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Overall Rating
3.93

Awesome46.43%
Worth A Look: 25.79%
Just Average: 13.1%
Pretty Crappy: 3.57%
Sucks: 11.11%

16 reviews, 156 user ratings


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V for Vendetta
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by brianorndorf

"A stunning look at today's worl...er, THE FUTURE!"
4 stars

A striking political warning shot, “V for Vendetta” rages across the screen, colorfully predicting a future where hope comes in the form of a man in a smiling mask. Featuring sparkling performances and incendiary visuals, “Vendetta” pulses with energy and shocks with its blunt take on the natural progression of world events.

The setting is Britain in the near future, where a fascist faction of government (lead by a foaming John Hurt) has risen to power, ruling with an iron fist, outlawing such things as the arts, homosexuality, and non-Christian religions. While breaking curfew one night, Evey (Natalie Portman) is accosted by government agents, only to be saved by V (Hugo Weaving), a shadowy figure clad in black and wearing a Guy Fawkes mask. V is planning the ultimate uprising against the ruling power, and enlists a nervous Evey to assist him. Over the course of a year, Evey is taken on a wide-eyed journey from hapless nobody to an infamous supporter of V’s violent revolution.

“V for Vendetta” comes from the stormy minds of graphic novel creators Alan Moore and David Lloyd, and seems like a truly unlikely choice for a cinematic reproduction. Though written in the mid-80s, the world we live in today makes a perfect match to the once startling picture of the future found in the original creation.

“Vendetta” is an intensely political picture, and doesn’t back away from predicting a time where all civil liberties have been taken away, with a government that rules with bloodshed, and a media that uses fear and panic to control the masses. However, the focus of “Vendetta” is not on doling out messages to the already converted, as so many hot potato films do; the picture is a more artistically action bent, thrilling call to arms, filtered through the minds of Larry and Andy Wachowski, the creative team behind the “Matrix” series, and the screenwriters of “Vendetta.”.

The Wachowskis are greatly enamored with V and his mission to use bedlam as a means to usurp control, and “Vendetta” is most attentive when the story stops to flesh out V and Evey, and their uniquely respectful relationship. The Wachowskis treat V initially as a superhero, clad with knives for killing and dreams of destroying London’s Parliament building as an ode to the real Guy Fawkes – completing his work lost to the history books 400 years earlier. Directed by James McTeigue (his first film after years as an assistant director), the early moments of the film have the same madcap energy and twisted sense of humor found in another anti-establishment piece: “A Clockwork Orange.” However, the film soon falls in love with V, as McTeigue slowly dials down the satiric qualities of the script and replaces them with heavy emotional cues at the same time Evey is learning the depths of V’s commitment and reasons for his mission. While featuring another remarkable step in the flowering talent of Natalie Portman (she’s marvelous here), the true achievement of the production is found in the V character. Only seen wearing the smiling Fawkes mask, McTeigue and Weaving do a remarkable job giving the role movement and expression in a character is that is unable to communicate using traditional means.

The B story in “Vendetta” follows Finch (Stephen Rea), a member of the London police who is hot on V’s tail, who finds himself questioning his superiors and government as V rises to power. Taking up the film’s midsection, the Finch subplot grinds the festivities to a halt. The Wachowskis have no clear idea how to make this gumshoe aspect to the story pop as much as V’s arc, and the inclusion of Finch feels more like a necessary evil (to maintain the allure of the source material) than any organic addition in V’s journey. While well played by Rea, the film aches to return to Evey and V at every turn, neutering McTeigue’s efforts to implement a procedural drama amidst all the bombs, bullets, and self-actualization.

McTeigue has better results with the film’s “Sally Simpson” moment, where Evey, incarcerated for her allegiance to V, finds a note in her cell written on toilet paper that recalls the journey of a young lesbian who was destroyed by the government. It’s a beautiful, profoundly touching catalyst for Evey, and McTiegue and Portman nail the sequence with pointed grace. It gives the switch Evey makes from confused and scared to bitter and purposed all the conviction and importance the Finch storyline lacks.

