I finally saw V for Vendetta this weekend. I didn’t rush right out to see it in the theater or immediately rent it because the Wachowskis are, at best, hit and miss; and that’s taking into account that I’m the only person in the world, it seems, who thought the first Matrix was crap. The other reasons I didn’t see it were From Hell (the movie), LXG (and if the fact that this film was renamed LXG doesn’t tell you everything about the process of the book’s adaptation, then there is little hope for you) and the fact that Alan Moore didn’t want to have anything to do with it.
I don’t worship at
The movie is watchable. I’m not willing to give it much more than that. Natalie Portman once again hands in a performance that makes me wonder what the hell she was doing when she was on screen in the Star Wars prequels. In other words, it was good to the point of amazing whereas she could have been replaced with CGI in Star Wars, and that C stand for cardboard. Hugo Welling does an AMAZING job of creating V through voice alone and left me wondering how he managed to make me think the Fawkes mask looked sad at times. The rest of the cast does their jobs well and the art direction/set design is very visually interesting.
The film wasn’t without problems, however.
This leads to another chink in the armor. Alan Moore was a disenfranchised Englishman making political commentary about
While the set dressing was very nice, there were a couple of serious disconnects for me. One was every time the Chancellor addresses his cabinet from a 70ft screen. It is a great visual, very Orwellian (a literal Big Brother), but not even remotely realistic. I mean, seriously, if I were elected President in ten years and started telling my cabinet and the Congress that I’d be addressing them only from some hidden location and instead of a serviceable big screen television, they’d have to look at a face 70ft tall, there is no way the press wouldn’t find out about it. Even a press controlled by the State wouldn’t be able to suppress fun facts like that and I would instantly be seen as a super-villain of some sort. Nobody besides world conquering megalomaniacs would relate to people this way!
My final analysis: watch the flick, but be prepared for a C movie with some A+ stuff that nets it up to C+ or B- if I’m feeling generous. The messages and themes get muddied up something fierce and nobody is really quite the same as they are in the book, but its still entertaining. In fact, if you are a lover of the graphic novel, I think you’ll probably be unhappy about the adaptation, so you should probably just save yourself the heartache. Instead, be happy that you can now buy a really nice Guy Fawkes mask from DC Direct.