Remember, remember the 5th of November
On November 5th in 1605, Guy Fawkes conspired what came to be known as the Gunpowder Plot, an attempt to blow up Westminster Palace and kill King James I in the process. His plan was however thwarted and he was executed for treason and attempted murder. Now, in the not too distant future a lone vigilante with codename V (Hugo Weaving) and constantly hidden behind a Guy Fawkes mask, cruises the streets of London, fighting a totalitarian government. Chancellor Adam Sutler (John Hurt) rules the country with an iron fist, oppressing its citizens with curfews and maintaining a constant state of fear. When young Evey Hammond (Natalie Portman) gets apprehended after hours stiletto-toting V saves her from being raped by the chancellor’s men. V explains Evey his scheme for destroying Sutler and his fascist regime and finds himself a new ally in an impossible war for freedom.
From the masterminds behind the Matrix trilogy comes this adaptation of Alan Moore’s graphic novel by the same name. Interestingly though, Moore who wrote Vendetta as a reaction to Thatcher’s rule over Britain has declined any affiliation with this movie. His reaction, although understandable (because both The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and From Hell, two other adaptations of Moore’s graphic novels, were seriously flawed) was also premature. The Wachowski’s version of V for Vendetta, alluding to today’s fears of corruption, conspiracy and terrorism and put into a post 9/11 political context, is as relevant as was Moore’s original vision twenty years earlier. From a technical point of view the Wachowski brothers’ screenplay is rock solid and often reminiscent of their original sci-fi hit The Matrix. Even though the trailer might fool the audience into thinking of Vendetta as an action movie, it is certainly not. Full of poetic and alliterative monologues as well as philosophical discussions, the slow-mo fights are given relatively little screen time, making this more than your average comic book adaptation. First-time director James McTeigue offers us an uncompromising vision of the future that looks and plays out remarkably well. V for veritably impressive. (3.5 out of 4 bonfires)