Stills for "V For Vendetta"
(Courtesy from 2006 Warner Bros. Ent.
All Rights Reserved)
Based on the Groundbreaking Graphic Novel by Alan Moore and David Lloyd
Director: James McTeigue
Starring: Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving, Stephen Rea, John Hurt
RunTime: 2 hrs 12 mins
Released By: Warner Bros
Official Website: http://www.vforvendetta.com/
Rating: NC-16

Released Date: 16 March 2006


Set against the futuristic landscape of totalitarian Britain, V For Vendetta tells the story of a mild-mannered young woman named Evey (Natalie Portman) who is rescued from a life-and-death situation by a masked vigilante (Hugo Weaving) known only as “V.” Incomparably charismatic and ferociously skilled in the art of combat and deception, V ignites a revolution when he detonates two London landmarks and takes over the government-controlled airwaves, urging his fellow citizens to rise up against tyranny and oppression. As Evey uncovers the truth about V’s mysterious background, she also discovers the truth about herself – and emerges as his unlikely ally in the culmination of his plot to bring freedom and justice back to a society fraught with cruelty and corruption.


V For Vendetta joins yet another myriad of ensembles of film adaptation from comic books, which enjoyed widespread attention from both producers and fans alike. The genre of superheroes was resurrected aggressively during these few years, and with V For Vendetta spearheading this year’s silver screen, there is no doubt more films of such genre will reach our shore in the near future.

“V”, unlike your super arch-hero type, is a dark concept of a lone anarchist against fascism and oppression is both political and morally challenged. “V” fights with cloaks and daggers, is a master of deception and combat, and believes human sacrifices are necessary for the sanctity of freedom. No doubt “V” is a violent terrorist, and as the plot thickens, we learnt that “V” is also a gentleman who indulges in contraband luxuries like music, movies and dancing. He boasts conceited philosophy and tries to make his speech rhythms too. Oh yeah, “V” likes to pick up girls by bombing important buildings.

With such a daring perceptive of terrorism during such times of turmoil, marketed with dark edgy gloom of the dangerous future and the troupe of star-studded cast like Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving and the Wachowski brothers, V For Vendetta is easily an highly anticipated movie of the year.

Or so I believed.

One can understand why the three volumes of Vertigo’s graphic novels created by Alan Moore and David Lloyd in the eighties intrigued the Wachowski brothers. V For Vendetta shared a common reflection with The Matrix; the concept of a dystopian society, the futuristic city in the shadows of despair and hopelessness and the struggle of a philosophical avenger determined to kill everyone with Kung Fu that stand against him. Replacing the insipid pretty boy Keanu Reeves is the insipid pretty girl Natalie Portman as the protégé of superhuman mentor thriving on a delusive destiny. (“V” dethroning Morpheus as the long-winded mentor.) John Hurt displaced Hugo Weaving’s Agent Smith as the roaring, spit-yelling and murder-crying villain. And viola, ‘bullet time’ becomes ‘knife time’!

Ah, the talented Mr. Hugo Weaving! Where art thou? I have come to see this picture because I want to see you. Instead all I get is a horribly disfigured “V” hiding behind his Guy Fawkes’ mask. “V” can be lyrical and animatedly expresses himself beyond his mask, but he is not you. He is not the impressive Hugo Weaving.

V For Vendetta fails while struggling to balance V’s ‘the end justify the means’ acts of terrorism when relating to modern crowd of desensitized audience.

V For Vendetta fails to move the story in a suitable pace by dragging through unnecessary buildup, the constant repeating of flashbacks tires the audience and it fails to even climax in the end where “V” have promised. It doesn’t help that the cast is unimpressive and dull.

V For Vendetta fails not because Alan Moore and David Lloyd’s ingenuity was overrated, but rather it was misplaced in the wrong hands of direction and production. I have enjoyed V For Vendetta’s graphic novels and have always been a huge fan of Mr. Alan Moore’s work. But its film adaptation is disappointing in its deliverance and most importantly it fails to entertain moviegoers like us whose agenda of watching a blockbuster is simply to be entertained.

Movie Rating:

(‘V’s Vendetta is definitely a much lesser effort by the Wachowski brothers and it fails to live up to its hype)

Review by Ang Wei Kiat




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