| V for Vendetta (2005) |
Everyone has a different taste in movies and that is partly why I did not like this one. It was sort of a cross between "Batman" and "Sin City".
Besides that, there were many flaws. The central premise, that violence is the cure for bad government, is just wrong and it seems a shame to mislead viewers. The vast majority of revolutions resulting in an actual improvement have been fundamentally nonviolent.
Gandhi's civil disobedience to win independence for India, the Solidarity Movement in Poland, the Black Civil Rights Movement in the American South, the Velvet Revolution in the Ukraine, and the civilian uprising to protect the recent freedoms in Russia are good examples.
There was far more violence than I was comfortable with, and it made me feel brutalized and dirty. Also, making the hero appear superior by having him quote Shakespeare seemed like just a gimmick. Predictably, there was a sexist hue with the evil government comprised entirely of wicked men. The plot was at a grade school intellectual level, but the violence was approprite only for adult viewers.
So what was good about the film? It posed some questions about government and recent trends in the Western democracies. To what extent do Western governments use the fear of terrorism and other threats to increase their control over civilian populations? What is the difference between a terrorist and a freedom fighter?
Many would say that I took "V for Vendetta" too seriously and that it was never meant to make sense or have any positive messages. OK, but that is why it should have remained in comic book form. No one takes comic books seriously. Films are expected to work at a higher level.
- Reviewed by Paul G.
Rated: R in USA, 15 in UK, 14A in Canada for strong violence.
Duration: 2 hours 12 minutes