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V For Vendetta

Reviewed by Ogre3000

Remember, remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot…

 

Thus opens the film version of V For Vendetta with scenes of Guy Fawkes' treacherous acts, capture and execution. 400 years later, a new sedition begins with a mysterious masked figure who rescues a young girl and then blows up The Old Bailey.

Apparently the future (at least in the UK) is not what it was once going to be. A draconian state exists, run by Hitler-like Chancellor Sutler (John Hurt) and his Gestapo-type secret police group. It is 10 years later in this 'brave new world' after a world war or disaster, one where America (and other nations) have been destroyed and plagues and other horrors swept the land. Freedom is merely a meaningless word.

Until now.

Like the Count of Monte Cristo (which one of the movie versions is shown in the film), V (Hugo Weaving) and his campaign of terror is of unfinished business. A past horror that the government covered up and now, the sins are revisited upon the guilty.

Welp, I don't want to give away too much. I read the comic way back in the British magazine, Warrior (the issues with V ran from '82 to '85). Unfortunately, Warrior was cancelled before the series was finished. But, a few years later, DC Comics picked it up and ran the entire series with the finale in 1988. Later it was collected into a Vertigo graphic novel.

On the transition from comic to film, yes, there are more then a few changes. The original Hitler-like "Leader" was named Adam James Susan, not Sutler. The radio (TV is barely in the comic) show is called "The Voice of Fate" (which is also apparently the name of the massive computer system, "Fate") and the name of the fascist party is "Norsefire". That all aside, nearly all of Alan Moore/David Lloyd's work makes it to the screen. And one of the chapters, "Valerie" is directly from the pages of the book, beautiful and heart-wrenching as the original. And Natalie Portman (Evey Hammond), away from the awful dialogue of the Star Wars prequels, can actually act.

Well, needless to say, I did enjoy the movie and what flaws it has are forgivable since the wonderful ideas actually made it through all the junk filters that Hollywood tries to toss up in the way. 5 stars and I will of course see it again and get the DVD. Of course, I've had the book for over 20 years…

Till next time,
OGRE3000

 

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Director
James McTeigue

Screenplay
Andy Wachowski
Lana Wachowski

Released
August 26, 2005

Cast
Natalie Portman
Hugo Weaving
Stephen Rea
Stephen Fry
John Hurt
Tim Pigott-Smith
Rupert Graves
Sinéad Cusack

Full Credits at IMDb

Available on DVD and Blu-Ray