V for Vendetta is set in a future Britain where, much like George Orwell’s 1984, there is a big brother figure that is watching your every move, and has control of your every emotion. In a world where many pieces of art or other free speech are banned, there are those who strive to set the world free again so that freedom can once again be at the forefront. The story is taken from the Alan Moore graphic novel published by DC Comics. It stars Hugo Weaving as V, Natalie Portman as Evey Hammond, Stephen Rea as police chief Finch, and John Hurt as Adam Sutler.As I said before, this is from the same minds that brought you the Matrix, and because of this, a high bar has been set, because of what they have left behind. You expect a lot of action, but not without reason. They have found a good marriage between the hyper-intellectual thought process along with the mindless action of movies like Die Hard or Commando. These men do not shy away from the issues that we face from time to time as we turn on the television and watch the news. We ask ourselves where our line is as to when the government has too much control over our daily lives. Where is the line between letting those above us take care of us, and letting those above us not allow us to think? In a world where most things are censored for the right-wing conservatives, what things are censored because the government simply does not want us to see them? These are the types of questions that are raised in Vendetta. If you don’t like to think when you go to the cinema, then stay away from this movie. But if you like to be challenged, then you might enjoy this film.
I will say that this movie is not for everyone. There is a lot of action, and a lot of blood, but it all works in the story, rather than just having random acts of violence that clutter the movie. There is really more dialogue and storyline than violence though, because that is really what the film is about. It is about substance and opening your eyes to let yourself be reborn, and relearn the things you feel you already know because you have been taught them for so long.
This movie was slated to come out on the 4th of November, but after the bombings in the subways of London, they decided that this movie was too close to that subject matter, so they delayed the release for a few months. This was not a bad decision on their part for multiple reasons. The first reason is the comfort level of the subject matter in a time of terrorism in the actual place where this movie is supposed to be happening in the future. So that is completely warranted. The other reason is that since it is being released in the Spring when there are notoriously bad movies, it doesn’t have anything to contend with. The only action movies that have been released so far this year, minus Underworld, have been terrible. When you are competing with She’s the Man instead of Chicken Little and Jarhead, it is a good move. The quality of this film far outpaces most other films that will be released this spring. It is really more of a summer or winter movie, but blows away everything else released at this time, which will only help its chances at the box office.
The acting in this movie was really spot on. The dialogue is perfectly paced and never felt slow and sluggish, nor rushed. The casting was well done as each actor’s performance was completely transparent to the storyline and only played with just the right amount of emotion to keep you on the edge of your seat. Natalie Portman really showed up in this one. After her dreadful performance in Star Wars Episode III, you could tell that she was very focused on this role and felt good about every line that she said. I wondered after that catastrophe if maybe she was getting praised a little too much for her acting ability. But this film put my faith back into her acting chops as I hoped it would. Hugo Weaving somehow conveys through his body what most other people have trouble conveying through their faces. Through almost the entire movie you never see his face, because he wears a mask that leaves him with only the expression that is plastered in front of him. But through voice inflection and body movement, he really takes a performance that could have been atrocious and turned it into a masterpiece.
I don’t think there is any doubt that I like this movie, and that I like comic books. But this is something all together different than comics. It is more of the type of movie that challenges you and makes you question the way you look at the world around you and how much of a difference you could make if you really wanted to. Even if the situations are unrealistic and over the top, it still challenges you to question your existence and what the reasoning is behind it. I really enjoyd this movie and think that it will be one of those movies that will play for a long time in my personal DVD player. Whether other people will receive it in the same way is questionable, but not unheard of. From most of the other reviews I’ve heard, it is doing well, but that doesn’t mean that it will get audiences into theaters to see it. But if you are reading this post, then you are not afraid to think about what is going on around you, so please, go see this movie, and question all of the things you are afraid to question. I give V for Vendetta a 9 out of 10.