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16 reviews, 156 user ratings

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V for Vendetta
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by Todd LaPlace

"Viva la Revolution!"
4 stars

“V for Vendetta” may have begun has a comic book movie, but this isn’t your average superhero fare. You’re not going to find any cheesy lines about toads being struck by lightning here. Instead, you’ll find a commentary on the potential dangers of a totalitarian government and the grey areas of terrorism. How can you resist?

Notoriously finicky comic book author Alan Moore labeled the “V for Vendetta” script “rubbish.” After an insufferable introduction to Hollywood politics — he was sued for allegedly stealing parts of “The League of Extraordinary Gentleman” from another screenplay, plus the movie was an abomination — Moore wasn’t quiet about his disdain for the entire movie industry, vowing never to get involved again.

But then again, Moore’s also been quoted as saying, “The answer I always fall back on is to quote Raymond Chandler. People said: ‘Raymond, don't you feel devastated by how Hollywood has destroyed your books?’ And he would take them into his study, point to the bookshelf and say, ‘There they are. Look, they're fine.’ The film has got nothing to do with my work. It has a coincidental title to a book I've done and they've given me a huge wedge of money. No problem with that.”

Granted, the above statement was made prior to the release of “Gentleman,” but Moore’s strayed far from his original indifference. He’s gotten so used to playing the grump, he doesn’t have a choice anymore. I’m sure we’ll hear more from him when “Watchmen” finally makes it way to theaters. I can sympathize with Moore, even though I think he’s something of a nutcase. He spent days and weeks and months crafting an intricate story about unrest in a dystopian Europe arguably to the point of perfection, only to have it sold off as a spring popcorn flick starring that guy who was in those “Matrix” movies and that girl who was in that movie made by that guy from “Scrubs.” Hell, you even have to put your trust in the brothers that are to blame for those two dismal “Matrix” sequels and their old assistant director, James McTeigue, who gets a promotion to head helmer. But, to be fair, the film was scheduled to open in early November, a release date that suggests a higher level of quality. Plus, three of its stars and costars have already been nominated for Oscars and none of them are Halle Berry (“Catwoman”? Really?). Mr. Moore, sometimes you’ve just got to let your pride go and accept “V for Vendetta” as a solid movie that maybe, just maybe, will inspire more than a few people to seek out your better graphic novel.

In a post-nuclear war England, the people live under a totalitarian shadow government and in the constant fear of new biological attack. It’s “1984,” just 36 years too late, although cryptic slogans — “Strength through unity, unity through faith” — still litter the streets. There are also telescreens...er, televisions everywhere, often featuring propaganda-spewing talking heads praising the government for keeping the country safe. Of course, one man, the masked vigilante V (Hugo Weaving), stands against the tyranny. Plotting a reawakening of the brainwashed huddled masses, V plans to follow in the footsteps of his mask’s inspiration, Guy Fawkes, the man who tried to destroy the houses of Parliament in 1605. For a span on one year, from Guy Fawkes Day (November 5) in 2020 to the same day in 2021, V will hijack the propaganda airwaves and build homemade explosives to expose the dirty underbelly of the government. As he says, “people should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.”

One of those people is Evey (Natalie Portman), a low-ranking television station peon. Orphaned by the government’s habit of “black bagging” its citizens — her parents were taken and never returned — Evey maintains a quiet indifference. She recognizes the flaws of the government and stupidity of the commentators, but only in the privacy of her own bedroom. That is, of course, until V rescues her from being raped by a group of police patrolmen on the same eve he demolishes the Old Bailey courthouse. Implicated in his deeds, she becomes his unintentional ally, someone to help him get close to high-ranking officials to continue his revenge. Portman, who’s forced to don a schoolgirl outfit, a sometimes wavering British accent and her infamous shaved head in the cause of justice, is a great sport at playing Evey. Her emotional rollercoaster, from average citizen to reluctant hero to government prisoner, continues to lend credence to her deserved star status.

The real stars of the picture though are the stellar supporting cast. As Finch, the lead detective after V, Stephen Rea takes a role that is little more than a filter for V’s background story (which involves government-sponsored experiments and those black bagged victims) and infuses it with a surprising warmth. Ordered by dictator Adam Sutler (John Hurt) to stop digging into the past and focus on V’s current deeds, which grow to include several prominent murders, Finch starts to take that same emotional rollercoaster, but from a different perspective. Sinead Cusack, as one of those victims, also manages to use her small role to ratchet up the story’s political and emotional intricacy.

There are many who will see “V for Vendetta” as an allegory to contemporary political unrest in the U.S., but such specificity is reaching. Moore’s original story centers on Margaret Thatcher’s reign in England, but even much of that has been dropped. Instead, the film seems to be a general comment about the dangers of a detached centralized government. Any way you split it, though, this thoughtful tale of terror and terrorism is a film well worth the 2 hour, 12 minute investment. Who knows, you just might learn something.

Although it’s not exactly the most original idea ever — I found it most closely connected to “1984,” although you could make arguments for any number of other stories — “V for Vendetta” is definitely a worthwhile effort, making such originality complaints moot. No matter how many variations are put on it, a good story is a good story, and “V for Vendetta” is a good story. And if it reaches the masses and starts some discussion, that’s just icing on the cake.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=13855&reviewer=401
originally posted: 03/31/06 12:54:48
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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
5/25/08 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 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
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  17-Mar-2006 (R)
  DVD: 01-Aug-2006



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