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V for Vendetta

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#1
V for Vendetta
2006 - R - 145 Mins.

Director: James McTeigue
Producer: Andy and Larry Wachowski
Written By: Andy and Larry Wachowski
Starring: Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving, Stephen Rea, Rupert Graves
Review by: Harrison Cheung
Official Site: www.vforvendetta.com

'V for Vendetta’ is one of the worst movies I’ve seen in recent memory. Verbose, as subversive as an episode of ‘Simple Life’, and inexplicably dull, ‘V’ is ‘Fascist Politics for Dummies’ – a comic book story that takes itself far too seriously with illogical results. Remember the lengthy titles of ‘Star Wars: Phantom Menace?’ “Turmoil has engulfed the Galactic Republic. The taxation of trade routes to outlying star systems is in dispute… blah blah blah.” Now imagine an entire movie written like that.

Set in the near future in an England ruled by a Big Brother/Nazi-style fascist, ‘V for Vendetta’ is advertised as an action movie It’s not. The England of the future is radically Christian, anti-gay, and anti-Muslim. Undesirable minorities are exterminated or fodder for medical experiments, Holocaust-style. The media is controlled by the state. The sets look like 'Underworld.'

Natalie Portman stars as Evey, a helpless waif who becomes intrigued and eventually involved with ‘V’ (Hugo Weaving from ‘The Matrix’), a masked activist who spouts politics and philosophy against dictator Sutler (John Hurt) who rules England with an iron glove. The rest of the cast is like a who’s who of British indie film, including Stephen Rea, Rupert Graves and Stephen Fry.

The project is clearly too much for first time director, James McTeigue. The screenplay, written by the Wachowski brothers (‘The Matrix’) and based on a graphic novel by Alan Moore, is a little bit ‘1984,’ ‘Count of Monte Cristo’ and ‘The Miserables.’ The result is dialogue that is over the top theatrical. Like old ‘Saturday Night Live’ episodes when Jon Lovitz portrayed the bellowing “thespian” who proclaimed he was ACTING.

Painfully long, the movie follows V’s crusade against Sutler involving a scheme to blow up the Parliament buildings in London, on the anniversary of Guy Fawkes Day (Google ‘Guy Fawkes’ for the history lesson). Since the entire movie is V explaining why he needs to blow up the building as a violent symbolic act of civil disobedience, I got the eerie feeling that V’s logic could have been the kind of rationalization any terrorist would make. That is the movie’s ultimate message – one person’s terrorist is another person’s hero/revolutionary. But ‘V for Vendetta’ tries to up the ante by adding a couple of convoluted revenge stories with needless flashbacks.

Portman has the worst English accent this side of Winona Ryder’s in ‘Dracula.’ Lucky for him, Weaving’s face is hidden throughout the film behind a mask – so his career won’t be tainted by this turkey. V, like the Phantom of the Opera, is terribly scarred, but is a master of martial arts and dagger-throwing. Like any good hokey hero, V is faster with his knives than the police are with their guns.

There’s a funny line in ‘The Incredibles’ which pointed out that villains like to monologue. The Wachowski’s probably didn’t see that movie since both Sutler and V are prone to lengthy butt-numbing speeches. However, the funniest line in ‘V’ has to be when Portman’s character, after suffering from torture and various prison deprivations, cries out, “You cut my hair?”

If the Wachowski name makes you hope for an action movie with pseudo-philosophy like ‘The Matrix,’ look elsewhere. There is a low energy movie, a ponderous simple-minded political drama with little subtlety. FASCISM IS BAD. FIGHT FASCISM. Yes, the message is clear, but there are other forms of protest and activism. Vote with your dollars and avoid ‘Vendetta.’

Movie Guru Rating
1 out of 5 stars
 
#2
The above Review is full of shit....like a one-sided political party, which ironically, this movie was practically about. A nasty ol gov.

As of last night, I have fallen in love with "V" and his sexy, intelligent self. The movie reminded me of a couple of things: "Big Brother" from the book entitled 1984 by George orwell....and Hitler.

Oh, and absolutely NO ONE could possibly have noticed this...but in the begining, he says a few things about "Ideas" which is a reoccuring theme throughout this movie...and these "ideas" I have read somewhere before by an anti-porn activist which I thought was amazing. As he was saying it, I was saying it. I wish I had the movie on me so I can break it down for yall. Many things he said were...intensely hot.

He played with the words "ideas" like he played with the word "symbol"...
V: ...The building is a symbol, as is the act of destroying it. Symbols are given power by people. Alone, a symbol is meaningless, but with enough people, blowing up a building can change the world.
This wordplay makes this movie a work of art...a poem...


Evey Hammond: Who are you?
V: Who? Who is but the form following the function of what, and what I am is a man in a mask.
Evey Hammond: Well I can see that.
V: Of course you can. I'm not questioning your powers of observation, I'm merely remarking upon the paradox of asking a masked man who he is.
Dialogue like this is something I can appreciate. A smat ass...who is actually SMART.

I loved the storyline...how it all falls into place towards the end of the movie...and how someone who seemed as a "terrorist" was actually a twisted, masked-up hero for these people.

It's my number one movie for this year, although I am a tad-bit late.

Perhaos what made it even better was the hdDVD version of it.
 
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