V for Vendetta Reviews

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Super Reviewer
May 19, 2007
Hugo Weaving and Natalie Portman both shine in this awesome adaption of a Moores comic series. Spectacular movie in my opinion. After another recent viewing I realized how great a movie this actually is. 5 stars easy
Super Reviewer
March 21, 2009
oh god
Super Reviewer
½ March 29, 2007
four stars...
Super Reviewer
½ June 24, 2007
An absolute triumph of a political thriller concerning a young woman (Natalie Portman) who gets wrapped up in a plot to overthrow a corrupt, authoritarian government ruled by a wicked leader (John Hurt), by a masked vigilante named "V" (Hugo Weaving) whose hope is to inspire those around him to stand up for what is right. This movie simply hits all the right notes and is totally into its own futuristic "1984"-ish society you can't help but get hooked by it. This is Portman's breakout performance, she's incredible, and Hugo Weaving does a remarkable voiceover job as one of the best characters ever, movies or television, with "V". The grand finale will send shivers down your spine.
Super Reviewer
March 24, 2013
There's a definite Guy Fawkes motive running through this film isn't there, didn't notice at first (yes I'm being sarcastic). kind of a kinky dressing up as Guy Fawkes fetish thing going on. The plot is strange for sure, set in the future of the 2030's, its all about a totalitarian run UK and a certain freedom fighter (with the noted Guy Fawkes fetish) who uses the old 16th Century attempted terrorist act as his main influence for his own terror attacks...of freedom.

A curious blend of fascism set against anarchy with an all American style matinťe serial/pulp magazine hero in the middle. What I have always found weird about this graphic novel creation is the obsession with Guy Fawkes. I understand the notion of using the terrorist act of blowing up Parliament as brilliant symbol/sign of rebellion against the dictatorship that governs this universes UK, but why the need to dress up like Guy Fawkes complete with silly period wig and quaint facial mask?. Why would someone in the 2030's idolise and copy a 16th Century criminal, despite his treasonous act which isn't actually much to celebrate really.

Anyway I can't deny that Weaving's smooth charismatic tones were prefect for the voice of 'V'. He played the character in full as we know but his polite charming well spoken mannerisms really sold the whole anti hero character and gave him this endearing Errol Flynn like persona. Its quite strange to actually think that he was rather dashing even though his face is hidden behind that mask, you tend to forget he's wearing a mask really, its a good looking mask.

The less said about Portman the better frankly, she is becoming more and more annoying as she grows older. She spends the whole time in this film looking distraught with her mouth hanging open and gasping for air! its quite infuriating.

Who better to use for the fascist regime leader than the main lead for the film adaptation of the Orwell novel 'Nineteen Eighty-Four', John Hurt. Hurt's performance is pretty much limited to simply being on a large TV screen/monitor, but the way he barks out orders in a menacing torrent to his subordinates is really a joy to watch. In fact the whole design and look of the fascist party is really well done with clear references/influences from history in certain scenes of addressing the nation. Black and red are the strong piercing colours of the 'Norsefire party', cliched but effective, much like their whole exterior appearance really but lets not forget this is a graphic novel adaptation where visuals are everything.

Its visuals that do bring this film to life like many other similar films. The dark grey tones, dark alleyways, dark rooftops, the darkly cloaked anti hero, shadows galore and the much required dark anti hero logo that will eventually Adorn most badly lit vicinities. In short this is very much your 'Batman' type affair accept it has a more simple minimalistic feel or approach, remember its set in merry old England and not a forest of gothic skyscrapers. The visuals can be striking at times but oddly basic at others, almost verging on TV movie standards.

A clever film where the main (anti) hero is more a symbol of the people, the movement and less of an individual person with fancy fighting moves. The fact they managed to resist showing the face beneath the mask is amazing frankly, seeing as they couldn't resist the old slow motion martial arts stuff (you can see The Wachowski Brothers were here)...but that might be in the graphic novel, I haven't seen it. Its all here with this film, totalitarian fears, media cover ups, secret police, total anarchy, genocide, dictators, torture and the destruction of our beloved Big Ben and Palace of Westminster, oh the sacrilege!.

