V for Vendetta Reviews
Ebert and Roeper gave the film a "two thumbs up" rating. Roger Ebert stated that V for Vendetta "almost always has something going on that is actually interesting, inviting us to decode the character and plot and apply the message where we will". Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton from At the Movies stated that despite the problem of never seeing Weaving's face, there was good acting and an interesting plot, adding that the film is also disturbing, with scenes reminiscent of Nazi Germany. Jonathan Ross from the BBC blasted the film, calling it a "woeful, depressing failure" and stating that the "cast of notable and familiar talents such as John Hurt and Stephen Rea stand little chance amid the wreckage of the Wachowski siblings' dismal script and its particularly poor dialogue." Sean Burns of Philadelphia Weekly gave the film a 'D', criticizing the film's treatment of its political message as being "fairly dim, adolescent stuff," as well as expressing dislike for the "barely decorated sets with television-standard overlit shadow-free cinematography by the late Adrian Biddle. The film is a visual insult." On Alan Moore removing his name from the project, Burns says "it's not hard to see why," as well as criticising Portman's performance: "Portman still seems to believe that standing around with your mouth hanging open constitutes a performance." Harry Guerin from the Irish TV network RTÉ states the film "works as a political thriller, adventure and social commentary and it deserves to be seen by audiences who would otherwise avoid any/all of the three". He added that the film will become "a cult favourite whose reputation will only be enhanced with age." Andy Jacobs for the BBC gave the film two stars out of five, remarking that it is "a bit of a mess... it rarely thrills or engages as a story."
To re-see "V For Vendetta" was a bit unfulfilling as I honestly donīt think itīs not as good as I thought it was when it came out. I have never red Alan Mooreīs thought-provoking graphic novel, but I know of it, and I think the plot and conceptual idea is quite intriguing. Itīs complex, tense in a way, layered and you canīt but cheer for the anti-hero V despite some of his actions that are as vile as the methods the government he despises use. The main focus is fear and how the government use it as a weapon to control and make sure that people do what they are told. And the antidote is vengeance via V and his methods. The problem here is that even if "V For Vendetta" is based on a graphic novel it somehow becomes too cartoony for its subject matter and you struggle with buying into this futuristic society and its protagonist. The problem is as well the editing, the acting is not always spot on (specifically Natalie Portman is not convincing in her role as Evey and the overacting from for example John Hurt was not of my liking) and the comical structure that appears at certain points in the film doesnīt work but rather create an unbalance. You simply feel disappointed when the film is over.
Trivia: The original comic series was originally created by Alan Moore. However, following his negative experience with From Hell (2001) and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003), Moore decided to reject all money and credit from Hollywood on any adaptations of his work. Thus, he gave all the money he would've gotten to the artist who drew the character with him, and rejected his own "created by" credit from the film.
V wears a mask in the guise of Guy Fawkes, who is most famous for his involvement in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, which he was placed in charge of executing, due to his military and explosives experience. The plot, masterminded by Robert Catesby, was a failed attempt by a group of provincial English Roman Catholic conspirators to kill King James I of England (the Sixth of Scotland), his family, and most of the Protestant aristocracy in one swoop, by blowing up the Houses of Parliament during its State Opening.
Alan Moore, writer of the original graphic novel, greatly disliked the film, criticizing the script for "having plot holes you wouldn't have gotten away with on Wizzer and Chips in the 1960s". He ended cooperation with his publisher, DC Comics, after its corporate parent, Warner Brothers, failed to retract statements about Moore's supposed endorsement of the film. Joel Silver said at a press conference that Lana Wachowski had talked with Moore, and that "Moore was very excited about what Lana had to say." Moore disputed this, reporting that he told Wachowski "I didn't want anything to do with films. I wasn't interested in Hollywood," and demanded that DC Comics force Warner Brothers to issue a public retraction and apology for Silver's "blatant lies". Although Silver called Moore directly to apologize, no public retraction appeared. Moore was quoted as saying that the comic book had been "specifically about things like fascism and anarchy. The words 'fascism' and 'anarchy' occur nowhere in the film. It's been turned into a Bush-era parable by people too timid to set a political satire in their own country." This conflict between Moore and DC Comics was the subject of an article in The New York Times on March 12, 2006, five days before the U.S. release. In the New York Times article, Silver stated that about twenty years prior to the film's release, he met with Moore and David Gibbons when Silver acquired the film rights to V For Vendetta and Watchmen. Silver stated: "Alan was odd, but he was enthusiastic and encouraging us to do this. I had foolishly thought that he would continue feeling that way today, not realizing that he wouldn't." Moore did not deny this meeting, nor Silver's characterization of Moore at that meeting, nor did Moore state that he advised Silver of his change of opinion in those approximately twenty years. The New York Times article also interviewed David Lloyd about Moore's reaction to the film's production, stating, "Mr. Lloyd, the illustrator of V for Vendetta, also found it difficult to sympathize with Mr. Moore's protests. When he and Mr. Moore sold their film rights to the comic book, Mr. Lloyd said: "We didn't do it innocently. Neither myself nor Alan thought we were signing it over to a board of trustees who would look after it like it was the Dead Sea Scrolls."
Xavier "views" Lung *4 stars*