the end, they're at their most fierce." Later in the movie, Quatermain has an encounter with a tiger (which may or may not have been real) and says, "Just an old tiger sensing his end. Perhaps this was not his time to die after all."
  • Friendly Sniper: Quatermain is a "grumpy old man" variant who comes off rather reminiscent of an elderly Connery!Bond, and a dead shot with any gun he picks up. Sawyer becomes one through Quatermain's tutelage.
  • Fun Personified: Skinner gives the impression of being this. It's a bit jarring if you've read the comics first, considering his counterpart there was a psychopathic murderer and rapist.
  • Gender Scoff: Quatermain is initially dismissive of Mina's membership in the league because of her gender. First he asks if she's bringing a sick note for her husband Mr. Harker, then he tells her she's a liability because she'll distract the men on the team.
    Quatermain: I've had women along on past exploits and found them to be, at best... a distraction.
    Mina: Do I distract you?
    Quatermain: My dear girl, I've buried two wives and many lovers. And I'm in no mood for more of either.
  • Gentleman Thief: Skinner proclaims himself to be one when he's first introduced.
  • Give Me a Sword: As a single surviving Mook flees from an attempt to assassinate Allan Quatermain at his club, he calls out for Bruce the bartender to toss him a rifle he keeps behind the bar to shoot the man with.
    Quatermain: Bruce, Matilda!
  • Glasses of Aging: While readying to sharpshoot a fleeing assassin, aging hunter Allan Quatermain has to pause to slip on his glasses before making the shot.
  • Good Guns, Bad Guns: You know Gray is a rotter when he shoots Ishmael... using a Luger! Also, the villains' automatic rifles resemble Steampunk AK47s, while those carried by Nemo's men look like Sten guns.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: In this version, Mina's vampire bite scars are just the traditional two little pinpricks rather than the massive and disfiguring scars she had in the comic.
  • Groin Attack: Quatermain to one of the Fantom's mooks in Africa; later, Mina to The Mole during their fight, the latter with a knife.
    Dorian: If that had been permanent, I'd have been very upset.
  • Growing Muscles Sequence: Jekyll changing to Hyde, then Dante when he takes an overdose of Jekyll's serum. Though mid-transformation, Jekyll more closely resembles the Elephant Man. "It's me on a bad day," indeed.
  • Hand Signals: Nemo uses them to direct his men while invading the Fantom's factory/fortress during the final arc of the film.
  • Heartbroken Badass: Mina, after she sleeps with Dorian and he reveals himself as the traitor.
  • Heavily Armored Mook: Some of the Phantom's personal guards in his headquarters are clad entirely in heavy armour. Sawyer had to battle one of these (wielding a flamethrower) at the end, which he barely managed to take down with some timely intervention from Skinner.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: He may prefer a less provocative title than "pirate," but Nemo will choose his trusty blade over any sidearm in a fight.
    Goon: Draw your pistol!
    Nemo: I walk a different path...
    Throws his scabbard at someone, spin-kicks some guys, then cuts people the $%&# up.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Hyde almost makes two. He survives them both, however. Skinner also survives the one he almost makes, although he does end up very badly burned.
  • Hindenburg Incendiary Principle: The Fantom leads a raid on a Zeppelin factory in Berlin to kidnap some scientists. During the attack, he fires an incendiary missile into some zeppelins and ignites their hydrogen cells, leaving them in flames.
  • I Am Not Shazam: Averted here, where they're actually called the "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen". While in the comics, they're referred to as "Murray's Group" (due to Mina being the team leader).
  • I Call It "Vera": Quatermain's trusty elephant gun, Matilda.
  • I Have Your Wife:
    • The Fantom forces the cooperation of the scientists who are helping him by holding their wives and children in prison cells.
    • The way he forces The Mole's cooperation is a sort of variation on the trope, which might be more accurately called I Have Your You. Dorian has no choice but to assist M in his schemes, because M has stolen the portrait which grants Dorian's immortality. Unusually for the trope, once The Mole completes his end of the bargain, the Fantom actually honors his promise and returns what he's been holding hostage.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Quatermain implies this when he initially refuses Reed's invitation to join the League back in England, citing hardships he experienced during his many years in Africa, including the many deaths he witnessed. Most of them were people he knew back in his adventurer days, including his only son. At this point he just wants to live out his last days in quiet retirement.
