Remember, remember the 5th of November, the gun powder treason and plot. I know of no reason why the gun powder treason should ever be forgot.
Running Time: 132 minutes
US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 15
Country: Germany, United Kingdom, United States
As he always does with film adaptations of his comics work, Alan Moore has distanced himself from the big screen version of his darkly prophetic, anti-Thatcher comic of the same name. I never read the source material, which I think, for an unbiased view of the movie, is usually a good way to start. Going in blind, I found myself thoroughly engrossed and entertained all the way through every one of its 133 minutes.
In a world thats not so far in the British future, Evey Hammond (Natalie Portman) is walking after curfew when shes accosted by government guys and subsequently rescued by a mysterious man in a Guy Fawkes mask with a fondness for black hats, big words, and bringing down the totalitarian regime thats ruling the nation. Though unwilling at first to see anything but the need for her own survival, Evey begins to understand that there are bigger ideas at play, and that she will inevitably play a part in the reshaping of the world.
So, though I didnt read the original comic, theres a definite comic book feel flowing through V for Vendetta, a feeling intensified by the image of an unmoving mask whose words are more prose than dialogue. Hugo Weavings V is a spectacular, intelligent hero, and led by John Hurt as the epitome of dictatorship Sutler, the evil totalitarian Parliament is creepy as all get out. Plus, say what you will about Portmans accent, I think she pulls it off just fine, and besides that, she carries Evey from unremarkable working girl to unwilling captive to freedom fighter with a believability that couldve easily gone over the top and doesnt. The movies messages are heavy-handed at times, but sometimes when taking on all-encompassing issues, subtlety is just too, well, subtle. Just like a comic book, we get villains we can boo with fervor, unconventional heroes we can root for, and spectacular artistry in its imagery. V is a complicated hero, employing what some could consider terrorist tactics to spread his message against Sutler and his well-dressed goons, yet completely refined and charismatic. He never really raises his voice, never seems rattled, and even when in the midst of intense fighting, seems absolutely in control. As played by Weaving, V could say just about anything and people would listen, but when hes saying the hard, ugly truth, he is able to stir a basic need for justice with just his voice. Story-wise, weve heard this play out beforeboth in fiction and in real lifeand its both almost cliché and disturbing all at once. The unique twist here is that, though weve of course seen homosexuals persecuted in the past, their treatment here isnt THE focus, but its also not just one small aspect, and I cant really think of a more affecting portrayal in recent times than Valerie and Ruths subplot.
Ohand the explosions and fights kick butt, too!
It's Got: Great performances, great effects, sometimes unrecognized complexity
It Needs: To be watched all in one sitting, "V" costumes for Halloween, a spot in your DVD collection
DVD Extras A good selection of extrasthough a commentary wouldve been nice. "Freedom! Forever!" - Making of "V For Vendetta"; Designing the Near Future; Remember Remember: Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot; England Prevails: "V for Vendetta" and the New Wave in Comics; Cat Power, "I Found A Reason" video; Soundtrack Album Info; Theatrical Trailer DVD Extras Rating: 7/10
Just because you can see its message from a mile away, don’t think this is some simple revenge/anti-government movie; a fully realized, thought-provoking viewing experience.