I also liked the lesbian/gay sub plot in the film set within the fascist regime. Now I'm guessing this is in the graphic novel as its a brave move to be so bold with this kind of content (but this is a UK film, and the UK is brutally PC). The whole idea works perfectly against the extremist policies of the 'Norsefire party' and really brings fresh emotions to the surface, clearly using the realities of Nazi acts during WWII.

I enjoyed the fighting sequences and I liked the masked avenger known as 'V'. The film is heavily cliched but has many undertones which can be looked at in different ways. Unsure how accurate it is to the original source material seeing as Moore didn't like it but none the less its a thoroughly fun action film that boarders on operatic at times!. Still don't really see the need for the the Guy Fawkes motive though, other than it simply looks kinda cool and original.

Final note, why can't henchmen ever understand that maybe shooting the hero in the face might be more effective.
Super Reviewer
½ April 20, 2011
'V for Vendetta' is an exciting, visceral film that easily entices its audience. The direction of the script is not original, but the film's mood and atmosphere in this dystopia is well captured. The lead performances from
Natalie Portman and especially Hugo Weaving are the film's greatest source of mastery. Through his performance, Weaving creates a character that may live long in pop culture as well as cult culture. An intriguing film that never loses your interest through its 2 and a half hour runtime.
Super Reviewer
October 30, 2006
In a Great Britain of the near future, a right wing politician has swept to power on the crest of a wave of Daily Mail inspired conservative nazism. Using a combination of spin and propaganda through the media, he has convinced the populace to sign away their rights and liberties until one masked man decides to fight back. Thank God I don't REALLY live in a Britain like that...! I was expecting great things from this film, its combination of politics, imagery and stylised action is exactly the kind of thing that appeals to me. Unfortunately, this level of expectation can often lead to disappointment, but what I was presented with here was a thoughtful, intelligent and wonderfully written "superhero" film in which the hero has no special powers or magic tricks; he is just an ordinary man who decides that an individual CAN make a difference. Hugo Weaving has great presence for a character who never shows his face and John Hurt is just as masterful as the Big Brother figure as he was as its victim in 1984. Add some wonderfully florid and literary dialogue together with the fact that there are no unnecessarily overblown set pieces in which the beautifully stylised action sequences are just enough to fulfil their purpose in facilitating the story and you have a uniquely cerebral action fantasy. I was looking forward to this one immensely, and for once I was not disappointed. Brilliant.
Super Reviewer
½ August 15, 2012
Whilst it acts a little too big for its boots, and its message is lost between some strange sub-plots, 'V for Vendetta' is an entertaining and thought provoking piece, and a shock from the Wachowski brothers.

Set in a not too distant Dystopian future, in Britain a dictator rules over. But one man, disformed by the government, V, sets out to revolt against them with the help of the people.

Whilst the director and writers do not shy from using a British cast for a British set piece, they cannot help but choose an American to lead the cast. Natalie Portman however plays her part excellently, even if it is overdone by Hugo Weaving in his role as central character V. Weaving's delicate performance is well acted, but being behind a mask for the whole of the film does limit his acting in this particular film.

The action sequences are well directed, and are so close to the copied style of the Wachowski brothers, that I was surprised to find they didn't actually direct the piece when the end credits started rolling. The swordplay is impressive, and exciting, but it also damages the film's political and social message and in turn hampers the action.

Deciding between whether this is a political film or an action film is a decision the production team never really seem to take, making the film clash, often violently, and causing it to jump from a stylised fight scene one moment to a heartfelt story of sacrifice against the establishment next.

Unfortunately this has the effect of damaging both the action and the thematic and social messages behind the fabric of the film.

But despite this, 'V for Vendetta' still manages to provide an impressive two hours of action and a detailed and interesting look at a dystopian British future. Its ending is rushed, the themes ruined, but it is still an entertaining and indulging piece of cinema.
Daniel Mumby
Super Reviewer
January 29, 2012
If a film suffers from production problems, it stands a greater chance of being a bad film than one on which everything runs smoothly. It's a perfectly logical observation to make, one which is largely correct in the grand scheme of filmmaking, and especially with regard to adaptations of Alan Moore. The scale of the problems may vary from stars dying to huge studio interference, but whatever their merits From Hell, The League of Extraordinary Gentleman and Watchmen are all found wanting.

