Scooper ‘L’ caught the screening of V For Vendetta this weekend at WonderCon in San Francisco and has sent us a review:
The movie is actually pretty strong, which surprised me. It is a movie about true ideas and not nonsense action. It stays quite true to the tone of the original Alan Moore comic, with some slight deviations. I was initially skeptical. When V first shows up in the film after saving Evey (Natalie Portman), I was afraid we were in for a bad time when he begins alliterating like crazy: “The vain vestige of their vernacular, etc”. Luckily it’s actually played pretty comically (she answers back: “Are you, like a crazy person?”) and is thankfully the only time he does it in the film. Hugo Weaving as V is funny, charming and menacing at the same time. He claims to only care about restoring freedom to London, yet at the same time conducts murders to avenge his own past. The action scenes, particularly V slashing people apart, are great. It’s a nice “R” rating too, with streams of blood shooting from victim’s necks as he rushes by. Though the special effects do a slightly strange addition of adding circular “motion” blurs on his knives as he throws them, during the final fight scene at the end. Perhaps trying to simulate comic motion? Another slightly goofy moment is when V is seen sword-fighting against a knight in armor statue within his lair. He sort of awkwardly runs into it and then falls back against a couch. I get we need comic relief in a movie this dark, but still…
The movie has several controversial and surprisingly current ideas in it. Gay unions being shunned, for example, is addressed more than once. And obviously the idea of terrorism, and a society being so afraid that it grants its leaders more power than they might deserve. It also touches on the media being able to shape public opinion.
It’s a shame writer Alan Moore is so against even the idea of watching the movies based on his comics (interestingly, his name is left off the credits at the end and only David Lloyd is noted). This is a truly good attempt at capturing the rebellious and dangerous theme of the comic.
My favorite part of the original graphic novel by Moore and Lloyd is faithfully kept in the movie. Namely, the horrendous treatment/imprisonment of Evey by V, in an elaborate ruse to see if she would ever give him up.
Hugo Weaving’s face is never actually seen on screen, just the voice. Though we do see his unmasked face heavily shadowed (really only recognizable if you know what the actor looks like to begin with) during the jail scenes.
Evey never puts on V’s mask as she does in the comic (if I recall correctly). Though pretty much ten thousand other people do, as they storm parliament. It’s been pointed out that by having all the population wear V’s symbol of anarchy and individualism, the movie is actually making a big mistake. But the way it is handled in the movie, particularly with how they remove the masks, explained away my concerns.
V’s machinations cause the bombing of Parliament at the end, completely obliterating it as people look on happily. For me, I found it fit perfectly in the movie but may be upsetting to our friends in England, especially given recent events.