Reviews & Previews - V for Vendetta

Posted on Sunday, March 19, 2006 at 05:00 PM

V for Vendetta

By: S. Tran

Starring: Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving
Directed by: James McTeigue
Running Time: 132 Minutes
Rated: Rated R for strong violence and some language

Uh..It's Different

You will not see a movie like V for Vendetta this year. This is perhaps a good thing or a bad thing depending on your tastes. The commercials made it seem like the Wachowski brothers had given us another Matrix-like action thriller. However the movie itself plays out like a political drama meets British cop show more than anything else. The action we were promised consists of two short fight scenes that were completely unmemorable.

The film takes place in the near future where a totalitarian regime has taken over England. There is some mention of a war with the U.S. but this isn't explained very well. V is a mysterious terrorist who tries to change the system by doing what terrorists typically do, blow things up. Along the way he meets Evey (Portman) a young woman who eventually comes to believe in the revolution V is trying to accomplish.

I've taken enough classes to understand that the word metaphor applies here. The Wachowski brothers lay it on thick in this film and they want us to understand that V the man is not as important as V the ideal. Just in case we were too dumb to get it they even make the character tell us himself that he can't be killed because "ideas can't die". Deep, boring, but deep.

The trouble with the rest of the film is that it doesn't offer us anything to keep us interested while the metaphor sinks in. Unlike The Matrix we weren't given anything to draw us into the world of the story to make us care either way what happens to characters. To me it felt like the story was sacrificed for the message and that message itself isn't really all that interesting or original.

Compounding the problem is the weird costume and mask V wears throughout the movie. It supposed to be a Guy Fawkes mask but ever time I saw him I though to myself "Quaker Mime!". Its not a cool costume, not even close and the other problem is that V runs around the city with this costume on and no one can find the guy. No one can find a guy running around looking like a Quaker Mime!

If we're going to be truthful here this movie was only made because the Wachowski brothers hit a monster home run with the Matrix series of movies. If an unknown writer had pitched this movie to a studio it would have ended up in the straight to DVD pile at best.

I suppose I could spend some time talking about the performances in the film but I don't really see the point. This one isn't worth your time and while it wasn't as bad as Ultraviolet it certainly doesn't mean it was good.


2.5 out of 5 stars.


NOTE: The showtimes listed on come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to