  • Immortality Field: Discussed when Allan Quatermain mentioned that "Africa wouldn't let him die." It was unclear whether it was literal or figurative and it didn't help that he died in Mongolia. However, the film ends ambiguously with a Witch Doctor summoning a storm with a ritual and lightning striking his grave.
  • Immortality Inducer: Dorian Gray's portrait, just as in the original novel, ages instead of him.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: During the fight between Allan Quatermain and the Fantom's men in Africa, Allan pushes one of the men into a rhinoceros's horn mounted on a wall, killing him.
  • Implausible Fencing Powers: Nemo while fighting the mutated Dante. Despite the sheer speed of his slices, he's unable to damage the thug.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Quatermain and Sawyer with the rifles, although the former has a hard time doing so in his senior years. The former also has good aiming skills with knives.
  • In Name Only: The comic book is a Victorian era Crisis Crossover, whereas the movie is an Alternate History Steampunk sci-fi thriller whose characters just happen to be lifted from books. Movie!League makes Quatermain the leader/hero instead of Mina, as well as adding Dorian Gray and Tom Sawyer (who weren't even mentioned in the books), replacing Psycho for Hire Hawley Griffin with an invisible Gentleman Thief, turning Quatermain from a burned-out opium addict to a badass Deadpan Snarker, and making Mina a vampire.
  • Instant Marksman: Just Squeeze Trigger!: Quatermain gives this advice to Tom Sawyer when they're en route to the villain's base.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: The elderly Quatermain becomes a friend and mentor to the younger Sawyer.
  • Invisible Stomach, Visible Food: At one point Skinner helps himself to a glass of scotch... which is visible inside him as he's drinking it.
  • Invisible Streaker: Skinner has to be naked to be fully unseen to others. This causes him a few problems in Mongolia's winter:
    "... And need I remind you, I am naked in the snow. I can't feel any of my extremities and I mean any of them."
  • Ironic Echo: "Eyes open, boy. I can't protect you all the time." Quatermain says this to Sawyer after saving his life; late in the film, when Sawyer returns the favor, he also returns the quip.
  • It's Always Mardi Gras in New Orleans: It just happens to be Carnival in Venice when the League arrives — even though a) the film is clearly stated to take place in July, while Carnival ends on Shrove Tuesday, which occurs in February or March in the Northern Hemisphere; and b) Napoleon banned Carnival when he invaded the city, more than a century before the film starts.
  • It's Personal: Sawyer's reason for joining the League. The detailed explanation was cut from the film but is shown in deleted scenes on the DVD. The Fantom killed Sawyer's partner, a childhood friend. This agent is unnamed in the film, but he's obviously Huck Finn. The novelization states this outright.
  • Just Between You and Me: Lampshaded.
    Big Bad: Now some of you will pause to ask; why I'm letting you know all this? What fool reveals his stratagem before the game is over? It is over - for you. Because my voice isn't the only sound being made. While I've rambled on, a secondary layer of inaudible sound higher than humans can heard — audible only to dogs, lower animals - is being heard by crystal sensors dotted around your vessel.
    Gray: Sensors attached to bombs. Bomb voyage!
  • Local Reference: It's an American-made film, and adds an American (Sawyer) to the team. In the original, all the characters were from Europe or, in Nemo's case, Asia.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: Dorian Gray is a Sharp-Dressed Man with a lot of luxury items and a Big Fancy House.
  • Manly Facial Hair: Nemo has a very long beard, in Sikh style, and is a feared and cunning warship commander.
  • Masked Villains, Unmasked Heroes: The Fantom wears a mask to hide his horribly scarred face, while none of the heroes wear a mask. The Fantom wears his mask and fake scars to hide his identity as M, the British government official who created the League for his own sinister purposes.
  • Meaningful Funeral: The finale features Nemo taking everyone and Quatermain's body back to Africa to lay him to rest. As they leave a witch doctor chants over his grave, echoing the idea that Quatermain mentioned earlier about how Africa wouldn't let him die.
  • Men of Sherwood: Captain Nemo's submarine crewmen don't accompany the eponymous Badass Crew during the big battle scenes but are exposed to a lot of danger (like the submarine nearly sinking) and handle themselves effectively and with few to no casualties (minus a guy The Mole shoots after revealing his true colors).