For the final act, McTeigue lets the Wachowski side take over for a bit: there’s a knife fight with V and the cops that is a little too close to the “Matrix” for comfort, using slo-mo and CG to trace the path of V’s deadly blades as they slice and dice. It’s fun, but visually unlike anything else in the picture making the sequence feel like something used as bait to find financing for this complicated film.

McTeigue rebounds with his climax, flabbergasting with its bluntness and exploding with operatic fury. Of course, there are nagging questions “Vendetta” fails to answer, such as what happens after the satisfaction of anarchy is washed away by reality? But that’s missing the point. “Vendetta” detonates in the final moments out of sheer frustration and victory, embracing that idealized moment where the populace is finally taken seriously by its rulers.

The film recalls “Fight Club” in the idea that utter destruction is the only way to snap people to attention, and while that proposal might come off as irresponsible, it eerily reflects the world we live in today. When it chooses to be, “V for Vendetta” is a gangbusters and incisive indictment of the scary direction this big blue ball is headed in.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=13855&reviewer=404
originally posted: 03/16/06 18:39:30
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 South By Southwest Film Festival For more in the 2006 South By Southwest Film Festival series, click here.
DC Characters: For more in the DC Characters series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2013 Boston SciFi Film Festival For more in the 2013 Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

9/16/17 morris campbell not bad at all 4 stars
3/10/15 Nik The story was built around its message, not vice versa 3 stars
7/04/11 Dr.Lao Entertaining but undistinguished entry into the done-to-death "future dictatorship" genre 3 stars
5/28/11 Shaun A Powerful vision that left me breathless and thoughtful. 5 stars
5/27/11 Toni I love this movie - definately one for our times 5 stars
3/27/11 Lenny Zane Ordinarily Natalie Portman could fascinate me for hours picking her nose, but THIS...Ugh! 1 stars
9/23/10 art V reminded me of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA! 3 stars
3/02/10 KGBproduced Have I just seen a film or a Soviet reel leveling all ills on religion and the bourgoisie? 1 stars
1/29/10 art V FOR VERY BAD!,is more like it! 1 stars
11/22/09 Jeff Wilder Entertaining and frightening futuristic thriller. 5 stars
6/03/09 Tom Good Day. Let us so live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry. Help m 3 stars
4/02/09 Gorgon Zola An unbelievably clunky snoozer. Angst driven, poorly scripted and painful acting by Portman 1 stars
2/12/09 Peter North I'd like to drop my dynamite in Evey's V....... 5 stars
8/18/08 Shaun Wallner This ones ok. 3 stars
8/03/08 Samantha Pruitt deep and awesome movie with a great story and acting! 4 stars
6/19/08 thismoviesucks most pretentious movie I've seen, terrible waste of time 1 stars
5/28/08 PAUL SHORTT VERY MUCH NON-RECOMMENDED 1 stars
5/25/08 zenny zestfully sticking it to the man 4 stars
3/24/08 emissario666 Good, but not as deep as the original 3 stars
2/28/08 Tiffany Faye Hawthorne How low hath Queen Amidala sunk -- unto sucking her own turds in this muck! 1 stars
12/07/07 yýlmaz perfect 5 stars
11/10/07 g webster not what I expected,extremely well done all around! 5 stars
11/08/07 il-Palazzo V is such a badass. 5 stars
