V For Vendetta (2006, DVD)
"Remember, remember the fifth of November," for on this day, in 2020, the minds of the masses shall be set free. So says code-name V (Hugo Weaving), a man on a mission to shake society out of its blank complacent stares in the film V For Vendetta. His tactics, however, are a bit revolutionary to say the least. The world in which V lives is very similar to Orwell's totalitarian dystopia in 1984: after years of various wars, England is now under "big brother" Chancellor Adam Sutler (played by John Hurt, who ironically played Winston Smith in the movie 1984) whose party uses force and fear to run the nation. After gaining power, minorities and political dissenters were rounded up and removed; artistic and unacceptable religious works were confiscated. Cameras and microphones are littered throughout the land, and the people are perpetually sedated through the governmentally controlled media. Taking inspiration from Guy Fawkes, the 17th century co-conspirator of a failed attempt to blow up Parliament on November 5, 1605, V dons a Fawkes mask and costume and sets off to wake the masses by destroying the symbols of their oppressors, literally and figuratively. At the beginning of his vendetta, V rescues Evey (Natalie Portman) from a group of police officers and has her live with him in his underworld lair. It is through their relationship where we learn how V became V, the extremities of the party's corruption, the problems of an oppressive government, V's revenge plot and his philosophy on how to induce change.
Based on the popular graphic novel by Alan Moore, V For Vendetta's screenplay was written by the Wachowski Brothers (of The Matrix fame) and directed their protégé by James McTeigue. Controversy and criticism followed the film since its inception, from the hyper-stylized use of anarchistic terrorism to overthrow a corrupt government and the blatant jabs at the current US political arena, to graphic novel fans complaining about the reconstruction of Alan Moore's original vision (Moore himself has dismissed the film). Many are valid critiques and opinions, but there's no hiding the message the film is trying to express: Radical and drastic events often need to occur in order to shake people out of their state of indifference in order to bring about real change. Unfortunately, the movie only offers a means with no ends, and those looking for answers may find the film stylish, but a bit empty.
6 of 16 people found this review helpful.
A must see for those who love complex futuristic films.
Making a splash on the scene in 2006, V for Vendetta may not cater to any one set of movie-goers, but seems to fit into a niche of its own. Just as George Orwell's novel "1984" attempted to paint a portrait of our own future, this film seems to have done so with believability and impact. The Wachowski Brothers wrote the screenplay and can greatly be recognized with the high brow sci-fi "Matrix Trilogy" which gave them the credibility to do just about anything they want in film.
The story-line, although complex at times, seems to always come together and present the future through the eyes of a madman and his semi-captor cohort named Evey (Natalie Portman), a working class young lady, that has as many high ideals, but tries to understand V's (Hugo Weaving) motives, who hides his identity behind the mask of a madman. Little do we know that V was seeking vengeance upon the leaders of the government now lead by the Grand Prime Minister of Britian played by John Hurt. The tension that develops as our bold and charismatic freedom fighter, V schemes and plots to get payback from the people that scarred him for life.
This film has many different fight scenes with confusing and unexpected cat and mouse play between V and the so-called establishment that wishes to snuff him out. The mailing of the masks to various places even makes it harder to stop him since everyone wants to mimic his progress. The exactness and timing of certain events in this film make it a real knuckle-biter.
Natalie Portman delivers an astounding range of emotional power in this film and helps the film along by revealing a side to Evey that we don't see at the beginning.
I give this a 5/5 for action, intrigue, cleverness, and forcing us to find no middle ground between the opposing views that this film screams for us to do.
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2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
The Vendetta Has Only Just Begun
V FOR VENDETTA 5/5
V For Vendetta is a dream come true to every movie fan that loves to laugh, or that loves to somehow get involved with what their watching. When I went to the movies I expected a lot from this movie, and I got what I will always remember as one of my top ten movies, probably top 3 movies all time for me. There is action, but what you don't see too often is an action movie with a great story presented in the form of ideas, which are carried out with impressive results. This movie has a lesson about what seems to be inevitable in today’s world, we are moving towards a horrible future, that has DELL computers still on top. I can see this movie happening in real life, and that is the straight truth from someone who sits back and watches the world move by the minute. When a movie compels me to want to see this movie every day, that means a whole lot to a person in my position.
