or, “The Most Fun Sean Connery’s Had Since ‘Last Crusade‘”
or, “Also, Dorian Gray is the Spy”
Scrolling Exposition – Out with the old, in with the new, let’s get this movie started!
Bobby 1 – Oy, laddies, wot is that?
Bobby 2 – Cor blimey it’s a metal movin’ box thing! We should arrest it, mates!
Bobby 3 – I say, moving metal box thing, you should stop right now before you run over me and I get dreadfully cross. Pip pip and all that my good fellow.
[[the tank, of course, does not stop nor does the bobby move; it continues to the Bank on London running over everything followed by cops and elects to blow up the vault door instead of just running through it like everything else]]
Minion – <We got all the money, Boss!>
Mysterious Masked Figure – <I’m not just here for money. I’m here for the plot twists!>
Minion – <You’re not going to break into song, are you?>
Mysterious Masked Figure – <Um, no. Why would you think that?>
Minion – <Because if that mask was white it would probably be a copyright infringement.>
Mysterious Masked Figure – <Shut up!>
Gentleman’s Club (not that kind), Kenya:
Sanderson Reed – I’m looking for Allan Quatermain. I need him to help the British Empire from going to war.
Quatermain – I’m Quatermain. Allan Quatermain.
Reed – Wow, okay, so that’s how this movie’s going. Anyway, I need you to come back to London and help stop a world war.
Quatermain – Give me one good reason why.
Henchmen – We will! We’ll try to kill you!
[[It turns out young, armored, armed henchmen are completely ineffective at killing one old man with bad eyesight and a mean right hook; the only one Quatermain doesn’t kill outright is wounded by Quatermain as he attempts to flee; he promptly kills himself]]
Quatermain – Damn it!
[[And the gentleman’s club blows up]]
Quatermain – Damn it! I am running out of friends to outlive. Fine, fine, I’ll go back to London and try to stop whoever’s behind this.
Secret Lair, London:
M – I’m ‘M.’
Quatermain – I have met M, and you are no M.
M – James Bond references, really?
Quatermain – The movie is full of literary puns and references. This is only fair.
M – Fine. So you are going to lead a team of extraordinary gentlemen to stop the Fantom, who’s trying to start a world war. Of course, this is kind of misleading since not all of you are extraordinary nor are you all gentlemen as such, or, technically men at all.
Nemo – I am not a pirate.
Skinner – Yeah, but I am a thief.
Quatermain – Captain Nemo, what’s in it for you?
Nemo – That’s never going to be adequately explained.
Quatermain – Okay, fine. I thought the Invisible Man was a scientist.
Skinner – He was, but I stole his formula. Of course, it turns out there are a lot of downsides to being invisible and I’d rather like a cure.
Mina Harker – Excuse me, am I late?
Quatermain – Tell me that’s our secretary.
Harker – Wow, how enlightened.
M – She’s a chemist. So, there are two more people you need to pick up and then you need to go to Venice to stop a bunch of world leaders from getting killed.
Run-down Bachelor Pad, London:
Dorian Gray – Go to hell, Quatermain.
Harker – Oh, Dorian, that’s so rude.
Gray – Mina! I meant, come on in.
Quatermain – There’s a picture missing from your wall. I mean, anyone familiar with Oscar Wilde or the comic will know what that means, but I’m pointing it out for everyone else. Got that? Dorian Gray is missing a picture. This is absolutely important later. There will be no foreshadowing in this movie at all about this particular plot twist.
Gray – Look, I’m really not interesting in your mission. I just invited you in to flirt with Mina.
Quatermain – Yeah, I remember you from college. You were kind of a jerk then.
Skinner – Hang on, how bloody old is this guy if you remember him from when you were young?
Harker – Join us, Dorian. You’re needed.
Gray – Yeah, I’m thinking not, unless you can give me a very good reason.
[[suddenly the room erupts in gun-toting henchmen and the Fantom appears]]
Fantom – Join me or I kill you all.
Quatermain – Go to hell.
Gray – *sigh* I sense I’m about to get my suit dirty.
[[the fight starts when a mysterious friendly henchmen shoots the other henchmen; Skinner drops his clothes to hide; Nemo and Harker take cover, Quatermain pulls out his trusty right hook, and Gray pulls out a sword to take on men with guns; naturally in all the ruckus the Fantom escapes]]
Henchmen – Hahahahaha!! Never bring a knife to a gunfight! [[shoots Dorian repeatedly]]
Dorian – You ruined my suit!
Henchman 1 – *blink blink* Typically when I’ve riddled someone with bullets they really don’t care about the state of their clothes.
Dorian – Yes, well, I happen to care very much. [[stabs the henchmen and a well-placed ripping shirt shows the wounds closing over]] I liked that suit.
Henchman 2 – Hey, look, I’ve taken the woman hostage. Haha! Everyone drop your weapons and no one gets hurt.
Harker – Oh, little man, I wouldn’t say that. [[she goes into a bloody rage and rips into his throat and drinks his blood, then proceeds to fix her hair]]
[[The others stare in horror at what they have just witnessed]]
Harker – Oh, pardon me. I appear to have made a bit of a mess.
