V for Vendetta

V for Vendetta
V for Vendetta

I’m going to go ahead and recommend this movie, though I hope I’m not just being a blind-eyed fanboy. Not that I should be— I haven’t read the comic (though I do usually enjoy Alan Moore), and the Wachowski brothers have done more to piss me off with the Matrix sequels than I could have thought. Still, it seems they may have redeemed themselves, and someone may be soon selling me a Guy Fawkes mask to hang on my wall.

For me, there comes a point in some movies where it suddenly becomes a joy to watch. For just maybe a few seconds, it becomes a perfect film, and I get this tingly sensation down my back with the joy of watching it, and being part of that experience. Then, usually, something goes amiss, and the feeling fades as quickly as it came. With this film though, the best way to explain my happiness with it is to tell you that I experienced that joyous sensation for nearly the entire film.

That said, there are a few false moments, to be sure. At first V’s speechifying is verbose enough to pull you out of things and say “hey, this is a movie.” But once you get past that, much like in Baz Luhrmann’s Red Curtain Trilogy, your brain re-adjusts to the fact that this movie is going for movie-ness and not “gritty realism” or somesuch, and all is well. Similarly, when Evey gains a dramatic revelation that should have sent her screaming for the hills instead of thanking V… well, she acts like the movie needs her to act to make its point, instead of acting like any sane person would. Though— to be fair— she may, in fact, not be sane at this juncture.

The acting was superb from Natalie Portman, Stephen Rea and the man behind V’s mask (whom I’m not going to name here, because I went into it not knowing who it was, and found the knowledge a little distracting once I figured it out). The bad guys all hammed it up a bit, but in a good way, and John Hurt’s deliciously ironic turn as a Big Brother-ish dictator (after having played Winston Smith in 1984) was probably meant as some meta-movie commentary on the average member of the populace eventually becoming their own worst enemy— but I just thought it was fun.

R :: 2006 :: dir. James McTeigue :: ✭✭✭✭✭