Banal, pretentious and extraordinarily silly

What an extraordinarily silly film V For Vendetta turns out to be. It is almost breathtaking in its banality. And the odd things is that for the first 10/15 minutes you feel you are in for something quite enjoyable. To begin with it is intriguing: who is this guy in the Guy Fawkes mask, what will happen to Natalie Portman, just how did to Old Blighty end up as a fascist dictatorship, what is the mystery of the Larkhill Centre? And most important, how did V acquire his almost superhuman powers, what are his resources (for example, towards the end of the film apparently issuing, at the very least, most of the population of London with a Guy Fawkes mask, a hat and a black cape like his own. Couldn’t have been much of a queue at the post office when he went.) But we get no answers at all, at least none which will satisfy anyone with even half a brain. And when I say it just gets sillier and sillier, I don’t in any way mean that the silliness can, as it often is in films, enjoyably silly. V For Vendetta takes itself far too seriously for that. We get a load of half-baked, juvenile cod political philosophy, an entirely obscure storyline about the persecution of both male and female homosexuals (and where did that come from. It is shoehorned into the film so maladroitly that it’s as though a new film is starting) some silliness about Guy Fawkes falling in love with Natalie Portman and a couple of coppers who aren’t quite as bad as the rest of those in authority. There are obvious points to be made – would the whole police investigation of this ‘terrorist’ really consist of a chief inspector and his sidekick (not, alas, a lovable but rather stupid cockney)? How does this idiot in the mask get around London undetected – he sticks out like a sore thumb. And just how did Britain accept a fascist dictatorship. But even asking those questions means taking V For Vendetta even a little but seriously and – well, it really doesn’t deserve it. It is, to use an old-fashioned British phrase, complete b*ll*ks which goes downhill all the way. The Wachowski brothers (with Larry now apparently – according to IMDb – now shacked up with a ‘professional dominatrix’ who ‘keeps him as her slave’: put that in your pipe and smoke it) were responsible for the Matrix franchise. I haven’t seen any of them, but if V For Vendetta is anything to go by, I shan’t be bothering this side of my death. It is lazy, pretentious, superficial and a waste of anyone’s time. I did think of being a little bit charitable and allowing that as it was apparently co-produced by DC Comics, it might score if you saw it as a filmed comic. But that won’t wash. V For Vendetta takes itself far too seriously to be allowed any charitable leeway.