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1339 out of 1578 people found the following review useful:
Utterly Spectacular!, 8 March 2006
Author: Pax Whitmore from United States
I was a fan of the "V for Vendetta" graphic novel, and Alan Moore
disinheriting the film was a bit discouraging. But he's always been a
little crazy. The film version is everything I could have possibly
hoped for - gripping, chilling, intense, exciting, heartbreaking. It
gets Moore's music if not his exact words; elements are slightly
different, subplots removed. But the idea - as V himself would be so
proud to say - remains the same.
The plot is surprisingly complex and nuanced, and I don't want to give anything more away than the previews already have. Suffice it to say that a masked anarchist (voiced by Hugo Weaving) must save a young woman (Natalie Portman) during his attempt to expose corruption in the government. Weaving is perfectly cast, using his formidable physicality and imposing voice to give gravitas to the insanity of the character. Portman has gone from child to teen star and is finally emerging as a talented, adult actress following her Oscar-nominated turn in "Closer". Here, she gives her best performance to date as the orphan Evey. John Hurt is characteristically impressive as the enigmatic government leader, and Stephen Rea gives a wonderful supporting turn as the police inspector charged with finding V - before it's too late.
The Wachowski Brothers' former protégé, James McTiegue, takes on the directing duties here and helms an enormously impressive first feature, using every trick in the book in a manner reminiscent of his mentors' breakout hit "The Matrix". Unlike "The Matrix", McTiegue allows the story to be more of a focus than the action, and as a result the film is a tense and emotional thriller, with outbursts of spectacularly filmed and choreographed action. Showing more maturity and restraint than the Wachowskis, McTiegue doesn't show off, and his trickery isn't self conscious. When slow-motion overtakes a late action sequence, it seems as natural as breathing. The late cinematographer Adrian Biddle (the film is dedicated to his memory) does an outstanding job, Oscar-nominated Dario Marianelli's score is a fantastic accompaniment to the piece, and the visual effects are astonishing, terrifying, and deeply moving, especially in the climatic moments in Trafalgar Square.
With solid acting, great action, and fantastic technical wizardry, it sounds just like another "Matrix"-style ripoff. But the biggest difference in "V" is that it is a story of real ideas - not a fantastic, science fiction creation, but a genuine examination of the human condition. The power of fear takes center stage here - the fear of war, of disease, of famine. Fear is a basic human nature, and has been exploited as a weapon - a method of control - for centuries. And for those who would use it, a masked man waits in the shadows to carry out your sentence. The verdict? Vengeance. "V for Vendetta" is a must-see.
1042 out of 1348 people found the following review useful:
An amazing feat of Cinema, 14 February 2006
Author: J.R. Thompson from North Hollywood, CA
"Remember, remember, the fifth of November, gunpowder treason and plot.
I see no reason why the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot."
I've never read the graphic novel, but I don't think you need to read it to appreciate the movie. I saw the film last night at it's World Premiere at the Berlin International Film festival. Though it became a little weighty in the middle (one part seemed to drag a little) other than that it was a great experience. The story was so topical that I got seriously emotional during a lot of parts. Weaving did an excellent job with the mysterious title character "V", creating a poetic, intelligent, and compassionate yet ruthless character. Portman always seems to surprise me, except with her Star Wars character. She portrays tremendous emotional range and transforms completely throughout the movie. This is one of those movies that really sticks in your head long after you watch it though... and it continues to stir and grow.
983 out of 1278 people found the following review useful:
Truly Unique, 26 February 2006
Author: GreenPlastikMan from New York City
There are some that will, upon seeing this film, say that it was akin
to Andrew Lloyd Weber attempting to make a political statement: overly
dramatic. These people would be well served to remember that the symbol
of drama is a mask, which certainly begs one important question- Why,
if you are so put off by an overtly dramatic motion picture, would you
choose to see a movie that stars as the (anti)hero a man in a mask? I
just saw this film at an advanced screening and I must say it is
nothing short of uniquely brilliant. Entertaining from the start, V
manages to combine a strong socio-political message in a compact and
highly intense experience. Infused with issues and concepts that
pervade in the global political climate of our times, this movie is
endowed with a tremendous timely relevance that belies its trappings as
a mere action adventure.
The acting, the cinematography, the effects, and the general vision of this film all lead me to believe that it will likely receive a cult following. It is only my hope that the message of this film will come to summarize the history of our future ascendancy to true liberty.
Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country. In the meantime, go see this movie.
881 out of 1109 people found the following review useful:
A Bloody Masterpiece!, 19 March 2006
Author: Tasos Tz. from London, England
I am speechless. I just came back from the theatre, where I watched 'V
for Vendetta'. There are three main elements in the movie and it excels
on all three of them.