  • Mirror Monologue: Jekyll frequently speaks to Hyde's image in the mirror. Subverted in that the mirror talks back. Hyde gets to do it too to Jekyll at one point.
  • Mistaken Identity: "Wrong Quatermain!", the real Quatermain declares before killing the man who shot his decoy.
  • The Mole:
    • Dorian Gray is really working for their enemy the whole time.
    • They thought Skinner was the mole. They thought wrong. He was spying on the real one. In the novelization, it turns out that he's actually a planted member of Her Majesty's Secret Service!
  • Mugged for Disguise: Secret Service agent Sawyer was following the League. He saw the Fantom's mooks following them, knocked out a straggler and took his costume.
  • Mugging the Monster: At one point, the Fantom's men try to hold Mina hostage. This is when she reveals her vampiric nature and deals with them easily.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • In one scene, a poster telling of "Volcanoes on Mars!" can be seen in the background, a nod to the plot of the second volume of the comic.
    • In another scene, there's an advertisement for an upcoming carnival that features "Dr. Alan Moore" and "Dr. Kevin O'Neill". Said advertisement is also a reproduction of the credits page from the first issue of the comic.
    • If you look close enough at Nemo's automobile, you can just barely make out two tiny metal statues of Ganesh attached to the hood of the car as ornaments. This may be a subtle nod to the graphic novel, where the steering wheel of the Nautilus was a metal statue of Shiva, with his arms as the spokes of the wheel.
  • Near-Miss Groin Attack: In the climactic fight, Sawyer alerts Quatermain someone is close, only to relax when he realises the person is invisible. He calls out, "It's okay, it's Skinner!" only for the person to knock him down and say, "What makes you think I'm Skinner?" The attacker comes after Sawyer with a knife, striking the floor between his legs as Sawyer scoots backward.
  • Neck Snap: During the fight in Dorian Gray's mansion, Captain Nemo does this to one of the Fantom's mooks.
  • Never Bring a Gun to a Knife Fight: As Nemo demonstrates, he can take down loads and loads of the Phantom's mooks, which have firearms, using only his trusty sabre.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Moriarty forming the League in the first place, which Sawyer points out in a deleted scene.
  • No One Should Survive That!: Tom Sawyer crashes Nemo's car upside into a building(already a ridiclous survival feat) and than is shown trapped underneath it when Nemo's missile destroys the entire area. Tom than just shows up a minute later to the other heroes like it was nothing.
  • Not His Sled: The Invisible Man is heavily hinted to be a traitor (as he was for the Martians in the comic books), but this turns out to be a Red Herring; the real traitor is Dorian Gray.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Sanderson Reed, the envoy sent to recruit Quatermain into the League, initially appears as a harmless bureaucrat. But upon taking the invisibility serum in the climax, he proves himself to be an extremely dangerous opponent against Sawyer.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Barkeeping: Allan Quatermain first appears in an African bar. It's clear who the bartender is because he's polishing a glass with a cloth.
  • Offstage Villainy: Nemo and Hyde. The movie doesn't have Kick the Dog moments for either of them like the comics. They come across as relatively decent people with no qualms about killing their enemies and, in the case of Hyde, a lust for violence that still doesn't stop him from doing the right thing - in fact, he's the one suggesting plans to save everyone - despite characters often talking about how detestable they are.
  • One to Million to One: Mina can split up into a swarm of bats at will, travel some distance, and reform into a human again.
  • One-Winged Angel: Jekyll turns into Hyde (in the size of a bear) after drinking a small but proper amount of his potion.
    • Dante turns into a huge, towering behemothnote  after drinking too much of Jekyll's potion, something that even Hyde himself cannot stand to witness.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: When the Fantom confronts the League, he speaks with a much different accent than the one he used to talk with at the very beginning of the movie. It's both an allusion to how he was partially inspired by Master of Disguise Fantômas and foreshadowing that he's neither French nor Russian, but British. And once M is revealed to be Moriarty, his accent changes from an upper-class accent to a cockney working-class one.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Quatermain's son died while accompanying him on an adventure. It's unclear if he ever had other children (given his multiple marriages and lovers), but if so they don't seem to have any role in his life.
  • Parental Substitute: Quatermain becomes a father figure for Sawyer over the course of the film.
