V for Vendetta is an ambitious, but tragically flawed film from such minds as Wachowski, Wachowski, and Silver. The story centers around the efforts of a masked hero/villain who wishes to take down a fascist government which has seized power in 2020 London. V, as he’s known, is quite a character. He can carve up an entire unit of policemen with guns while at the same time quoting Shakesparre. He seems to be everywhere at once as the government is unable to nab him or even slow him down. He boasts that on the fifth of November of the following year, he’s going to pull off some elaborate stunt that will somehow bring the government to it’s knees. Can he be stopped? Should he be stopped? In the simplest of terms, this film has good things and bad things in it. The good: Well, the acting was very good. Hugo Weaving, though he’s hidden under a mask for the entire film, gives everything he can to the role of V. He speaks with an eloquence, he moves like a cat, and he’s given all the best lines. Natalie Portman is better than you’d think as the young woman who helps and is helped by V after getting into a sticky situation with some corrupt cops in an early scene. Her despair and disillusionment harden to resolve quite believably by the film’s end. Stephen Rea is terrific as a detective trying to get to the bottom of the mystery man’s plot. John Hurt is appreciated in no matter what role he plays in any film. The film is a treasure to look at, despite the numerous grisly scenes used to depict this terrible world of the future.
There are numerous problems with this film, however. Hugo Weaving does his best, but the V character is simply lacks credibility. Is he in fact some genetically enhanced former political prisoner, or is he some sort of superhero? Why is he able to defeat a room full of police armed with automatic pistols when he has only knives, and a mask which allows him no peripheral vision? Why can he take several bullets, then not show any effect from them until after he has disposed of all his adversaries? Why does he waste time setting up thousands of dominoes and knock them down for an audience of only himself? Just to throw in some overly-obvious symbolism to the dialog being spoken? Well, it did look pretty cool when they fell, I guess.
The society these people live under is simply preposterous. A fascist regime like this will never see the light of day no matter how many telephone calls our governments listen in to. The totalitarian regime of this “Sutler” character is such a straw dog that a slight draft of wind could blow it over. Why do filmmakers and artists always think the future will be so negative? Why is the Church almost always thought of a source of evil or hypocrisy in so many films? Enough of this rant…..
You probably won’t hate V for Vendetta. You may actually love it. I for one thought it was “okay”. I liked the acting, but thought that the political point it was trying to make was about as subtle as a cockroach crawling across a white rug. -A little quote from the movie JFK, for those of you who may or may not have recognized it.
6 of 10 stars.