First off the dialogues and script. Intense, witty, honest but not patronising, intelligent but not pretentious. That's the first level at which the movie surprises you. You don't except such high level of script from an action movie. But it is slowly revealed to the audience that V for Vendetta is not just an action movie. The story is filled with current events and has a definite strong political sense.
Secondly Hugo Weaving's performance. It is definitely what grabs you from the start. He delivers some of the hardest lines with incredible charisma. His performance shines throughout the movie and honestly he sounds as good as any of the best actors out there. He should be nominated for an academy award.
Finally the visual part. Incredible, yet no "Matrix" effects used. Everything looks beautiful, dark yet vibrant. The cinematography is top notch. The final battle scene brought tears to my eyes.
Do not miss 'V for Vendetta'. It's one of the best movies of all time, an eternal classic.
610 out of 880 people found the following review useful:
I have only one thing to say, AMAZING!!, 11 March 2006
Author: Nicolaj Dahl from Denmark
I saw this movie yes today here in Denmark, and i didn't know what to expect, because i haven't heard of the V or read the Comics from publisher DC comics. But was i in for a BIG treat, this movie is so superbly acted by all the actors, especially Natalie Portman performed according to me to an Oscar nomination next year. The movie is perfectly put together, so if you haven't read the comics you will be on the edge of you seat the whole movie. Its really that good folks. And lastly, the visual effects is fantastic, and the action scenes is nothing but spectacular. Watch this movie :-).
511 out of 733 people found the following review useful:
a vividly vivacious and voluptuous volley of a very violently fun time, 14 March 2006
Author: samseescinema from United States
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
V for Vendetta
rating: 3.5 out of 4
V for Vendetta is a swift and smugly entertaining portrait of revolution. Albeit, this is a Wachowski Brothers revolution, meaning there must be wildly theatric heroes and crisply tailored CGI stunts all set comfortably in an oppressive Totalitarian society. But this is more than The Matrix with a Victorian flare. V for Vendetta offers up a convincing vision of the near-future paired with an operatic comic book tale of love, mystery, and a Guy-Fawkes-masked rebellion.
Our hero is V (Hugo Weaving), a masked terrorist with a mind for the subversive, a taste for the eloquent, and a hand for knife-wielding acrobatics. His accidental apprentice (or maybe hostage) is Evey (Natalie Portman), a young woman V saved from the fondling grasps of corrupt Fingermen (kind of the CIA for the V for Vendetta world) as she hurried across town past curfew. Our oppressor in this world is High Chancellor Stutler (John Hurt), whose persona is shown primarily through a five-story tall projection of his ever-angry head. The exposition for this near-future lies mostly in the implosion of America after the middle-eastern war expanded into a world war that reached its tendrils even through Western Europe. America folded into civil strife while Britain became the final bastion of modern civilization after a biological attack isolated the island into a zone of quarantine. Stutler rose to power in the chaos and now rules Britain with the mantra "England Prevails!" Rest assured, however, this is not a reality governed by rolling robots and giant overhead blimps; it's a world that's, instead, very similar to ours. The technological innovations are hidden subtly into the film's environment, refusing to take precedent over the historically opulent flavors of England's architecture. V for Vendetta has a flare for the theatric and operatic, after all. There's no room for bleeping robots and bounding technology.
On the eve of November 5th, when Britain traditionally celebrated freedom and truth, V launches a subversive plot to topple High Chancellor Stutler and his surrounding administration. Hijacking the British Television Network, he broadcasts a speech that sets the date one year from November 5th as the date of the revolution. Our story takes place in the interim year leading up to the supposed revolution, with the evolution of Evey's politics, the ongoing vendetta V has set against the players of a mysterious government plot, and the deepening hole V digs for Stutler and his boys to stumble into once that fateful date arrives. "Remember, remember the fifth of November."
What separates V's rebellion from the teeming hordes of other cinematic coupe d'etats made over the years is that V for Vendetta approaches the topic with one eye held straight at the politics of the present. Hot button headline topics continually rear their heads here. Bush is paralleled to Stutler, the news media is heavily clouded, our hero is paired with images of suicide bombers and subway attacks; not to mention the undeniable fact that we are asked to sympathize with an outright terrorist. Is terrorism justified when paired against a strict oppressor? In the political climate of today--where the title of terrorism is threatening to mirror the clout McCarthy granted the title of Communism--V for Vendetta's answer to that question is a sure-handed yes.
But V for Vendetta is no heavy-handed political allegory. At its heart, V for Vendetta is entertainment. And as any entertainment with a hand in Victorian elegance, V for Vendetta must have romance. But before you conjure images of the Fawkes mask flying in a sweaty bald-headed scene of lust, realize first that there also is a master-grasshopper dynamic between Evey and V. The romance is formed as an understatement and rarely addressed, let to simmer below the surface and lend more chemistry to scenes that would otherwise ring hollow.