  • Passing the Torch: Quatermain's last words to Sawyer. "May this new century be yours, son, as the old one was mine." In a possible double meaning, this also foreshadows America taking over from Britain as the dominant world power in the Twentieth Century.
  • Pinned to the Wall: Dorian Gray is run through with a sword so firmly he ends up pinned to the wall and unable to pull the sword out. Due to his near Complete Immortality, this doesn't do anything more than annoy him. Until Mina shows him his painting, that is.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Mina is said to be a chemist, and is even introduced as such by M when he's rattling off the members of the League. She uses her chemistry skills exactly once in the entire movie (to identify some magnesium phosphorous left behind by a spy camera on the Nautilus), and it's rather obvious that she was recruited for her vampiric superpowers—making it somewhat baffling why the writers even bothered to establish her as a chemist at all.note 
  • Playing Possum:
    • One of the Fantom terrorists before he tries to take Mina hostage. Suffice it to say that he meets with a gruesome fate.
    • Mina does this after being stabbed by Dorian, causing him to let his guard down so she could pin him to the wall.
  • Plot-Demanded Manual Mode: When the Nautilus is sinking from a bomb explosion, and the controls to seal off the area where the hull is breached aren't working, Mr. Hyde needs to swim down and release the hatch manually.
  • The Power of Friendship: What seems to be fueling the League after Sawyer's Rousing Speech. As they make their way to stop the Big Bad, we're treated to a montage of scenes in which they work together and demonstrate genuine kindness to one another and to the members of Nemo's crew.
  • Pretty Boy: Tom Sawyer by comparison to his team mates is intended as the younger good-looking male of the team.
  • Prevent the War: The League is assembled to find out who is inciting the powers of Europe to go to war, and stop their plot. However, the Big Bad made clear that it's inevitable.
  • Pun: The Mole's final words to the League.
    Dorian Gray: Bomb voyage.
  • Punched Across the Room
    • During the fight in Dorian Gray's library, Captain Nemo twice kicks opposing mooks and knocks them back, once into a wall.
    • After Hyde is captured and chained, he repeatedly hits Nemo's sailors with his fists and sends them flying into walls and through a door.
    • During the battle inside the fortress, the Fantom's The Dragon drinks an overdose of Jekyll's formula. He later hits both Hyde and Captain Nemo and knocks them a long way into walls.
  • Punny Name: The Big Bad.
    Quatermain: The Fantom? Very operatic.
  • Quickly-Demoted Woman: Mina's position as leader of the League in the comics is handed off to Quatermain instead. A possible subversion, however; she becomes the most powerful member of the cast, an immortal vampire. She could be considered Second-in-command, or even the new leader following Quatermain's death.
  • Rapid Aging: Dorian Gray suffers from this after seeing his portrait, which revoked his immortality.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Mina Harker's eyes turn red when she lets her inner vampire out.
  • Red-Flag Recreation Material: In the novelization, Captain Nemo is initially saddened at the damage inflicted on Dorian Gray's library during the initial fight with the Fantom... up until he takes a closer look and realizes that the books are works by the Marquis de Sade, annotated with illustrations and even photographs, a good indication that Dorian is a) Deathless and Debauched, and b) almost as anti-heroic as the rest of the League. He's actually the Fantom's mole on the team.
  • Red Herring:
    • In one scene, Mina and Quatermain spot Nemo praying to a statue of Kali, the Goddess of Death and Destruction, which worries Mina. Though Quatermain reassures her, saying that Nemo isn't the one who should worry them.
    • Skinner spends much of his time sneaking around the ship invisible between action sequences and is immediately assumed to be The Mole. Actually, it was Dorian. Skinner instead manages to put one over on him, stowing away aboard the mini-sub that Dorian steals and leading the League straight to the Fantom's headquarters.
  • Red Shirt: Basically anyone on Nemo's crew other than the captain himself. (And maybe Ishmael.) Unlike most examples, only a very few were killed.
  • Redeeming Replacement: Skinner, a gentleman thief, to the original Invisible Man, a murderous maniac.
  • Redemption Quest: Jekyll after Quatermain informs him that the British Prime Minister can grant him amnesty for his crimes as Hyde. He joins the League because of this. M indicates that Nemo signed on for a similar pardon.
