Monday, April 16, 2007

V For Vendetta (2005)

4 comments:

  1. This review sucks. Natalie Portman dressed up as china doll should be much bigger than the stupid Vengence dude. Give me my money back!

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  2. You're not supposed to comment before me! You broke the whole system and ruined the Internet. I hope you're happy, because now we'll have to spend our hours reading books.

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  3. Damn it to hell! Well, I'll be honest. I knew that this day would come. Pass me my reading glasses, Chris... no, not you, CNE. Damn it, CNE! Put your penis away!

    Also, maybe someday we'll actually have our regularly-scheduled Thursday update. Yes... that's my fault. Damn, damn, and double damn!

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  4. So anyway, here's my delayed analysis:

    V for Vendetta, written by the Wachowski, ah, siblings and directed by James McTeigue (previous jobs include being assistant director to movies you may not care for), is a comic book adaptation of a series by Alan Moore and David Lloyd, although Alan Moore refuses to have his name associated with the picture. That's bad timing on his part, as it's actually a pretty decent translation from paper to screen. It takes the most important themes and scenes from the comic and translates them to the cinema, ensuring a smooth transaction by assembling a competent cast of lesser-knowns but just-as-goods.

    Hugo Weaving plays a guy named "V" (who has a vendetta), clad in black except for a white Guy Fawkes mask. V goes around fighting the authoritarian government in future England. He's a master of the verbose tongue and martial arts, and has a love of classic films, music and literature.

    Along his travels he finds a young girl named Evey (portrayed by Natalie Portman, perhaps the biggest name in the film) about to be sexually assaulted by the appropriately dubbed "Fingermen," the law enforcement people in future England.

    Long story short, V wants to blow up Parliament to wake the people of England up from their political slumber, and he wants Evey to become as liberated as he is, although presumably without the hideous burn marks.

    The acting is fine. Weaving is over the top and hammy, but that fits for the character. Portman does a considerable job, especially because her character goes through a wide range of emotions and experiences throughout the film. The movie also has quality Stephens, with great jobs by both Stephen Rea as Inspector Eric Finch and Stephen Fry as talk show host Gordon Deitrich.

    What stops the movie from being great is not so much that V looks absolutely ridiculous, even in the context of superheroes. I mean, that mask makes his head look humongous, and it really seems quite impractical for someone who spends his time fighting people. In any event, the real problem is V's politics. I don't mean the content of his politics, I mean that he is super idealistic, which spills out into the rest of the film and creates an ending reminiscent of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? For the most part, the film is very dark and oppressive, but the hope V thinks people will have seems to be jammed in there.

    While it is not an issue for V to believe these things, the fact that his dreams actually have the real potential to come true is stretching it a bit, both in the realms of reality and in the film. If the people can so easily be led into an iron-fisted regime, then how can they just as easily make a U-Turn just based on a crazy guy in a costume that blows stuff up? That doesn't show the promise of the human race, just their stupidity.

    Despite the fact V wields deadly blades, there is actually very little fighting in the movie. I did not mind that, but I was a little disappointed by the lack of a more in-depth look at everyday life in this future England. The film and its source material both borrow heavily from George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, and so there is an understanding of what the world could be like. While we peer into V's world and the world of the government, only rarely do we get glimpses of the everyday man and woman on the street. It's not a particularly serious criticism, just something that could have fleshed the world out a little more.

    The parts that are full are mostly enjoyable. As alluded to, the worlds of Finch and Deitrich are very interesting, and the characters just as much. Although being a super hero movie, V is very heavily driven by the plot, with the characters spending a lot of time talking/philosophizing, so the fact that the characters are so enjoyable to watch is a definite plus.

    V for Vendetta is an entertaining film that is worth watching, and as a comic book adaptation it is well done. It doesn't get bogged down too much by exposition like a literal translation would have done, but there are some parts where the movie could have filled out more. V for Vendetta is actually more of a drama than an action film, but there's enough flash to satisfy the popcorn crowd. It tends to limp at times due to its overly idealistic creeds, and the change of attitude of the people of future England seems ridiculous. Overall, though, a worthwhile flick.

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