Starring: Hugo Weaving, Natalie Portman, John Hurt, Imogen Poots
Director: James McTiegue
2005 | 132 Minutes | Rated R
“I can assure you, I mean you no harm.” – V
I saw V For Vendetta when it first came out, didn’t enjoy it and never looked back. I stumbled on the movie on demand and decided to give it another chance. Still didn’t like it…
A young woman named Evey (Natalie Portman) joins a mysterious masked avenger named V (Hugo Weaving) on a revolution against tyranny in a futuristic totalitarian Britain.
I read the original graphic novel many moons ago. Honestly I didn’t really care for the comic all that much and I am equally indifferent about this movie. Alan Moore, the comic’s writer, is kind of a psychopath. Honestly… look at the guy… He’s written some pretty fantastic stuff but he’s also the type to act like everything he’s ever done is gold and for anyone to ever touch his work with a 10-foot pole is the scum of the earth and a downright criminal. He’s gotten pretty pissed off with movie adaptations being made of V For Vendetta, Watchmen and DC’s recent run of Before Watchmen comics series, which expanded the stories of the characters from the original Watchmen graphic novel. My opinion aside, popular opinion has been pretty kind to all of those bastard children of Alan Moore’s creative crazy mind so…
The over-arching idea of V For Vendetta the movie – a warning against government and politicians getting too much power – is one that I can definitely get behind. I just don’t think that this movie is strong enough to convey that message.
The original graphic novel presents a juxtaposition between the over-reaching government and the anarchist V. Both are evil. In the movie version V is made out to be the hero, despite his torture of Evey and bombing of many public buildings, likely resulting in the death of innocents. I have to think that the movie’s Bush commentary blinded viewers into thinking it was a more intelligent movie than it actually was. Why else would the Occupy Wallstreet crowd be seen wearing V masks? Would the anarchist V really be seen calling for MORE government regulation on the financial district? That doesn’t make much sense now does it? Never mind that the writers, director, producers and actors are all in the dreaded 1%.
Enough politics though…
Let’s be real for a moment. This movie is LONG. Sometimes that isn’t such a bad thing. Long and exciting? Good. Long and boring as F**k? Not so good. V For Vendetta falls into that second camp. The movie is overflowing with meaningless exposition. We get it… V is a charming guy. We also understand that he’s pretty handy with the alliteration… Stan Lee would be proud.
And when we do get some flashes of action it is all style over substance… much like the rest of the movie. Everything is over the top, silly and too exaggerated to be taken seriously.
I feel like I get everything they were going for and see all the things that fans of the movie gush over and none of it connects for me. Now that I have the review out of the way, it would seem there is little reason for me to ever look back on V For Vendetta.