Occasionally, there comes a film which manages to overcome such difficulties and emerge, whether by skill or sheer luck, as a genuinely enjoyable and well-formed piece of work. V for Vendetta fits this bill perfectly, overcoming casting issues and delays in the release to be by far and away the best Alan Moore adaptation. In the hands of James McTeigue, Moore's graphic novel is brought to life in a vibrant and gripping if slightly silly adaptation, which will satisfy the action crowd while providing food for thought.

Like Watchmen, which eventually found its way to the screen in 2009, V for Vendetta was a long time coming. The Wachowski Brothers began adapting the graphic novel in the mid-1990s, before they had found success with The Matrix and its sequels. Their initial drafts were faithful to the novel at the cost of being long and impenetrable, with even their most ruthless rewrites being dismissed by long-time friend and producer Joel Silver.

The later drafts which emerged after The Matrix updated Moore's story, moving it from a thinly-veiled allegory of Thatcherite Britain (as seen through American eyes) to a near-future totalitarian state parodying the governments of Bush and Blair. Having been impressed with his work as an assistant director on The Matrix, the Wachowskis gave the finished script to McTeigue as a birthday present. With the backing of both his peers and their producer, production could finally begin.

The fact that Alan Moore has disowned V for Vendetta, along with all adaptations of his work, should not put you off seeing it. There are times when having no familiarity with the source material can enhance our viewing experience, and all great adaptations should be able to stand alone as works of cinema, regardless of how faithful or affectionate they are. V for Vendetta reflects this principle, succeeding first and foremost as a film and leaving all other debates up to the fans.

The film has an exuberant visual style which not only reflects the graphic novel but the Wachowskis' love of martial arts. The use of bullet time in the fight scenes owes a clear debt to The Matrix, while the abundance of martial arts-style blood nods towards the exploitation movies on which Silver cut his teeth. While Sin City took the comic book aesthetic and tried to make it fit the big screen, V for Vendetta successfully translates the story into the visual language of cinema.

Comparisons are naturally going to be drawn between this film and Watchmen, Zack Snyder's heavily flawed and overly long adaptation of Moore's greatest work. The debate over which work is more reflective of their respective sources is a matter for Moore's fans, particularly those who grew up with them the first time round. For the casual viewer, we have to assess which is better as a piece of cinema, and on these grounds V for Vendetta triumphs, for three reasons.

Firstly, it has a more rounded attitude towards the fans. Watchmen floundered because it was trying too hard to please the fans, with Snyder sparing no expense and pulling no punches to make what he saw as the definitive adaptation. Like many video game adaptations, the film was so worried about replicating every last detail that it forgot to cater for the newcomers. V for Vendetta, meanwhile, has much in it that fans will recognise, but is also much more entrist and emotionally involving. The Wachowskis deliberately changed the character of Evey to make her more prominent and intelligent, recognising that without her the audience wouldn't have a way in.

Secondly, there is the small matter of tone. One of the biggest problems with Watchmen was its lurching tone: Snyder was so concerned with visual flippancy that when the tougher scenes came along (involving rape and child abduction) they felt adolescent and desperately misjudged. V for Vendetta may take a while to get going - the whole first hour is very pantomime, with ripe delivery of lines and stand-offish characterisation. But in the second hour it really gets into its stride, upping its game as the stakes are raised and matching the tone of the story very well.

Thirdly, V for Vendetta is the more intelligent offering, knowing how to handle its subject matter in a nuanced and creative way. Watchmen, whether through its script or Snyder's tricksy visuals, kept losing sight of its main theme of policing vigilantes and the morality surrounding them. While Snyder is all style and no substance, the Wachowskis are masters of the thinking-person's action film, and at least some of their craft has rubbed off on McTeigue. The film raises a lot of interesting ideas and questions, and even in its silliest moments it keeps its eye on the ball.

