Monday, March 13, 2006

Moviewatch: "V for Vendetta"

"V for Vendetta"
Director: James McTeigue
Fien Print Rating (Out of 100): 73
In a Nutshell: Sue Grafton is at it again with "V is for Vendetta," the latest Kinsey Millhone mystery! Yeah. That's probably not funny. The Wachowskis' adaptation of Alan Moore's punchy comic is sure to be the year's most misunderstood and misappropriated movie, a film that filters a message about questioning authority and resisting fascism through a tacit acceptance or endorsement of terrorism. If the movie was meant to be taken entirely literally, it might be disturbing. If you take it as allegorical satire -- which it is, of course -- it's surprisingly powerful. Director McTeigue plays heavily on melodrama and there are precious few subtle moments in "V," but thanks to an improbably grounded performance from Natalie Portman (how much trouble would the filmmakers have been in if Portman had looked freakish without hair, rather than just differently hot?), the film has an anchor. Oh and points for Hugo Weaving as V. You may never see his face, but he suggests humanity behind the Guy Fawkes mask. Certain sequences -- the climactic scene mixing citizen uproar with a complex domino run -- feature a kind of original filmmaking that suggest that the rumors of McTeigue just being a puppet for the Wachowskis may not have been true. Those "Matrix" hams couldn't have made this movie, I don't think. What flaws "V" has are generally attributable to Moore's book, which also using a hammer to make its points and occasionally becomes boring and talky when it should be exciting.

More to say, but for a complete review of "V," check on Friday, March 17.

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