  • Refusal of the Call: Quatermain refused the offer to help prevent a war, until a group of people arrived to kill him. Realizing the war will spread everywhere, including his current home in Africa, he accepted the offer.
  • Retraux: The Big Bad's recorded message (though only heard by the League) is seen by the audience as a scratchy B&W film.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Quatermain starts to teach Agent Sawyer how to shoot, not "like an American." Sawyer asks him if Quatermain taught his own son to shoot before he died. Quatermain just turns and leaves him standing alone on the deck of the Nautilus.
  • A Rotten Time to Revert: In the finale, Mr Hyde is pitted against Dante, who has massively overdosed on Jekyll's formula and is now bigger and stronger even than Hyde. While Dante is burning through his dose of the formula faster, Hyde's dose runs out first and he soon reverts to Dr Jekyll, forcing him to beat a hasty retreat with Captain Nemo... but he still winds up better off than Dante, who ends up getting buried under a ton of rubble and is presumably crushed to death when he reverts.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin
    • The DVD subtitles contain a glaring error. Quatermain, when describing his last mission to Sawyer, says that "I even took my son along." Somehow, this was transcribed on the DVD as "I even took my son-in-law."
    • And in the fandom this is even worse. The character is Dorian Gray; his first name is not Darien or Dorain and his last name is not Grey. Jekyll's name gets mangled constantly - Jekill, Jekyl, Jackal, etc. The worst one was probably a fic that repeatedly misspelled Tom Sawyer's first name as Tow.
    • Overlapping with Spell My Name With An S, Quatermain isn't helped by the fact that his son's gravestone spells it "Quartermain". This one is actually excusable, given that H. Rider Haggard - the author of the Quatermain novels - had a tendency to alternate between the two spellings. However, Quatermain's first name is always Allan, with two Ls, something people tend to get wrong even on this website.
  • Russian Reversal: This exchange between Skinner and Gray, right after Quatermain and Sawyer capture Hyde:
    Skinner: Hullo, Dorian. The great white hunter's bagged his prize.
    (one of Nemo's redshirts goes flying out the door to Hyde's prison)
    Gray: Or the prize bagged him.
  • Samus Is a Girl: In the first act, when he's told that one of the recruited members of the League is a brilliant chemist named "Harker", Quatermain (along with the audience) immediately assumes that it's Jonathan Harker, the hero of Dracula. It's actually his widow, Mina.
    (Mina strides into the League's first meeting)
    Quatermain: Please tell me that this is Harker's wife, with a sick note!
    Mina: "Sick" would be a mild understatement. My husband's been dead for years.
  • Sapping the Shapeshifter: Late in the film, the Fantom's chief henchman Dante takes an overdose of Dr Jekyll's formula and transforms into a gigantic muscle-bound behemoth that easily tanks everything Captain Nemo and Mr Hyde can dish out. However, Hyde soon reveals that Dante is burning through his formula at an accelerated rate and will soon change back, so all they have to do is delay him until he returns to normal. Ultimately, Dante ends up getting pinned down by a mountain of rubble when the bombs planted around the facility go off, leaving him trapped until - as the novelization illustrates - he's crushed to death when he finally reverts.
  • Schizo Tech
    • The firearms used by Fantom forces. They were really Uzis, AKs and Thompson physically altered to look like steampunk weapons. Likewise for Nemo's troops, who wield steampunk-ized Sten guns.
    • How about a tank at the end of the 19th century, which magically appears in the middle of London?
  • Secret-Identity Identity: A double feature with the Fantom. Not only is he really M, the guy who hired the League in the first place, but as Quatermain somehow figures out, he's really Professor Moriarty, the presumed-dead nemesis of Sherlock Holmes!
  • Sequel Hook
    • The Meaningful Funeral ends with a native witch doctor doing a ritual over Quatermain's grave, which makes the ground shake, lightning crash across the sky, and the clouds to turn dark. This was probably meant to be Quatermain coming back from the dead, since "Africa will never allow him to die." However, according to Jason Flemyng, the sequel will probably never happen because Connery doesn't want to do it, and has since retired from acting; his death in 2020 confirms this. The film's box office performance didn't help. To some people, though, this should be better explained. Talking just pure budget money, the film very much succeeded in recouping that cost. However, all reports clearly show that the studio wanted more. This in metaphor is like wanting an "A" in school and getting a "C". Sure, you passed, but you are still highly disappointed. And that kind of reaction surely doesn't help anyone wanting to fund another big budget action sequel.