7/09/07 Jubei Greatly written,one man's revenge turns a country against its dictators.Makes politics cool 5 stars
7/06/07 Greg Terrible movie 1 stars
7/03/07 Rocko Livingston Very very very nicely done! 5 stars
6/29/07 Mark Leonard Very surprised! Very well acted, superb music, gripped me all the the way through. 4 stars
6/18/07 rishy one of the greatest movies ever made. thought-provoking 5 stars
5/05/07 WCC Complete liberal propaganda. pot calling kettle black. 1 stars
4/12/07 Nessus Impressive, an action movie with a message 5 stars
2/26/07 Donny M People are stupid. Best story drivin movie in the last 5 years. 5 stars
2/21/07 Bitchflaps Peurile garbage, a 15 year old Maoist's wet dream I expected it to be bad but Jesus Christ. 1 stars
2/08/07 Andre urbani S for shit - too preachy and assumes the audience are stupid 1 stars
2/06/07 The chode Badass, the dialouge was so good its rediculous. 5 stars
1/10/07 Jake This movie is the complete and utter shit. 5 stars
1/08/07 Gerard Revengeful ! 5 stars
1/06/07 Quicksilver Interesting thoughts on totalitarianism married to long sequences of boredom 4 stars
1/01/07 Todd Fucking cool as hell, not what I was expecting 5 stars
12/11/06 Angela Saunders One of the most thought provoking films of the year. Surprisingly great!!! 5 stars
12/05/06 mel watkins a movie for our times 5 stars
11/18/06 lou a.m.a.z.i.n.g. one of the best films ever. 5 stars
10/28/06 R.W.Welch Paranoid and propagandistic but some good perfs. C+ 3 stars
10/19/06 MP Bartley Interesting ideas, awful dialogue, clumsy execution. 3 stars
10/15/06 Kristina Finally a film that is set out of america and with love and blood at the same time 5 stars
10/05/06 Lance Bush combined with Orwell....Great, timely lessons throughout this deep film of conscience 5 stars
10/02/06 Louise Couldn't get a handle on it at all - gave up after an hour ... 2 stars
10/02/06 Dr. Fishopolis ...and Anastasia Beaverhausen can go eat a dick. 4 stars
9/20/06 daveyt what a load of old tosh... 1 stars
9/16/06 Open/Eyes Fear & Control or Fear of Control? Fair warning... 4 stars
9/13/06 Patrick Petty I found this film great, very thought provoking, reminds me of the times we live in. 5 stars
9/06/06 Indrid Cold Obviously above average, but too much politics and not nearly enough excitement. 4 stars
9/03/06 JeromeBosch Superb Orwellian tale with great acting and FX. 5 stars
8/25/06 james burke Best of 2006 thus far, visually well rendered, superb cast, great material, and relevant 5 stars
8/23/06 AnnieG Very good adaption of the graphic novel. 4 stars
8/23/06 Freedom Loved the movie. "WOW" Could that be our Gov.? This movie could be a BIG eye opener. 5 stars
8/20/06 Gene Awesome 5 stars
8/19/06 ALDO A few good scene but mostly way 2 boring.. TOO much Blah blah blah 2 stars
8/18/06 Mary Beth great on Imax 5 stars
8/16/06 matt a few good parts but mostly just dull 3 stars
8/13/06 Ryan_A Exceeded my expectations. Weaving's vocal delivery is worth 1 star by itself. 4 stars
8/09/06 Lisa Loved it!! Captivated all the way through. Kook LIberal Paranoid & Proud of it!! 5 stars
8/09/06 Dragon The Artist I can't believe my well tasted uncle loved it, Me? BORING, YAWNFEST,SNORESVILLE!!!! 2 stars
8/08/06 Charles Stroud V for Vendetta is move than a movie, its a conception that fans the flames of liberty. 5 stars
8/08/06 Anastasia Beaverhausen Finally, kook liberal paranoids get their film 1 stars
8/08/06 Viper Did Michael Moore write this preposterous rubbish 2 stars
