V for Vendetta (2006)

Genre(s): Action / Drama / Science Fiction / Thriller
Warner Brothers || R - 132 minutes || March 17, 2006
Reviewer: Chris Gonzalez || Posted On: 2006-03-17

.:: F I L M ::.

Director: James McTeigue
Writer(s): Alan Moore (characters) and David Lloyd (characters), Wachowski Brothers (screenplay)
Cast: Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving, Stephen Rea, John Hurt

Comment on this and other movies on the message board!

In my short lifetime there are a few select movie-going experiences that have stuck out in my head as being incredibly memorable, opinion changing, and eventful. Michael Mooreís Fahrenheit 911 was one of those films. On the filmís opening weekend I filed into a 500-seat auditorium with eight other friends, at noon on a Saturday afternoon. The theater was filled to the brim and the tension that filled the air was more intense than anything Iíd ever felt in other movie. People cheered, some booed, some laughed, some cried... it was a completely involving and intoxicating experience. After the film all 500 people that walked out simply stood in the lobby talking about the film and debating it for hours, while not trying to spoil anything for the hundreds of people standing in line for the next show.

For all of the filmís inconsistencies and lies that were later revealed, very little of that mattered to me. I had never experienced such a vivid example of freedom of speech, a film that stood by its position so strongly, such a loud political voice through a medium I cherished so much. I had never been prouder to be American, and for the first time realized how expansive and thought provoking a film going experience could be. V for Vendetta made me feel the exact same way.

Set in the near future in a post world war London, the film centers on V, a vigilante, cultured terrorist who executes acts of violence for what he feels is for the better good in a fascist government. Evy, played by Natalie Portman, is a young woman whose life was ruined by the government and soon develops a friendship with V. To say more about the plot would be doing a huge disservice to any viewer, as many questions and mysteries are brought up, and should be completely fresh anyone who sees it. The trailers have already done far enough damage.

Technically pitch perfect, excellently directed, and very well written, the film is totted as an action film. While it does have its share fare of knife throwing, gun firing, and explosions, most of the film is spent on discovering Vís motives for his actions, Evyís transformation, and basically hammering the filmís message down the audiences throat. It can be talky and a bit lengthy, but constantly intriguing and revealing. Itís a film much more about ideas and different points of view than action and special effects.

Hugo Weaving transforms into V so well, with such charisma and flair, that he all but guarantees this being the number one Halloween costume come October. Heís well spoken, witty, cultured, determined, and angry. Portman brings a sensitive and naive attitude to the role that letís the audience easily identify with her, as she discovers the films mysteries as the audience does.

V for Vendetta is so well thought out and tight that the films basic emotional core and message is contained a five-minute flashback sequence that takes place in the middle. Itís an astonishingly powerful message that makes this a love it or hate it experience. Any interpretation of the filmís events and ideas is simply in the eye of the beholder. One can take the character of a terrorist being the hero as justification or sympathizing with individuals like Osama Bin Laden, or you can look at the story presented and realize itís more of a what if situation than a lecture about current situations.

To prove even more impressive, all of these important and heavy themes are presented and live in a comic book world, with masked avengers, damsels in distress, and heinously exaggerated villains.

Entertaining to the fullest, beautiful to look at, thought provoking, and completely relevant, V for Vendetta is a cinematic event that is irresponsible to miss. The final 10 minutes are more rousing and eventful than anything thatís been seen in the theaters for years. Anyone that walks out of the theater unmoved in any way, positive or negative, doesnít deserve to experience it.