Release Date: March 17th, 2006 by Warner Brothers Pictures.
The Cast: Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving, Stephen Rea, Stephen Fry, John Hurt, Tim Pigott-Smith, Rupert Graves.
Directed by James McTeigue.
BASIC PREMISE: Evey (Portman) joins forces with a masked terrorist codenamed “V” (Weaving) who rebels against the totalitarian government of London. Based on a comic book.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: As a sci-fi action film, V for Vendetta succeeds to entertain from start to finish. The real pleasure here is watching Hugo Weaving give a deliciously dark performance as V who holds a grudge against the government, whose totalitarian leader is Chancellor Sutler (Hurt). His motives recall The Count of Monte Cristo , especially since he was once tortured and now gets a chance for revenge on the 5th of November. When V saves Evey’s life, they develop a secret friendship while detective Finch (Rea) and his assistant (Graves) investigate V’s terrorist threats. As November 5th draws closer, the suspense builds as does the intense action sequences. Just like in The Matrix (also written by the Wachowsk brothers), the sequences have unique, stylized comic-book visuals with very little blood. During the dramatic scenes, what makes V for Vendetta work is Natalie Portman, who shows a wide range of emotions as Evey. The only scenes that feel awkward and contrived are when she falls in love with V (much like in Beauty and the Beast ). Fortunately, director James McTeigue knows how to keep your eyes glued to the screen by focusing on the action, maintaining a high level of suspense and dazzling special effects.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: It’s interesting how the media makes fun of the government in this film just as much as our media tends to do. In this case, a talk-show host (Fry) makes a mockery of the Chancellor’s inability to catch V while staging a pretend chase between the Chancellor and V right in his studio. Other than that, V for Vendetta doesn’t satire much else, although it does have plenty of references to many other movies.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None, as long as you suspend your disbelief.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 0
IN A NUTSHELL: The Wachowsk brothers do it again! Highly entertaining! Hugo Weaving is excellent as the man behind the mask! The first great blockbuster of the season!
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)
The "V" Menu