8/06/06 TreeTiger Good movie - go rent it..! 5 stars
8/05/06 davood dreadful,rubbish,awfull,waste of time 1 stars
8/05/06 Charles Strout For all who love freedom, and risk their lives for it. This movie will embrace you're soul 5 stars
8/03/06 philby john Impressive 5 stars
7/29/06 flloyd pretentious, boring, thinly drawn characters that you dont care about in the slightest 1 stars
7/29/06 Robert Maleman Very bad acting and story, boring too. 1 stars
7/15/06 Reklc It appeals to me so I'm an idiot (and proud to be one)! 5 stars
7/12/06 Aaron Dumb, really dumb bad film 1 stars
7/10/06 Lee Fantastic actors. Great dialogue. Brilliant film. Amazing. 5 stars
7/07/06 william zoran Would appeal to an idiot. 1 stars
7/03/06 Another fan disappointed by NP The once superb Natalie Portman would be more appealing engaging in autocoprophagy. 1 stars
6/26/06 Chris Fawkes What a dog of a film. Bored me crapless. V looks like Joan Rivers and who would want to loo 1 stars
6/22/06 LAUREANO VERY MEANINGFULL AND ORIGINAL 5 stars
6/22/06 Ariadne Christina Renee Gladstone Parts that make sense are good, just not enough of 'em. Pretty bad.... no wait...... 1 stars
6/11/06 Jim F. Great, thought-provoking, scary. 5 stars
6/02/06 Hellen It is a great movie, very political 5 stars
5/17/06 Alfred Guy Tried to be different and that's a good thing. 4 stars
5/15/06 TyrantisTerror More like V for OMFG AWESOME! Yeah, I know it doesn't make sense. Shut up. 5 stars
5/14/06 Jonny K Excellent Film on every level 5 stars
5/10/06 zaw Great movie, I came from a Socialistic country. Top of my list too! 5 stars
5/10/06 Will Nitschke www.capitaloffice.com.au Based on a comic book but wants its ideas taken seriously, and some can be. 4 stars
5/10/06 Cory Randolph Action-wise, it was boring, though it had interesting topics discussed... 3 stars
5/09/06 aadil fantastic movie... a must see 4 stars
5/08/06 Tranquil Better than I expected, engrossing story and plot development. 4 stars
5/05/06 Freeze Real cliche, nothing new, bored till the end. 2 stars
5/03/06 Alice I dont get it, to me it was boring and VERY average ! 2 stars
5/02/06 liz amato awesome movie, best i have seen 5 stars
4/30/06 lauram Fantastic!!! Made me want to go out and overthrow our liberal old farts government! 5 stars
4/26/06 The Grinch Unfuckwithable! Far exceeded my expectations. GO SEE THIS MOVIE! 5 stars
4/25/06 Clayton Smith this movie is at the top of my list 5 stars
4/22/06 Mase Long in the tooth, not entirely engaging. But has a bold vision. 3 stars
4/21/06 Pat Frederick Totally enjoyed the movie! It was really engrossing! 5 stars
4/21/06 Anthony G Best movie of the year. 5 stars
4/20/06 Hilary 5-star!! Absolutely awesome!! 5 stars
4/20/06 T I thought it was a great movie. I reflected on our own US gov't. 5 stars
4/19/06 malcolm too long. heavy-handed. 3 stars
4/18/06 Koitus Interesting movie, "for OUR time" of "W.' Was expecting more action, though. 4 stars
4/16/06 Furuta The best film i saw this year 5 stars
4/10/06 M Meaningful,Well Written and Couageous. 4 stars
4/09/06 Ty awesome!! awesome!! 5 stars
4/09/06 the untrained eye This is a movie, not a comic book. Repeat. Then enjoy. 4 stars
4/06/06 T loved the flow of words and deep thought. seen it twice already and will purchase it later 5 stars
4/06/06 Troy M. Grzych I went in thinking "Matrix," but got Shakespeare instead!! 5 stars
4/02/06 ajay saw it in the IMAX today, pretty good stuff. 4 stars
3/31/06 kaz on the edge of my seat 5 stars
