|Directed by:||James McTeigue|
|Written by:||Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski, Hilary Henkin|
|Cast:||Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving, Stephen Rea, John Hurt|
After having read the graphic novel and not liking it (in a nutshell it's V constantly going "blah blah blah blah - literary reference - blah blah blah blah...."), I had very little hopes that this would be a good movie. The biggest problem with V for Vendetta being made into a movie is that single-frame cells in a comic being used the way they were in the graphic novel would NOT work for a movie screen. A moving picture could divulge the falseness of key moments in the story. Add to that the fact that the main character spends his entire time behind a mask, how could a MOVIE keep the viewer's attention on a constantly prattling guy whose face you never see? It would just be silly seeing a man in an emotionless mask for two hours, no matter WHAT he talked about.
It's quite a feat for this movie to have not only made V less annoying as in the book (he talks a lot, but there's more relevance to the story at hand than just constant ramblings), but to also have been capable of portraying many kinds of emotions by just the voice and body language alone. I would never have thought this could work, but it did, and that's great! The lighting on the mask and placement of the wig for the mask also helped to portray certain kinds of emotions during any given scene. I have to applaud them for making what I thought would be nearly impossible, possible.
Natalie Portman also does a great job with her part, giving us more to appreciate than, say, a Queen Amidala. She's fine no matter what she's done to her hair, so seeing her shaved just made me think, "oooh, did they shave EVERYTHING off?!" Yes, I am a sick man. Even more wonderful was a scene where she has double pigtails and is wearing a pink dress with long stockings. The moment I saw this I screamed out, "A+! This movie is an A PLUS!! Oh, God, THANK YOU!!"
Besides this mental material for later jackage, Portman was wonderful in her role, too. She carried an emotional weight that many might not have been able to pull off. Stephen Rea was also great as the unsure and slightly disgruntled investigator searching for the whereabouts of "V". I'd have to say that everyone did a great job in this movie, which helped keep my attention.
In terms of the story being an allegory to the current American state, and George Bush... I didn't get much of that. Yeah, there are similarities, but any time you take a movie about a corrupt government and/or key moments in history rather it be fictional or non-fiction, you'll ALWAYS be able to make up ways of having it apply to current events. I tried not to think too much into their efforts at sending a message on terrorism or anything ELSE political our way. For one, it's based off of a graphic novel and follows it rather closely (until the end), and also I want to be entertained watching this more than to go searching for hidden meanings and a social commentary.
Other problems lied in some plot holes that were actually nonexistent in the graphic novel, but either because of time restraints or because the writer(s) thought we wouldn't notice, I got a little frustrated. First, why would Portman be out past curfew in the beginning of the movie (in the novel she's a whore, that's why)? Why not do her business an hour earlier? There were also some questions as to how "V" did what he did with the mental hospital - which was explained well in Moore's tale. Another problem I had was their efforts at making similarities to Hitler's regime in key flashbacks. The men wear black uniforms laced in red, much like Pink Floyd's The Wall movie, which of course has obvious allusions to the Third Reich. This annoyed the hell out of me. I mean, why not AVOID this theme altogether? We understand the need to present at strict government, and a ruler ruling with the iron fist. Why throw Nazi undertones into the mix as well? That kind of cheapens the movie's value in terms of its' attempts to present an intelligent theme on today's society, if that was really their intent for this movie in the first place.
The fight scenes are pretty rad, even though they don't happen often. My favorite moments from the graphic novel are in the movie - including the toilet paper autobiography, which was one of my favorite parts in both the book and film.
As an Alan Moore based movie, this is far and away the best one ever. The other movies based off of his work are LXG, and From Hell. For the first title, there's not much room for being any worse, and From Hell is an alright movie as a MOVIE, but nothing worth comparing to Moore's original work. So in the case of V for Vendetta, we get a cool movie from a graphic novel that I honestly didn't care much for. Now THAT'S cool!