    • Also, in one scene there's a brief shot of a poster with a message about "Volcanoes On Mars!", a subtle nod to Vol. 2 of the comics where the League battles the aliens from The War of the Worlds. Had a sequel actually gotten made, the plot might have had something to do with this.
  • Ship Tease: As well as Mina's past relationship with Dorian and Jekyll's interest in her, Sawyer also attempts to flirt with her on occasion; deleted scenes reinforce the idea that Mina at least began to warm up to Sawyer after he proved himself in Venice.
  • Shooting Superman: An odd example where both sides of the conflict are shooting and Superman. When Mina fights Dorian, they go at each other with knives and sword... but they're both immortal, and quickly heal up from the surface cuts they're giving each other. Dorian comments, as cuts to his and Mina's faces close up, that "We'll be at this all day."
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shur Fine Guns: The Fantom assassins deployed in Kenya. One of them had a jammed Steampunk-like machine pistol, which Quatermain used to his advantage in unarmed combat.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Mina Harker is the only woman in the League (and the only woman with a speaking role in the entire film).
    • Well, the Big Bad's secretary gets two words...
  • Spare a Messenger: When the Fantom raids the Bank of England in the Action Prologue, he orders his men to machine-gun the British bobbies responding, but to leave one alive to tell the tale.
  • Spared by the Adaptation:
    • Hyde dies in the original comic, but lives in the movie.
    • Subverted with the Invisible Man. Griffin is said to have died before the League got a chance to recruit him, whereas the book states that he faked his supposed death at the end of Wells' novel. But Skinner, who takes Griffin's place, survives until the end of the movie, whereas Griffin was killed by Hyde in the second volume of the comics.
  • Spear Carrier: With the exception of first mate Ishmael, most of Nemo's crewmen only have a few of lines of dialogue at best that are related to their jobs on the sub, and not much characterization. The only thing that keeps them from being a Red Shirt Army is how almost none of them actually die.
  • Spell My Name With An S: Quatermain's name is spelled "Quartermain" on his son's headstone.
  • The Stinger: After all of the characters leave Quatermain's grave, an African shaman begins chanting over it...and the dirt above the grave begins to tremble as the skies darken and lightning flashes.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Lots of it, starting with the Britannia Club in Kenya and continuing right on through Venetian fireworks to crystalline sound-triggered bombs throughout the Nautilus.
  • Submarine Pirates: Nemo and his crew, who hunt enemy ships and operate out of a submarine.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Hyde is this for Jekyll, though rather differently from the book or the graphic novel - Jekyll's physically normal, Hyde's a hulking beast.
  • Sword Cane: Dorian's largely decorative cane conceals a blade that he uses in combat with the Fantom's minions, when they attack his apartments, and then later on Mina, when he's been revealed as the traitor.
  • Take the Wheel: While the protagonists are driving in Nemo's car in Venice, Sawyer does this to Quatermain - who promptly tells Sawyer he has no idea how to drive the bloody car.
  • Tank Goodness: The Fantom's are reminiscent of the early British WWI models but lack sponson-mounted guns. Instead they have a single Fixed Forward-Facing Weapon concealed beneath an armored cover up front, one powerful enough to blow a bank vault door off its hinges inwards.
  • Team Hand-Stack: The heroes make one, instigated by Hyde, just before entering the Fantom's factory/fortress.
  • That Man Is Dead: When the Big Bad is revealed to be Professor James Moriarty, he scoffs at the identification, saying, "James Moriarty? The so-called "Napoleon of Crime"? That man died at Reichenbach Falls. He died, and I was reborn!"
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Mr. Hyde gets this reaction upon witnessing Dante drink a large dose of the Hyde serum, knowing damn well that it will turn him into a more deranged and dangerous monster that Hyde himself would ever have been; he even lampshades this to Nemo:
    Nemo: (shocked to see Dante in his monster form) What is that thing?!
    Hyde: (sighs in disgust) It's me on a bad day.
  • Tiny-Headed Behemoth: Mr. Hyde, a human-sized head on a massive, hulking body. Also the much larger "Super-Hyde" in the film's climax.