3/29/06 M. Dido It's quite good, but I've yet to see a film adaptation that does justice to Alan Moore. 3 stars
3/29/06 Titus A few rough edits, needs a bit more spit-and-polish, but came off real well overall. 4 stars
3/28/06 John extremly entertaining, well made and applicable - good stuff 5 stars
3/28/06 Lord Jiggy V 4 very tedious, very obvious, and verbose 2 stars
3/28/06 sweetgrrl1972 It's been a long time since I've seen a movie that I've enjoyed this much. 5 stars
3/27/06 Danny Johanson This movie was very entertaining and did deliver everything i thought it would. 5 stars
3/27/06 Riki Slow in the beginning, but picks up 4 stars
3/27/06 herkos akhaion Complex story is not clearly delivered 3 stars
3/27/06 Brian Meyer V for Victory! This movie entertains in spades! 5 stars
3/27/06 bullit16 Pretty impressive 4 stars
3/26/06 Alex A BORING waste of time. 1 stars
3/25/06 Eevil Wolfie Gave me chills. Needs more action though. 4 stars
3/24/06 Phil beyond my expectations, wonderfully acted, great acting, little different, screw the world 5 stars
3/24/06 pw chong zzzz expected more 2 stars
3/23/06 Anthony G Very Very good. 5 stars
3/22/06 AE Smart thought-provoking cautionary fable 4 stars
3/22/06 Bullwinkle Worth the $5 matinee, def. needed more action though 4 stars
3/21/06 Ole Man Bourbon The world through the eyes of a paranoid schizophrenic? Had its moments though. 3 stars
3/21/06 Persona Surprisingly powerful and absorbing. A great film, period. 5 stars
3/21/06 Kankasaur "V" celebrates victory over tyranny like Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture or V-E Day. Good stuff 5 stars
3/20/06 maxomai Damn impressive. 5 stars
3/20/06 Jannie entertaining, truth, Nartalie, ah..masked man, action, fun 5 stars
3/20/06 Mark A nice surpise--good anti-state message 5 stars
3/19/06 gui awesome 5 stars
3/19/06 Rocky Intelligent flick, fiercely anti-authoritarian...really makes you think 4 stars
3/19/06 PeterV2 The parrallels may be updated, but they are still intriguing. 5 stars
3/19/06 Doug Good 4 stars
3/19/06 Matt Very enjoyable, even better on the IMAX. 4 stars
3/19/06 your worst goddamn nightmare This flick was better than the original comic book!!! Not shittin' you.... 5 stars
3/18/06 Agent Sands More creative and inventive and fresh than it thinks it is. 4 stars
3/18/06 mary oh boy i liked this..so much fun , truth, wonderful acting, great message, prophetic, soon 5 stars
3/18/06 great portman was excellent but the film was just average, boring ending 2 stars
3/18/06 Jesse Excellent thinking movie with some nice plot twists. 5 stars
3/18/06 Vicious Uncomprimising, intelligent, visually adept and all around excellent. 5 stars
3/18/06 Chomp Outstanding movie. 5 stars
3/18/06 Heather Great movie 5 stars
3/18/06 Lazlo Simply excellent! Alan Moore FINALLY done justice on the big screen! 5 stars
3/18/06 BrianWilly Very good stuff. 5 stars
3/18/06 um yeah Can I see N.Portmans boobies please!! 5 stars
3/18/06 KingNeutron Definitely worth seeing. 4 stars
3/17/06 julia wonderfully entertaining and fun 5 stars
3/17/06 drone brilliant adaptation 5 stars
3/17/06 jcjs wowsa, not what i expected..at least as wow as 'Fight Club', band, boom yes indeedie, fine 5 stars
3/16/06 djacosta Mind blowing! 5 stars
3/16/06 brian damn awesome 5 stars
3/14/06 archie Masterpiece! 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  17-Mar-2006 (R)
  DVD: 01-Aug-2006

UK
  17-Mar-2006

Australia
  30-Mar-2006



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