V For Vendetta James McTeigue

The tag line states, "People shouldn’t be afraid of their governments, governments should be afraid of their people,” and it’s a poignant statement, especially in view of today's flawed democracies that function more and more without regard to their populace’s wishes. In fact, given that V for Vendetta features a Guy Fawkes masked "terrorist” (the titular V) attempting to bring down an oppressive, Orwellian British government, and considering the (end?) times we currently decline in, V might be the most subversive Hollywood movie made in decades. Credit then to The Matrix creators the Wachowski brothers and director James McTeigue (who is currently tagged for the Logan’s Run remake) for adapting the acclaimed graphic novel by writer Allan Moore and illustrator David Lloyd, condensing its epic scope and narrative for the big screen while retaining (mostly) its core values and impact. Moore took his name off the film, but one wonders why, as the filmic adaptation of V for Vendetta is an excellent, visually striking, idea-driven action movie anchored by a strong performance by Natalie Portman (freed from Lucas’s emotion-crushing tyranny and, eventually, her hair) and Hugo Weaving, easily overcoming any actor’s nightmare of performing behind an expressionless mask for an entire film. Or course, the whole "terrorist” angle might be taken out of context, especially considering that any smaller force rallying for change against a superior societal force utilising violence could be considered terrorism, which, of course, depends on the side you sympathise with: the Rebel Alliance? Terrorists. The Founding Fathers? Terrorists. Neo, Trinity, Morpheus? Terrorists. Despite some changes that might clang with purists (some of the Wachowskis’ dialogue, the ending of the film, which is far different than the novel), V for Vendetta is an action movie that challenges you to think and examine opinions, much like the original The Matrix, before the series became confusingly lost in its own amorphous philosophising. Sadly, in terms of extras, the single-disc version lacks the conviction of the film’s beliefs, featuring only a standard, short "making of” offering little insight. (Warner)