V for Vendetta
Take a look at the resume of director James McTeigue, and his last three credits as assistant director tell a story: "The Matrix Revolutions," "The Matrix Reloaded," "Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones." What do these films have in common? That's right: They're all really loud. Not only are they loud in terms of decibel level, they're loud in terms of ideas. All three films scream out their meanings like air raid sirens.
McTeigue is the enabler for the Wachowski brothers, who wrote this film and are still trying to make everyone believe their grade school philosophy is profound despite the critical failures of the last two "Matrix" movies. Let's face it: It's one thing to simply make a bad movie; it's quite another to make a movie you prop up as "revolutionary" only to have most of the people who see it laugh at you as though you'd just peed your pants onscreen.
"V for Vendetta" is just such a movie: loud and full of ideas that sound profound the first time you hear them, but then begin to seem about as relevant as the Fandango commercials you have to see over and over again before every movie. I actually pray now that I arrive late enough to miss the Fandango commercials. This film is set in a futuristic London where a masked man called V (Hugo Weaving) single- handedly tries to free society from totalitarian control under leader Adam Sutler (John Hurt). The audience's little companion on this journey of philosophical discovery is Evey (Natalie Portman), who initially views V as the terrorist the government says he is, then learns that it's really the government that's the evil force.
Does this sound familiar at all? Replace Natalie Portman with Keanu Reeves and it'd probably be a lot more obvious (though the kissing scene between Evey and the masked V would still be just as ridiculous). Sadly, the Wachowski's philosophical leaves don't stray far from the tree. Evey is simply another character awakening to the fakery of the world around her, as is inspector Finch (Stephen Rea), who tries to track down both Evey and V.
The ideas of the Wachowski brothers, which obviously seek to draw some parallels between the Orwellian speech of Sutler and the Orwellian speech of George W. Bush, would be a more compelling were they not so intent on repeating them at every possible moment. I was hoping for an interesting story, and instead sat through a preachy treatise on bad government.
V is for Vendetta, but v is for vain too.
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