The film explores the grey area between terrorism and freedom fighting, pulling us into a series of dark places and forcing us to question if the ends ever justify the means. V charms us with his enigmatic blend of anarchy and morality, and we find ourselves subversively supporting an enemy of the state. Halfway in, we are truly shaken when we discover the methods V used on Evey to make her fearless. We find ourselves caught between submission to the state and submission to another force; we are in the centre of Evey's dilemma, and are none the wiser for it.

V for Vendetta also looks at the relationship between the state and civil society. It raises intelligent questions about where the balance of power lies, and how the one manipulates the other - particularly in the murky practice of governments attacking its own civilians to create legitimacy, creating enemies when none can be found. The V mask may have become a system of popular protest, but the film is far from unequivocal in this respect. The rise of the Chancellor's regime is traced through public demand and paranoia as much as arbitrary coercion, and the film's ambiguous ending leaves us on a note of hope but not certainty.

Of the two main performers, one meets our expectations while the other exceeds it. Hugo Weaving's previous work with The Wachowskis leads us to expect the best, and he doesn't disappoint, voicing and physicalizing V so well that we never really need to see his face. Natalie Portman, who can be annoying, does a pretty good English accent, and in her more hysterical moments she comes close to the form she would show in Black Swan five years later. There is good support from Stephen Fry (more or less playing himself) and John Hurt, knowingly cast as the Chancellor having played Winston Smith in 1984.

There are problems with V for Vendetta. The opening section is verbose, the editing is a little clumsy and the torture scenes could be seen as being manipulative. But despite these problems, it remains a very fine film which knocks Watchmen and its predecessors into a cocked hat. It is at very least the most cinematic of the Moore adaptations, with a unique visual style which is all too rare in big-budget films. It won't be to everyone's tastes, but you will struggle to find a comic book film which combines politics and pyrotechnics so effectively.
Directors Cat
Super Reviewer
½ October 30, 2011
It's different for a super hero film and I watched it not knowing what to expect. It's political and touches genuine issue's. I dont like super hero films as i've said before but V for Vendetta is special. NO 3D! Instead it has a good story to it, good acting (particularly by Natalie Portman) and a message that we could learn from. We dont even find out who V (the "protaganist") is either. Which is just another reason why it's more stylish and sophisticated then the likes of Spiderman and Superman.
Super Reviewer
½ August 4, 2010
Absolutely fantastic film! A modern classic in my opinion.

I love that we never get to see V's face.
Super Reviewer
½ August 25, 2011
Awesome visuals effects, great performances from Natalie Portman and Hugo Weaving, a thought-provoking story, and a roiling score by Dario Marianelli make V for Vendetta one hell of a ride but the political proclamations may irk some viewers.
Super Reviewer
½ November 4, 2011
Because if you're 16 then you know that the only way to solve problems with the government is to literally blow it up. Childish in its naivete but the action is incredible.
A Truly Twyzted Kytten
Super Reviewer
½ October 17, 2011
Some say it was a bogged-down action film with not enough action, some say it was a hyped up drama with not enough emotion. I say it was a perfect mixture without any of the cliched pitfalls many modern comic adaptations fall victim to.

The screenplay and dialogue were fantastic, the acting was perfect to the T in every character's case. The world created was gritty and powerful with the feeling of oppression subtly woven into every facet without becoming a slightly-less depressing 1984. The movie and pretext was thought-provoking and left an impact whilst getting across a very clear message about government.