Mysterious Friendly Henchman – I’m Thomas Sawyer, American Secret Service. You can call me Tom.
Skinner – Forget that. Mrs. Harker, what the bloody hell was that?
Harker – My husband and I, and a man named Van Helsing, tried to destroy an evil called Dracula. I did not escape unscathed.
Nemo – Well, the Fantom will move quickly now. Let’s go find the last member. And look, I have an automobile!
Others – We have no idea what that word means. This is 1899.
Nemo – Trust me, it’s awesome. And then we’ll head to Paris in my submarine.
Others – Okay, we do know what that is.
Nemo – Yeah, but the Nautilus is way more awesome than any other submarine you’ve ever seen. [[it actually is]]
Sawyer – What the hell are we doing again?
Quatermain – Hunting man!
Sawyer – Is this legal?
Quatermain – He’s a fugitive, and don’t kill him because we’re going to recruit him.
Sawyer – But he’s a giant monster!
Quatermain – Right now. He’ll be better later. And quit wasting bullets!
Sawyer – But it’s the American way!
[[Quatermain manages to capture Mr. Hyde; by the way, where in the hell did Hyde find a hat that size? Are there a lot of novelty hat shops in Paris in 1899?]]
Skinner – Boy, I thought I was a freak.
Hyde – You are. I’m a monster!
[[kicks Skinner and Gray helps him up]]
Skinner – Hey, you obnoxious pretty boy, you just scratched the hell out of me for absolutely no good reason that the audience should pay attention to.
Gray – Yeah. Weird.
Quatermain – Mr. Hyde, if you help us stop a world war, the Queen will pardon you and you can go back to England.
Hyde – I miss terrorizing London. Fine, fine. Hang on a second. [[a quick, painful looking CGI sequence follows, and the monstrous Hyde is replaced by a meek, shivering man]]
Quatermain – Welcome aboard, Dr. Jekyll.
Jekyll – Would anyone mind getting me some pants that fit?
Nautilus, On Deck:
[[Quatermain is doing some target practice, because what the hell else is there to do]]
Sawyer – You’re pretty good, old man.
Quatermain – And you’re pretty lousy, kid. Here, let me teach you how to really shoot.
Sawyer – Sure, why not? It’s not as though this will be relevant later. So, are you really on this mission to help the Empire?
Quatermain – Hell no. I’m really wondering if I can finally die. I’ve buried pretty much everyone I’ve known and loved, including my son.
Sawyer – Dude, that sucks.
[[Jekyll is creepily watching Harker in her chemistry lab]]
Gray – So, what’s up?
Harker – I’m just analyzing this powder Captain Nemo found in his control room. It appears to be a component in flash powder.
Gray – So someone was taking pictures. How suspicious. Would you like a drink?
Harker – Sure. And would you care to provide your origin story for people who aren’t already familiar with it?
Gray – Sure. My magic picture has been stolen, which in no way makes me a spy. Okay, I am totally not a spy. Anyway, the portrait bears all of my sins for me, but I can’t look at it or it’ll kill me.
Harker – So why would having it stolen upset you so much? It seems to me this makes it easier to prevent you from accidentally looking at it.
Gray – Oh, hey, look, I accidentally caused you to smash your glass. Let me wipe up all that blood.
Harker – And then we should make out. Or something.
Hyde – Hahaha, loser. Drink the formula and I’ll take care of that pretty boy.
Jekyll – You are evil! No! [[but not very much later]] Then again, why the hell not. Hey, one of the vials is missing.
Nautilus, Control Room:
Jekyll – I think Skinner stole my Hyde formula. And he’s run off.
Nemo – Damn, so the invisible man is a spy in our midst and that is not an obvious red herring. Well, we’ll have to get to Venice and try to save everyone anyway.
[[Okay, everyone, time to lower the bar for suspension of disbelief; yes, the Nautilus can navigate the canals of Venice; just go with it]]
Quatermain – So we need to find those bombs.
[[The city starts blowing up]]
Nemo – We need stop those bombs by blowing up the next thing in the chain reaction. Or something! Here, take my automobile for a lively and thrilling chase through Venice!
Sawyer – Rock on! Wait, how do I even know how to drive this thing? Who cares!
[[The League, minus Jekyll who wants nothing to do with Hyde, and minus Nemo, tear down the streets and soon are being shot at]]
Gray – Drat it all. I’ll need a new suit again. [[hops out to take out some guys]]
Harker – Did you know I can turn into a bunch of bats and kill all those guys on the rooftops? [[she totally does that; incidentally, does anyone know why she elected to forgo her usual Victorian clothes for a leather and corset get-up generally associated with modern film depictions of vampires?]]
Quatermain – I’m going to go kill the Fantom while you keep driving this thing! Don’t forget to signal Nemo to blow you up!