Natalie Portman may have stolen the tabloid exposure with her shiny shaved head, but Hugo Weaving is the masked performance that steals the show. Much of the role's success lies in the writing, for V is made not to be simply a mask. There's a theme throughout the film asking whether behind masks of revolution, there lie fighting men and women, or only their ideals. V answers this question with charisma. Contradicting the common mantra that masked figures must be laconic, V, in fact, probably has the most lines of all. The character is full and rich with quirks and personality, but still exists with that essential air of mystery. Weaving achieves the same level of iconic performance that he did with Agent Smith in The Matrix. It really is that good.
There's been debate over the quality of adaptation the Wachowski Brothers offered to Alan Moore's original graphic novel. Moore has publicly separated himself from the film, quoting in the New York Times last week that "the screenplay's rubbish." Well, before we all walk away from the ticket line, remember primly that Alan Moore will be the first to tell you himself that he is a selfish, pretentious prick. He knows it, and we know it. Let's move on. The screenplay's fine. In fact, it's a near-masterpiece. What the Wachowski Brothers have done is find the right balance between the theatrics of the graphic novel, and the solemnity to the richly Victorian narrative. They form a dynamic that plays to both sides, allowing for a story that sparks both political debate and giddy entertainment. We'll first shake our heads at the sentimental, soft-focus flashbacks and silly sub-plot for "nuclear human experimentation"; but when mulled over, we realize it's just the comic book mentality showing its spots. After all, V wouldn't start all his sentences with v-words had this film shunned its comic roots. And anyway, V for Vendetta is a vividly vivacious and voluptuous volley of a very violently fun time.
566 out of 862 people found the following review useful:
a work of monumental genius, 14 February 2006
Author: AmericanWorldPictures from Los Angeles
well... all i can say is goddamn.
keeping in mind that anytime you see a movie as part of a major film festival world premiere, where the cast and creators are present, along with hundreds of avid film fans and press, it tends to raise the experience a notch or two... but having said that - i found it to be a work of monumental genius. i thought it was so amazingly good in fact that i actually had to say something as extreme as that to express my current mood towards it, which is still only a mere fraction of how i felt when i actually left the theatre. it was seriously that good.
and yes, i'm biased, if you can call it that. but i like the wachowski's for a reason, not blind admiration. they're geniuses, and they've trained mcteigue well.
naturally, i think it will be under-appreciated by much of the general public as its not nearly as action-packed as the trailer would have you believe, but whether it makes 100 mil or 200 mil, it should at least completely redeem the wachowski's legacy in even the most critical of critic's minds.
i have to say, the rush of adrenaline i felt when...well, you know if you've seen the trailer - made me want to stand u and cheer. when a movie can make you feel like that, it's succeeded.
389 out of 559 people found the following review useful:
Riveting and Exciting., 9 March 2006
Author: Hidden Voice
This marks the fantastic return of the Wachowski brothers.Those who
were disappointed with their last two efforts will not be disappointed
here,there is no doubt that the Brothers are talented.Here they make
their comeback.But not as filmmakers,but as producers and writers.And
to be honest ,this film thrills you from beginning to end.You'll be
blown away with this adrenaline excitement and dramatically intense
A finely complex storyline about V, a reluctant freedom fighter , a rebellion who fights for freedom against the government in London in another time line.Set against the futuristic landscape of totalitarian Britain,a mild-mannered young woman named Evey who is rescued from a life-and-death situation by"V." Incomparably charismatic and ferociously skilled in the art of combat and deception, V urges 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.
This is perhaps the first and fully realized and most successful of all the Moore adaptations.What I liked about this film was the way it balances action and drama.The script is fantastic and directing is equally worth a mention.The assistant director on the Matrix(James McTeigue) movies really has some talent ,and handles the action and drama very well.The film is fast paced and exciting.It is also politically charged and quite controversial but that is the point.It makes you think about the current situation, how well is the government handling the situation of terrorism.V serves as an anti-hero on a quest of freedom.His actions are right but his methods are wrong,he is trying to bring about a message in the wrong way.
This film focuses on the source material of the book, more on the characters than on the action.More on the emotions and the drama than on the violence.This film doesn't glorify V as a terrorist but shows that under certain circumstances he was tempted to be what he is.The film has an intriguing atmosphere throughout,never once boring,an apocalyptic future setting really heightens the tension with starkly dark set designing and stunning cinematography.The action is striking and the performances in the drama are standout.This is a terrific movie at all points, it has a strong script , impressive directing and commendable performances.But having read the book after the movie,I must confess this film is still nowhere close to being better than the book.No way.It feels incomplete adaptation,leaving a lot of details behind,whereas the book had a more in depth look at V's life and his relationship with Evey.But I guess the filmmakers wanted to take a different approach,to which they succeed completely.