Enjoy it, I certainly did.
Super Reviewer
September 30, 2011
Easily one of my favorite movies ever, in spite of its tedious 2nd act.
Super Reviewer
½ September 23, 2011
There is a very strange thing about films that I adore to no end: you watch a film once and you fall in love with one element that that film displays. Then you do not watch the film for a number of years, then when you re-watch it, you fall in love with something completely different then the first time you fell in love with that film. That is my main reaction towards seeing V For Vendetta again after so many years sense it was first released on DVD. When I first saw the film, what attracted me was the special effects created by the world renowned Wachowski brothers (the men behind The Matrix trilogy) and the completely insane mind of the character of V (portrayed and voiced by Hugo Weaving). But watching it again, what I ended up loving about the film was how it is, in essence, an updated version of George Orwell‚(TM)s 1984. When one thinks about it, they are the same story: a corrupt Government is created in the United Kingdom and a citizen tries to bring change by changing the minds of the people so they would fear their government. The only difference between the two: this film serves as a continuation of historical figure Guy Fawkes. One thing that I believe most people miss about this film is that it is not really about a masked man getting revenge on the corrupt government for dehumanizing him, but it is really just a reincarnation of Guy Fawkes finishing what he set out to do many centuries ago. How is this so? When watching the first few minutes of V For Vendetta, it occurred to me that these people we see (mostly Fawkes and the close up of a Woman crying) were to be reincarnated into the characters of this story. Now, I know that this has never been confirmed and it is only speculation and maybe I am over analyzing the film, but if I am wrong, then I would rather be wrong because it is writing like that and the attention to detail that made me love this film even more then when if first viewed it. As it is well known, this is a comic book film that, while I never read the original comics/ graphic novel that this film is based on, I do say that it is safe to say that this is one of the most well done, most intelligent, and even one of the most horrifying comic book films I have seen. In terms of being well done, this is due to the Wachowski brothers. As it is well documented, I have a distaste towards the famous The Matrix trilogy due to that film basically trying to be a tribute to Hong Kong cinema, philosophy, and tried too hard to be intelligent with the end result being a complete waste of time while being a pretty picture to look at. Here, the Wachowski brothers had written a mature, wonderful, deep and philosophical script that actually works and seems real. Just like how Quentin Tarantino‚(TM)s Jackie Brown is his most mature in terms of him taking writing seriously, the Wachowski brothers have done the exact same thing. To me, it seems like they looked back on the Matrix films, saw the flaws with their writing, and then wrote a script, that while deep, did work. For this film being intelligent, this would have to deal with the original graphic novel it was based on. While, as I have stated, I have not read that graphic novel, I have done some research and saw that it was meant to be a metaphor for corruption of Government and the Fascist political party. In this film, they apply it while adding traits of the Nazi party and the entire Big Brother idea. Just, how deep this film gets into that idea and how the script and story move around it is, amazing. Plus, just hearing the characters talk about this political group and it‚(TM)s history is pure ear candy for the dialogue and story lovers in the audience. Finally the horrifying factors. This film, when we watching it, does predict the possible outcome of the world and how it might be: America will practically destroy itself and another country will take over. In the real world, it appears that China would before England in that respect, but the overall idea is what I am aiming at. Now, but horrifying, I do not mean horror film type. I mean the type that makes you realize how true and real the writing is and the possibility of this even happening. So, for the writing, it goes without saying that it is excellent. Now for the acting. The two main people to be mentioned are Hugo Weaving and Natalie Portman. First, the man who preformed the title role: Hugo Weaving. Weaving is one of those actors that has an incredible career under his belt due to him being involved in numerous films that have become staples in pop culture (ex. Pricilla: Queen of the Desert, The Matrix Trilogy, The Lord Of The Rings, The Wolfman) plus, I will admit, he is a wonderful actor so, for him, this film was a little bit odd in the sense that he could not rely on his face to get across the emotions an actor usually does, but instead has to use gestures with his body plus his voice to get this across. Now, this is the type of acting I like because, if they wanted to, they could have had someone inside the V costume acting out the scenes with Hugo doing voiceovers. While the voiceovers are automatic, the fact that Weaving got so much out of his character in this film with his body is, just amazing in my opinion. He showed better acting here then any other film he has been in and as such, he is a terrific actor. Now for Natalie Portman. She is someone that I have mixed feelings about. Mostly due to me being introduced to her through the Star Wars prequels. But, she once in a while has a movie where she will just shine through (ex. Black Swan (won the