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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

V for Vendetta

--posted by Tony Garcia on 3/21/2006

(Review by Marty Andrade)

I thought after attending the stinkfest "Date Movie" and the painful "Ultraviolet" in consecutive weeks I would finally enjoy a movie in V for Vendetta. How cruel the gods of entertainment truly are. If I were to watch this film again, I would sneak a sleeping pill about a half an hour beforehand, enjoy the first explosion in the opening scene, sleep through the middle then have someone wake me up for the final explosion. Explosion, nap, explosion; maybe then I wouldn't have objected so much to having put forth money to see this film. That wasn't a spoiler either, as we know from the trailers what the ending of the film shall be.

Natalie Portman plays Evey Hammond, a Londoner who works for the state sanctioned television network. It's a London with obvious Orwellian rules regarding behavior, and Evey is caught after curfew by some non-uniformed enforcement officers who are preparing to rape her. V, played by Hugo Weaving, intervenes and incapacitates the men before they can harm Evey. He's wearing the mask of Guy Fawkes (Clive Ashborn), an anti-Protestant terrorist from seventeenth century who tried to kill off the protestant government of England by blowing up the Parliamentary building in London.

Soon enough, Evey Hammond is knee deep with V and is forced into hiding after helping V take over a television network. I guess there's some plot in the movie, since we need to understand how we get from the beginning explosion to the ending explosion. Fascists are involved, evil pharmaceutical corporations are involved, hypocritical priests and I think they even kill off a Rush Limbaugh type character in the mix. The message the film sends about the evils of conservatism (of which I personally am one) is heavy throughout the film. It's an unfair caricature for sure.

The obvious political message of the movie could be forgiven if it were simply a better film. Natalie Portman's performance is unbearable. It's hard to believe you're in London when the main protagonist can't maintain a British accent. Portman feels almost lifeless in her role. I guess that can be understood when you realize the other protagonist is a guy trying to act through a mask. Hugo Weaving does his best, however it only takes a while to be completed frustrated by the mask. Not only do we never see any facial expression, Weaving's voice is muffled and difficult to listen to behind the mask. Eventually it's simply easier to give up trying to pay attention to the dialogue.

Not that the dialogue is bad. There are some wonderful soliloquies and exchanges in the film. Some. V is put forth as an extremely witty and verbose former actor who delivers theatric performances as he's starting the revolution. Those exchanges disappear about 20 minutes into the film.

There are some action sequences to the movie. V carries around long daggers with which he fights. The expectation of these sequences is very high considering the magnificent history the Wachowski brothers (Andy and Larry) have had in special effects and cinematography with their Matrix trilogy. However, all the action sequences (excepting the explosions at the beginning and ending of the film) come off flat and uninteresting. The special effects are lackluster. Huge disappointment.

V for Vendetta is an over hyped movie with occasional brilliance in dialogue combined with lazy special effects, tired action sequences, fatigued performances, plot holes, slow pace and weak script. Take a pass and save yourself the time and money.

********** UPDATE **********
Welcome to the readers of Phantom Gerry. I find the readers there a little less than open-minded about their movie. But, hey, that's what fandom is all about.


Blogger Ironic said...

Read the original source.
The graphic novel, which was written twenty years ago, was Alan Moore's attempt to attack the Thatcher administration in England.
However, the idea is also supposed to be that not the government's tactics are bad, but so are his. Again, read the book. There's more to it that's left out of the film.

March 22, 2006  
Blogger Marty said...

I believe that, I'm not a graphic novel guy, but I am interested in this particular book.

March 22, 2006  
Blogger darkangel said...

really sounds like you are a person that can only enjoy guns and explosions...I pity you

April 03, 2006  
Blogger Tony Garcia said...

you should see his garage and basement. pity is not the right feeling...fear is a better one.

April 03, 2006  
Blogger darkangel said...

really interesting that you should link back to phantom gerry, unless you are a member there of course?

April 04, 2006  
Blogger Tony Garcia said...

I am a member of many groups and forums. Once someone hits my site I do all I can to find a way in there. It helps to broaden one's horizons.


April 04, 2006  

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