[[Quatermain tracks the Fantom to a graveyard and eventually unmasks him, revealing him as M but doesn’t manage to actually capture M; in the meantime, Sawyer does what he needs to do and gets blown up; also, in case anyone missed the perfectly obvious, Dorian Gray was the spy]]
Nemo – Yay, we’ve saved the city. Is everyone still alive?
Harker – I can’t die.
Quatermain – I’m the star.
Sawyer – It turns out being American is apparently some kind of superpower and I am not dead.
Ishmael – But Gray is the spy! He totally shot me! [[dies]]
[[And in case we still don’t get it, Gray escapes in a mini-sub thing and opens the window just to flip everyone off as he goes because he is totally the spy]]
Nemo – How did we not see that coming? At least I can track the mini-sub! Let’s go!
Sailor – Sir, I found this record in Gray’s quarters!
Nemo – Let’s play it. I’m sure nothing bad can happen if we do that.
M (recording) – Hey gang. If you’re listening to this, Gray is totally the spy!
Hyde – Oy, Henry, this is hurting my ears.
Gray (recording) – Dude, they know that. I’m only the spy because you stole my picture.
M (recording) – You really felt the need to spell that out? Anyway, there was no meeting in Venice. All of this was a trick to get samples from each of you non-human types and steal Nemo’s steampunk technology. I just needed Quatermain to catch Hyde. I am totally going to make a fortune selling this stuff. Also, I embedded a high-pitched frequency only animals can hear that is going to cause a bunch of bombs to blow up… right…now!
[[Cue explosions but it turns out Hyde is super-strong and really doesn’t want to die so he risks his life to save the whole submarine]]
Nemo – We lived! But now we’ll never find them.
Sailor – I’m getting a message from Skinner. He’s given us coordinates!
Nemo – That is really convenient.
[[For someone so forward thinking, M puts his headquarters in one of the few places in the entire world that can apparently be reached by a river deep enough for the Nautilus]]
Quatermain – Skinner said he’d meet us here, so we wait here.
Skinner – Cor blimey I am naked in the snow. Could someone get me a jacket already?
[[They devise a plan to rescue the hostage scientists, destroy the weapons, kill M, and blow up the fortress, hopefully in that order]]
Quatermain – Okay, everyone split up. We need M alive, but you can kill anyone else if you need to.
[[Skinner goes off to plant explosives, Nemo and Hyde go to rescue the scientists, Quatermain and Sawyer go to fight M, and Harker heads for a showdown with Gray]]
Random Decadent Room:
Harker – Dorian, I’ve got beef with you.
Gray – Wow, that is not a very Victorian outfit. I mean, I like leather, lace, and corsets, it’s not very period-correct, is it?
Harker – Shut up, traitor.
Gray – Mina dear, are you really so upset I betrayed you? Let’s just live and let live. I mean, what’s the alternative since we’re both immortal here?
Harker – Well, we can duel while you make lame puns until I remember how you told me exactly how to kill you.
Gray – Did I really do that? That would have been very unwise. Hopefully I know how to kill you first. [[he doesn’t and his made to face his inner demons (i.e., the picture) and ages to death as his picture turns whole and pretty again]]
Henchman – Stop them! [[they open fire on Nemo’s men which works until Hyde goes all ‘Hulk-smash‘ on them]] Two can play at that game! [[drinks Hyde formula]]
Hyde – Oh, this is not going to end well. I sense a bad CGI fight about to happen here. [[he’s right as Super-Hyde takes the stage]] Yeah, yeah, that’s what pain feels like alright.
Nemo – I can help. [[he gets thrown against the wall]] Nope, nope, never mind.
Hyde – Just run for it. He’ll transform back hopefully before he kills us!
Sawyer – Hey, I think Skinner’s here, but I don’t know why he’s being all weird. You go take out M.
Invisible Assassin – I’m not Skinner, moron.
Sawyer – This is a problem.
Quatermain – Hold it right there, Professor Moriarty.
M – You figured that out? Really?
Quatermain – Apparently. I don’t know why you didn’t die and I don’t actually care. Give me the case with the biological weapons.
[[About this time the facility explodes; this allows Jekyll and Nemo to escape but throws a big crimp in Quatermain’s threats but he gets the upper right hook in on Moriarty anyway]]
Moriarty – If you kill me, my invisible assassin will kill young Sawyer.
Quatermain – Damn it! [[shoots in the invisible assassin but gets stabbed by Moriarty who jumps out of a window and lands completely unscathed; somehow]] My glasses are broken. You take the shot, kid.
Sawyer – Will do. [[takes Quatermain’s advice from earlier in the movie and kills M and the case falls into the frigid water]] We win!
Quatermain – Good job! [[dies]]
Sawyer – I’m really sorry he got killed. I thought he said Africa would never let him die.
Harker – I guess he was wrong. Now what?
Nemo – A sequel, maybe? Action, adventure, whatever, let’s just do something fun.
Sawyer – Cool.
[[they leave and a tribal priest of some sort says a spell over Quatermain’s grave, implying he’s going to be resurrected; also, Dorian Gray was the spy in case you missed it]]