V for Vendetta (2006) mini review

based on a comic book
From the Vault.

V for Vendetta was released on DVD yesterday. I'm planning on picking up the Special Edition, and thought I'd share my original thoughts of the movie.

Remember, remember, the fifth of November...

In V for Vendetta, Great Britain has become a fascist state. One man (Codename: V, played by Hugo Weaving) attempts to restore power back to it's rightful owners: the people. It is a tale of revenge more than a tale of terrorism and a tale of patriotism more than a tale of treason.

I've heard attempts to describe this film as glorifying terrorism, but I fail to make the connection to the present-day terrorism issues we're facing. There's probably less killing in this film than there is in a lot of television these days. That's not an attempt to justify or defend - just to give a basis of comparison. The desired result of terrorism is fear - the only people that V is making afraid in this film are those who have tyrannicaly wrested power from country's citizens.

Weaving is excellent as V; Natalie Portman plays Evey, his sometimes accomplice; and John Hurt (Hellboy) is Adam Sutler, the Chancellor of England. It's rather difficult to determine what in particular made the film so good (besides the opening and ending sequences, which held me transfixed). It's kind of like listening to a piece of music where no specific instrument stands out on its own, but together they create a seamless work of art. As writers and directors, the Wachowskis act as composer and conducter in creating one of the best comic book movies I’ve ever seen.

Regrettably, V for Vendetta was shunned by the author of the original comic (Alan Moore). Originally published in black and white, in the early 80's by Quality Comics under the name Warrior, it was published by DC in the late 80's under it's current name, V for Vendetta*. I wish I could remember more about the comic, but it's been a while since I've read it, so I can't really compare the two, but the end result is a powerful film serving to remind us all of the blessing of living in a free country.

*See Wikipedia

See it if you like well-made, well-acted films, even if they are a bit dark; especially if they make you think.

Don't see it if you're taking the family or aren't in a thinking mood.


Bones said...

After originally swearing to not see the film, I broke down and rented it last week. I hate to admit it, but I actually really enjoyed it. Different sure, but still damn entertaining. Of course, the book is light years better but then we all knew that going into it, eh?

Jim said...

Well, that goes without saying.

I only hope they do as well with Watchmen.