There is a reference or close resemblance to Guatanamo prison and 9/11 issues echoes throughout the film.And it made the film even more direct.There are several more references to our world dominated by politics and government,regarding terrorism.And what they do to secure their safety.This is one thing that makes V so controversial.His actions will make you think he's insane,but it's just an idea,a notion that alerts us to take actions if our own Government ever try to control us,and inflict fear into our lives.
Hidden behind the creepy mask ,Hugo Weaving really proves he is a versatile actor.His character provokes thoughtful questions in a dystopian future ,and every emotion of his character is brought out by Weavings performance.Portman on the other hand also excels,with a convincing accent.She really is the heroine of the film and she handles the role quite well.The scenes between Evey and V are touching and well handled.The rest of the film is superb in its execution.
V is an idea,a symbol,a metaphor that cannot be destroyed.A man can be obliterated but as an idea,an icon he is indestructible and his message becomes more powerful to convey as people look upon this figure ,but not the man beneath it.One man can make a huge difference but united men and women can change something.And that's what made me respond to this film's ideas.It's full of it.Shed with technical and visual brilliance.
A spellbinding adventure , exciting action, superb directing and writing and a Sci-Fi film with a thoughtful message,and the first fully satisfying Moore adaptation.This film is the most controversial and at the same time breathtaking Action/thriller.A terrific achievement produced by the Wachowskis' and Silver.The climax,especially,was uplifting and beautifully executed.And will live on to be one of the most memorable conclusions.It always get me.
If there's anything out there in the theaters that will blow you away before summer season kicks off ,then this is a blast for you.
576 out of 941 people found the following review useful:
OMG! Absolutely Amazing, 13 March 2006
Author: prtfvr from York, PA
OK, I only went to see this because of the Wachowski brothers involvement. I went totally expecting to hate this movie about a terrorist but it was so much more. I'm amazed to say that it's AWESOME! While not an action picture there's plenty of action and at least one funny homage to The Matrix. You've gotta see it. It's very inspiring, believe it or not and it didn't make me want to blow up buildings either. It just made me appreciate freedom even more. Hugo Weaving is terrific and Natalie Portman leaves Princess Amadala far behind with her performance as Evey. Everyone's great. Stephen Rea is terrific too. I just can't believe I liked this movie. I'm still in shock.
266 out of 360 people found the following review useful:
Very powerful even if it makes Thatcherism look heavenly!, 28 March 2006
Author: Mel J from Dundee, Scotland
'V for Vendetta' will no doubt be remembered as being one of the most
well-produced films of this decade for its powerful script, strong
character depictions and the sheer excellence in terms of quality.
Loosely based on the DC Comic, the film is set in a totalitarian
Britain where the BNP-like government who run the country with an iron
fist that they make Thatcher's Tories look positively warm and
trustworthy. Then emerges a vigilante in the form of V, a man deformed
by fire and the governmental experiments that have given him enhanced
strength, who is determined to free the UK from dictatorship by blowing
up the Houses of Parliament. Evey is the young woman who is unwittingly
embroiled in his plot and soon understands what just it is that
motivates V so.
The acting in 'V for Vendetta' was top-notch and, along with the well-written script and apt soundtrack, gave the film the essence to engage the audience and make them feel-- for better or worse-- for these characters. Although her accent was wobbly in places, Natalie Portman delivered a strong performance as Evey, depicting the character's growing love for V and the realisation that the time for her to fight has arrived. Stephen Rea also deserves a mention, as the detective who begins to grasp just how corrupt the government he has supported really is, as does Stephen Fry who proves he can do much more than play bumbling characters in his performance as Deitrich, a protester who hasn't quite grasped just how far the government will go to shut their opponents up. John Hurt's Chancellor Sutler was very terrifying as the dictator who couldn't give a toss about his people so long as he remained in total power. However, above all, it was Hugo Weaving's absolutely brilliant depiction of the lead character V who dominates. Without ever seeing his facial expression, he exudes the pragmatism, charisma and intelligence of the character with a twist of revenge-driven madness.
Entertainment-wise, the film doesn't fail with it's apt soundtrack and well choreographed fight scenes that do remind you that this was based on a comic book. Yet 'V for Vendetta' maintains the ability to leave the audience shaken and chilled at the thought of how easily a Western country can be ensnared by tyranny when a corrupt government is allowed too much power and goes too far. The elements dealt with are all the more disturbing with the state of the world today. I imagine it will touch a deeper cord with Britons like myself (it would have been interesting to see more on how Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland had fared in this new world though) as it is so rare that a Hollywood film is set in the UK. It's always simpler to pretend these things could never happen here so it is a sharp shock to see such a dark future located in familiar surroundings of home.
I highly recommend this film to all as it will leave you both entertained and pondering matters raised in the storyline long after the credits have rolled up.
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