  • Title Drop: The full title isn't used very often - M says it at the meeting where he introduces Quatermain to Nemo, Mina, and Skinner - but "the League" is mentioned frequently.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Subverted with Dorian Gray, who is revealed to be a straight up bad guy operating as The Mole.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • While hardly an extra in the comic (see Badass Normal in the general series section) and actually demoted in role, Mina is upgraded into an incredibly powerful elder vampire who is the most dangerous member of the team, and who gets the movie's primary Wolverine-style fight with fellow immortal Dorian Gray.
    • Also applies to Dorian himself; in the original novel, it was never suggested that his immortality was anything more than him no longer aging, but here he possesses a Healing Factor that lets him shrug off being machine-gunned in the chest at point-blank range and keep standing.
  • Unwitting Pawn: The League is assembled only as a way for Professor Moriarty to gather their powers and technologies to create a weapons kit to sell to the nations of the world.
  • Villain Has a Point: Before his death, Moriarty makes it clear to Quartermain that even when Moriarty and his cronies are gone, there will still be people who want to start a world war. Given to the fact that the first World War started 15 years after the events, you can say that Moriarty makes a valid point:
    Moriarty: You think you're gonna come in here and wreck all this? We're just rebuild it! There'll be others like me, Quartermain! You can't kill the future!!
  • Visual Pun: Apart from a white shirt, Dorian Gray dresses entirely in shades of grey.
  • War for Fun and Profit: This is the Big Bad's plan - kidnap the world's scientists, make advanced war machines and Super Soldiers, and sell them to both sides for a world war. Oh, and he's also trying to instigate the war in question, although, when the League foils his plan, he replies that the war is inevitable.
  • We Can Rule Together: The Big Bad makes an offer of this sort, to The Mole, who declines. It's something of a subversion of the trope, however; he doesn't refuse because he's a good guy (he's definitely not). He just doesn't want to be bothered, and would quite like to return to his old life. Another reason is because he's seen empires come and go in his long life and knows Moriarty's reign won't last, so he isn't interested. The Big Bad is not happy with his decision, accusing him of being superior to the Big Bad.
  • We Do the Impossible: This is more or less the whole point of creating the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen - to bring together those remarkable individuals who can do what ordinary people cannot.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: It's unclear if the people at Quatermain's club (the Badass Bystander hunter, Toby the doorman/valet, and Bruce the bartender who tossed Quatermain his elephant rifle), were killed by the bomb left behind. It feels likely that they might have gone outside to look up on Quatermain going after the fleeing man that he'd shot (and there is a gathering crowd there), but none of them are specifically visible in the background of that scene.
  • Weird Historical War: The whole climax revolves around the protagonists trying to prevent one — if the Big Bad has his way, all of the sides of World War I will tear each other apart with vampires, Hydes, invisible assassins and Nautilus navies.
  • The World Is Always Doomed: When he's first getting recruited by Sanderson Reed, who says that the British Empire is in peril, Quatermain cynically replies, "You're probably too young to know, but the empire is always in some kind of peril."
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: The Fantom excels at this. His assassins succeed in killing Quatermain? Then that's one less potential threat to his plans. He survives? The attempt on his life motivates him to come out of retirement to capture Hyde and Jekyll. He manages to kill the League at Dorian's home? He gets to harvest at least Mina and Skinner's remains. If that fails? Dorian will have earned their trust to enter the Nautilus and purloin its secrets as well as the intentions and genetic samples therein. If Venice is destroyed, World War I will get kickstarted and if it doesn't, he's confident that it will happen in due time and by that point he'll have all he needs to make copies of the League's members.
  • You Are Too Late: After The Reveal and his escape, The Mole leaves behind a record of himself and the Fantom explaining their Evil Plan to the remaining League members. Then the Fantom explains that there's a secondary sound on the record, which has triggered bombs planted throughout the Nautilus (Jekyll and Hyde could hear it, but didn't know what it was). Almost as soon as the explanation is given, these go off and nearly sink the ship, but Hyde manages to trigger an emergency blow, surfacing the sub. Nemo knocks down the recording, hoping to stop it in time.
  • Young Gun: Tom Sawyer plays this part as the young good-looking guy with a gun. See Canon Foreigner for more on why this is a problem for some.