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V for Vendetta (2006 film)

The 2006 film based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore and David Lloyd.

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V for Vendetta -- Brilliant

  • Oct 13, 2010

1984 would not have worked set in the United States. We seem to know that, no matter what, we will stand up and face down a system like the one Mr. Orwell described. Similarly V for Vendetta had to be set in Britain in order to work.

And, oh yes Virginia, it does work.

The plot is orwellian. It is also a little bit Ray Bradbury and just a little dash of That’s Incredible for those sad few of us who can remember that show.

In a closed England, a secluded, religious, anxious, and vicious man runs England the way Hitler ruled Germany—this is the only weak spot of the film, since it has been used so much as to become clichéd. Fear is the order of the day and the land is policed not only by standard police, but by people similar to those who ran the Inquisition. These people drive around in vans emblazoned “HERE FOR YOUR PROTECTION.” Evey Hammond (Natalie Portman) plays the “reclaimed” daughter of political activists killed during the troubles that finally led to the election of the High Chancellor Sutler (John Hurt). The title character V (played by Hugo Weaving in kind of the same way that James Earl Jones played Darth Vader) rescues her, befriends her, then enlists her. V plays a modern version of the famous Guy Fawkes whose Gun Powder Plot was foiled in the early 17th century. The film explores a year in England between one Guy Fawkes Day (11.5) and the next. Most of the action takes place as the police do all they can to try to find V. The rest of the film consists of showing what life is like in a country where the government literally controls all. I am reluctant to go into any further level of the plot because I don’t want to spoil it for those who are using this review to help decide.

Director Mr. McTeigue is brilliant. I am no fan of comic books; I either lack the gene or missed the time during which their hold sets in. I am also no fan of movies made from comic books or graphic novels as a rule. V for Vendetta is one of those exception to the rule films. The film contains enough action, but if you compare it to a standard American action flick, it rings in with about half as much actual violence and action than most Americans expect from their heavily laden, overdone action flicks. The action is smart, makes sense and is choreographed as well as anything can be west of the Beijing Opera.

What made the movie work for me though, had little to do with the action. The words make it. I would have to assume that the writing by Alan Moore and David Lloyd in the original graphic novel was as clever, intelligent, engaging as appears in the film, if not then the Wachowski Brothers deserve credit for making it so. I loved the language more than the action, which was itself amazing. I never got bored, never looked at my watch, didn’t even fidget that much.

The image control is tight. Colors, actions, words used in one part play through like stippling through the rest of the movie making it almost as economic and hard hitting as a good haiku.

I find it interesting that bad reviews tend to be twice as long as good ones.

There are a few little problems with the film though. All characters whose faces you could see were decent; however, their roles were more type than not with the exceptions of Stephen Rae’s and Rupert Graves’s, but even then they are just cops of a ‘different’ stripe that you see in most detective shows. Ms. Portman is as good in this as she is in nearly everything—I don’t think she chooses movies all that well, but I have never been disappointed with her skills. The only problem with here in this one is that she could have used a few more days with the accent coach. Her accent kept slipping into different types of near-BBC British. Other than that, which is terribly picky anyway, the film is a treat for the eyes, ears, and brain.

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December 16, 2010
Brilliant indeed
December 14, 2010
awesome review! I need to feature this in the next cycle. Thanks!
More V for Vendetta (2006 film) reviews
Quick Tip by . August 09, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
If I had not read the graphic novel first, I'd have been bewildered. It adapts a challenging story well, despite the limits of two hours. I found the ending a moving one, cynic though I am. Recommended that you finish the book first, and then enjoy the visuals, story, and action.
Quick Tip by . August 09, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
one of my favorite movies of all times! lots of action and a plot that is followable and enjoyable.
review by . July 23, 2009
A cinematic giant, V is a great example of a perfect film (other examples in my methodology include Out Of Africa, The English Patient and Goodfellas). Literally no actor could be replaced, no scene cut nor any direction changed - perfect in every respect.      The main character, "V", is a model for every citizen. Unchanged, unhinged, unwaveable - he stands for everything we believe in. His motivation gains more credence daily , and I frequently urge people to …
review by . November 05, 2008
V For Vendetta
November 5th is Guy Fawkes night, where the British light bonfires in memory of Guy Fawkes, who attempted assassination of King and Parliament with a plan to blow up Westminster Palace. 'V For Vendetta' plays off the Fawkes legend, bringing it into the future with a sane and cultivated hero who hides behind a mask.     'V' (Hugo Weaving), as he identifies himself, has been a victim of the oppressive political overthrowing of a free government, and decides that revolution and …
review by . November 17, 2008
This coming November   You'll need to remember   The gun powder treason and plot   For Portman and Weaving   Will have you believing   That this movie won't be forgot     Their brilliant acting   Will have you reacting   Between consternation and shock   As the regime of Norsefire   Breathes bigoted fire   And monitors you round the clock     When V rescues …
review by . March 06, 2007
Missed this one in the theater and it finally came up in the Netflix queue. As seems to be the case with movies made from graphic novels these days, the filmmakers did a great job of capturing the visual style of the comic while not necessarily retaining the story or underlying meaning. This was even more egregious in this case, where V is portrayed as a heroic figure whose victimization justifies the means by which he extracts his revenge with the added bonus of freeing the enslaved citizens of …
review by . August 12, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
"V for Vendetta" is one of the most boring revolutionary epics I've ever watched. With a screenplay and production by the Wachowski Brothers, I'd at least expect plenty of explosions and some neat special effects because, let's be honest, folks, the only reason that the first "Matrix" flick did very well was because of the whole slo-mo bullet biz. After the initial shock, the sequels of that particular flick were nothing more than fluff. However, it seems that the Wachowski boys were hoping that …
review by . August 11, 2006
Pros: Hugo Weaving and everything V     Cons: Plot is pretty intricate; attention and possibly two viewings is needed     The Bottom Line: "People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people." Damn straight.     Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot. I wanted to see this movie when it came out in theaters, really bad. But I never go around to it. So, the day after …
review by . August 09, 2006
Wow! This is a terrific movie, a parable of future history from a liberal viewpoint. Warning- some people may find the movie offensive to their religious and/or political beliefs.    However, the movie is the telling of how "absolute power corrupts absolutely." With an incredibly strong performance by Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving and Stephen Rea, the movie tells of a fascist society that is shaken when a character known only as V blows up the Old Bailey Courthouse while the …
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V FOR VENDETTA: From DC comics and the Wachowski Brothers (THE MATRIX) comes this tale of revolution in an England of the future, one gone fearful and fascist; anyone different, from homosexuals to free thinking artists, is "black bagged" and subjected to torture and inhumane medical experiments. Hugo Weaving stars as V, the mysterious knife-carrying masked avenger who has lightning reflexes, lots of explosives, and intentions to blow up Parliament. He's also on a vendetta against the evil powermongers who made him the lonely monster he is. Natalie Portman is the innocent waif who saves him and winds up hiding out in his nifty secret lair, which is filled with forbidden books, art, and a jukebox that plays Cat Power and Julie London's "Cry Me a River." Meanwhile, there's a hangdog police inspector (Stephen Rea) picking up their trail, and a plethora of evil British government types regularly bullied into action by the intensely odious "Grand Chancellor" (John Hurt). Director James McTiegue keeps all thes...
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