The cast brings something that is hard to come by in these days of movies, they really do bring emotion to the screen like no other action movie(except Lord Of The Rings Trilogy).Hugo Weaving is unbelievable as V, in which he has to show emotion through movements, and excels at it like no other. The emotion is what drives his character to being real, and not some made up cartoon character. Natalie Portman does a great job as Evey, a lady with a troubled past, that needs to free herself from the fear that runs this nation. She has her head shaved, not many woman would do that but she did. The entire cast for the movie was perfect, nothing else like it in this type of movie, which is why I've watched about 10 times within a week. It is one of the best ever movies ever made in my mind.
The setting is insane, it is a truly horrible future for the world, US in shambles and England prevails. The environment is dark and gritty to the point that it becomes a surprise if you see anything else. It does remind me a lot of Adolf Hitler, there are no diseased humans, 1 African American throughout the whole picture, and absolutely no Asians that I can recall, it really is the most centered picture that will not crumble to today’s society in that it stays along the lines of its story, which I will not ruin for you.
The sound is also amazing to the point that if you either have a surround sound system or are using headphones you really can’t receive a truly amazing soundtrack that goes well into the story. V’s word that he compiles into a sentence is amazing.
Go out to your store, get the special 2-disc set and enjoy what is a truly great movie.
Do not miss out on this movie, 5/5
5 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Thinking man's action film.
America is falling apart and England is only surviving due to the government making everything sedated and removing anything that inspires disagreements from the Koran to TV satire. You may not agree with the methods or the philosophy V uses, but it is a wake-up call about what people will sacrifice to “feel safe”. You are the one who has to decide if V is a terrorist or a freedom fighter or something more complex. It doesn’t have a Hollywood cookie cutter happy ending, but will leave the audience thinking on basic freedoms American’s take for granted.
Based on the graphic novel by popular/controversial comic writer Alan Moore, this movie was written by the Wachowski Brothers (Matrix movies). It is NOT a straight adaption of the graphic novel. Alan Moore has disassociated himself from all of the Hollywood versions of his work. The graphic novel was written more as a jab at the Thatcher administration and England and a weaker version of the Evey character. The movie is set in the year 2020 with political commentary on America and the current administration though it is located in England. If you are a fan of movies like 1984 or Orwell’s other books, you will enjoy this movie. Nothing is black and white in this film so don’t assume it is just a typical action hero flick.
7 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Remember, Remember When Natalie Portman Had Hair
Well, here's the deal: If you like the Wachowski Brothers (the dudes that made The Matrix + sequels), you enjoy Dystopian literature (like "1984" or "Erewhon" or maybe "Fahrenheit 451"), or just like fun movies with a lot of thumbing noses at "The Man," then you will probably dig V For Vendetta.
I went to the theater twice for this one. It's not that it was all that original (far from!), or that the issues were anything new, I think I just enjoyed the fact that the movie didn't have to take itself overly serious to get its point across. Yes, there are some moral issues involved, but at its heart, V For Vendetta is a lively, irreverent action film that gently tweaks the nose of society rather than beating it over the head with a documentary-style political agenda.
And we all want to have fun in the theater, right?
Again, I highly reommend this movie. It's fun, it has wonderful actors and actresses (I especially loved Hugo Weaving as the faceless V), and it doesn't get preachy or pretentious like most films these days.
In fact, the only thing that could have made this movie any better was if Natalie Portman had shown more skin (besides the top of her head). =)
Go buy a copy (but don't bid on the one I'm bidding on, darn you!) today. you won't regret it.
9 of 19 people found this review helpful.