The first question you might ask about
this film is, 'What does the V stand for?' The answer is:
Vendetta. See what happens when you only read the first letter in
a title of a film?
This is a film based on a comic book created by
Alan Moore. Alan Moore is a legend in the comic book
industry...his writing is frequently credited with changing the industry
(in a good way, not in the way that Ben Affleck changed the film
Many of Alan Moore's works have been adapted to the big screen: he
wrote the source material for From Hell (starring Johnny Depp),
Constantine (starring Keanu Reeves - whoa), and The League of
Extraordinary Gentlemen (starring Sean Connery, and performing less
than extraordinarily well at the box office). Given that track
record, many people may be hesitant to see V for Vendetta.
But, don't hold the adaptations against him. His comic books
are brilliant, and he has been subjected to merciless Hollywoodism in
the licensing of his works. Alan Moore has had his name taken off
many projects (actually, uh...including V for Vendetta) and there
have been many public feuds between him and...well...just about
everyone. An adaptation of his best work, The Watchmen, is
currently underway, too.
This film stars Natalie Portman, who you may remember from the most
recent Star Wars films, or perhaps you may remember her from
The Professional with Jean Reno. The film's protagonist is
played by...well...you can't be sure, since he's wearing a mask.
Now don't go and think that just because the film features a masked
hero that the Masked Reviewer is automatically going to give it a good
review. That wouldn't be right!
What is V for Vendetta about? Without giving too much
away, it deals with terrorism. It also deals with freedom,
oppression, and revolution. And because of that, this film is
guaranteed to generate some negative feedback. Already people are
talking about how V is promoting or glamorizing terrorism.
And...he does. But perhaps people will look at terrorism slightly
differently after viewing this film. By all accounts, the founding
fathers were terrorists, fighting for freedom from the British. Is
it unfair to make those comparisons? Does that mean that al-Qaeda
(and his brother, frank-Qaeda) are really good guys? That's what
critics of the film are suggesting. The Masked Reviewer does not
see that argument being made in V, but does think that the
message of the film -- which is basically that it is every citizen's
responsibility to stand up against oppression, whether at home or abroad
-- is an interesting one, and one that many people are afraid to make.
Whether you think the government is doing a great job or a horrible
job, it's hard to deny that the United States lives in an atmosphere of
fear since 9/11. That fear has shaped public policy, and has
affected how we live our lives. Is this better or worse?
That's certainly worth thinking about and debating. And yet, when
a movie comes along that (symbolically, at least) tackles these issues,
it's immediately branded as supporting terrorism and being
anti-American. And, ironically, the point of the film is driven
home by the fear of different views being expressed. So, whether
you see it as being highly-relevant or anti-American, it certainly does
provoke thought, and it does it in an interesting way, and that's a good
thing, as far as the Masked Reviewer is concerned.
The film was produced by Joel Silver and the Warchowski brothers, who
also brought you The Matrix trilogy. As such, the film is
slick and easy on the eyes. There are some fight scenes that are
fairly cool, but this isn't an action movie, really. It's more
intellectual. If you want a good blow-em-up, butt-kicking flick,
this isn't a great choice. It's probably the best choice in
theaters right now, but if you're looking for a fist-fest, this isn't
The film revolves around a few central characters, and it has some
nice twists and turns, and "dark" would be a good way to describe it.
There's not a lot of humor, and it lacks special effects, but
nonetheless, if you're a fan of the comic books, it's a must-see.
Not just V for Vendetta comics, either, but the art form in
general. It has a very comic-booky feel.
It's also a must-see for people who want to think about freedom,
something often taken for granted in this country.
Expectation from the Title: A film about the world's worst
acronym. Richard thought that an acronym should be short and to
the point...but just one letter? The ridicule he faced led him to
seek revenge, or R, as he called it.
Mother's Rule (Always Say Something Good About Everything):
Even though you don't see the title character's face, he seems very
charming. He always seems to smile, too.
The Pros: Thought provoking, great writing, especially well
acted by the lead (who didn't have the benefit of having his face seen).
The Cons: It's a bit long. Previews may misrepresent it
as being a straight-up action flick, which it isn't. Controversial
topics which will put some people off without giving it a chance.
Can't spell? V for Vendeta, Hugo Weeving,
Mr. Smith, Mr. Anderson, Warshowski brothers, Allen Moore