V for Vendetta – A Movie Review

I think Alan Moore’s creation, V for Vendetta, is a masterful work, so I had very high hopes for the film version of the comic series.

I did not go disappointed.

I realize V for Vendetta has gotten mixed reviews, but I thought it was very well done.  Because the Wachowski Brothers were involved I expected the excess of the last few Matrix movies, but they restrained themselves quite appropriately.  V for Vendetta was rather understated, in my opinion, and I felt it was nearly accurate with its source material.  Sure, some changes had to be made because it is a mainstream movie and because it came out two decades after the comic, but the soul of it remained true enough.

Natalie Portman did a surprisingly good job and Hugo Weaving deserves some sort of an award for his portrayal of V.  I don’t know many actors who can convey emotion without their face ever being seen, but Weaving pulled it off wonderfully through subtle body language and voice inflection. 

The action was superb, the sets believable, the dialogue fairly crisp with some awkward moments, and the editing was well done. 

Alan Moore, V’s creator, is notorious for his disdain for movie versions of his work (The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, From Hell), so much so that you won’t see his name attached to the film anywhere and he gives all his proceeds to the artists of his work, but I truly hope he was moderately satisfied with this movie. 

The only problem I had with the film was that its message of rebellion was slightly water-downed compared to the original, and probably with good reason, but I think most people who stop to think about what they’re watching will realize the existing parallels to today’s political and social climate.  However, I believe most people who are even minutely conservative will find plenty of controversial moments in V for Vendetta.

V for Vendetta – A Graphic Novel Review

I’ll admit it . . . I picked up this classic by Alan Moore more out of curiosity for the upcoming movie than for the many good things I’ve heard about it.

I’ve got one word-wow. This graphic novel is beyond mesmerizing. I suppose this shouldn’t have been much of a surprise considering that Alan Moore rarely misses with this genre. I literally could not put V For Vendetta down.

It’s the story of a post-apocalyptic England. It’s the year 1997 (keep in mind this was written in 1983) and the world as we know it is gone. Warfare has destroyed much of Western Europe, and it is only after a fascist political party steps up to take control over a lawless England that some semblance of order resumes. However, things quickly go wrong and the people of England move from lawlessness to total oppression. I’ll leave it up to you to draw the comparisons to real life.

One man, however, rises above it all to become a hero of the people. He is a champion of Anarchy, saying that he believes people should voluntarily rule themselves, and he seems quite insane. However, he fights to defeat the oppressors, and so we cheer for him. He may have been one of our original anti-heroes in the graphic novel medium. His identity is a mystery, as is his source funding for his elaborate operations, but he fights against the tyrants ruthlessly, using what many would call terrorist methods. Again, as you can well imagine, this brings up many philosophical questions.

The art is adequate, though I wasn’t a huge fan of it, but the dialogue and plot are exquisite, as is the tone and pacing. Moore has gone on the record as saying he has not been happy with the film interpretations of his work, so much so, in fact, that he now refuses to have his name attached to them. Let’s hope that the film version of V for Vendetta pleases this modern day master of the graphic novel literary form.