Academy Award for Best Actress)). This is not one of those movies she shines through, but regardless, she does do a decent job with her acting in this film. The main criticism I have against her in this film is that she, for the most part, only relies on three emotions: complaining, screaming/ crying, and somber. Personally, I would of liked to see more emotions bleed out of her and onto the film. But, this is the best we got. She was good, but she should of done better. Well, the only other last few thoughts on this film is that this is not a typical comic book film as you can tell and this is one that is in the ranks of films like The Crow and The Dark Knight in terms of seriousness, dark overtones, and pure originality with the characters. The story of this film, as I have mentioned, is interesting but complex. I do recommend that you have something of a knowledge of history and politics to help understand some aspects of this film, but it is not really needed. This dark film would almost be perfect except for some things like some of the acting, a few pieces of character development, and a bit lacking of a distinctive score. But, overall, this is a good film to watch and a great example of an intelligent comic book film.
Super Reviewer
½ August 1, 2011
This movie blew my mind, what a masterpiece. V for Vendetta takes place in an alternate vision of Britain in which a corrupt and abusive totalitarian government has risen to complete power and a masked vigilante named V (Hugo Weaving) donning a mask of vilified would-be terrorist of British history Guy Fawkes and leading a revolution sparked by assassination and destruction. After helping a girl named Eevy (Natalie Portman) from being raped, he shows her as he destroys a building and teaches her about they way of society and the things that most people overlook. V's actions start a rebellion, and him and Eevy may change the way the world works. The plot is great, it is based off a comic bood and even though I have not seen the comic I sure want to now. The story becomes an enticing and intriguing film that grasps us with how they tell the backrounds of V's life and how he changes the world in his schemes, but what its main theme was that an idea can never be killed, it lives on through other and will never die. The film has a few action scenes, but not many, which leads to the only problem I have, the action is so incredible and great but they had a 2 hour long movie and I don't think they had enough of the action, because when they had an action scene it was incredible, so the action was amazing, but I wanted more action then I thought there would be. The cast was great, I was skeptical about natalie Portman at first but she turned out to be a great pick for this. Know to talk about one of the most intriguing and coolest performances that I have seen in a while, Hugo Weaving as V, I have seen Hugo Weaving as a villain in the Matrix trilogy, an elf in Lord of the Rings, the voice of megatron in Transformers films, but his performance in this is truly phenomenal and genius, the writer captured truly what V's message to the world is perfectly and here is the main thing, V is the person everyone wants to be, the badass man behind the mask who we will never nknow who he is, but everyone loves him because he is able to do what he wants and people respect him for it, this charcter must be pretty amazing the the comics, because he was just as good in the movies. The production of the film was phenomenal, every scene was set in a perfect enviornment that we just look in awe on how beautiful they made this film. V For Vendetta would have been the perfect action film if there had beeen more action, but other than that this is one of the best of 2006.
Super Reviewer
April 7, 2007
I'm not sure what I was expecting, but this film seemed a bit of a letdown. Where I will give full credit, though, is to Hugo Weaving, who was incredibly evocative without showing his face, limiting communication to just his voice and his movements. Not quite enough action, not quite enough story, and not quite original enough. I'm sure the comic lovers enjoyed seeing it come to life on the big screen (I haven't read it), but overall, things came off kind of static. I had the same complaint about Sin City, but I liked 300. I guess it's all relative.
Super Reviewer
June 27, 2011
Revolutionary. Epic. Utopia. Hopeful. Artistic. Another Al Moore graphic novel brought to life. One of those dreams that worth fighting for.
Super Reviewer
½ June 9, 2006
It's odd. I could have sworn that I had already rated and reviewed this thing a few years ago. Either I'm mistaken, or there's foul play afoot...

Anyways, moving on now...the source material is far better and darker, but, despite some trimming and toning down, this is a pretty thrilling and fairly faithful (mostly to the spirit of things) adaptation. The message and characters are more along the lines of freedom fighters than anarchists, but the intentions behind the film are good, and this is a very well made picture.

The dialogue is a tad shaky (or at least how it sounds coming through the mask), but the performances are really good, and I like that Portman was willing to shave her head like a true method performer instead of using prosthetics or something.

I think the film could have been a bit ballsier, and maybe toned down some of the slow-mo stuff, but the majority of my gripes are just nit-picking. Also, along with that, mayeb they shouldn't have used lipstick lesbians, and really gone for a tad more realism.

Okay, that's about it for this one. It's a strong film with great style, atmosphere, and a rousing message. Give it a shot.
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