V For Vendetta


Reviewed by: Kotleta

V For Vendetta
"Lacking in style and substance, this film is flatly abundant in pretension and self-importance."

V also stands for Van Helsing. Let's all take a moment and remember how that turned out. Much the same reaction (disappointment, frustration, disbelief and boredom) is evoked by this film.

Masked avenger with mysterious past plots to overthrow oppressive regime - it's the usual superhero plot. Somewhere in the vaguely near distant future, a 1984-lite version of Britain is ruled by an evil megalomaniac politician whose self-created culture of fear ensures his will is never challenged. But a man in a static Guy Fawkes' mask is here to save the day and illustrate why cinematic masked avengers normally have a maskless alter ego. Cutting a swathe through propaganda posters with his Zorro-esque swordplay, V rescues Natalie Portman from the curfew patrol and a painfully uncomfortable and unlikely romance begins, while they plan some explosions.

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In his secret underground lair, V has many treasures, chief of which is a Wurlitzer jukebox. V tells Natalie: "There are 827 songs on this and I've listened to them all. But I've never danced to any." A touchingly heartfelt moment was spoiled by the spontaneous guffaw of laughter which erupted throughout the cinema. Later, they dance.

V speaks in interminable classical quotations and prosy speeches, often alliterative, proving in the process that there are more words beginning with V than one would ever have suspected. This ploy of vacuous verbosity may have looked clever on paper, but on screen it is hammy and irritating, with most of the meaning lost in affected wordplay. Most other characters wear cheap suits from Top Man and shout "Bollocks!" a lot. This is the main concession to the London setting, albeit a misplaced one. It's blatantly obvious that the writers are American.

Lacking in style and substance, this film is flatly abundant in pretension and self-importance. V For Vendetta is too poorly written and lazily shot to be redeemed by great performances. Which is just as well as the acting sucks, too. The sole exception is Stephen Rea, who is convincing and dignified as a policeman on the trail of truth. The explosions are pretty.

Co-creator of the comic book series, Alan Moore has publicly disassociated himself from the film and with good reason.

The Verdict on V For Vendetta - Visual Valium.

Reviewed on: 17 Mar 2006
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V For Vendetta packshot
In the near future, Britain is a fascist state into which a mysterious, masked terrorist dares to fight fear with flames
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Read more V For Vendetta reviews:

Anton Bitel ****
Chris ***
Merlin Harries ***
Angus Wolfe Murray **1/2

Director: James McTeigue

Writer: Lilly Wachowski, Lana Wachowski, based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore and David Lloyd

Starring: Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving, Stephen Rea, Stephen Fry, John Hurt, Tim Pigott-Smith, Rupert Graves, Ben Miles, Robert Allam, John Standing, Natasha Wightman, Sinead Cusack, Eddie Marsan

Year: 2005

Runtime: 132 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: USA/Germany


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