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Movie Review: V for Vendetta

Alternate Title: A for Allegory

Story: Boy was I entertained! Who knew that I would become a big fan of graphic novels that are brought to the big screen? (Examples are 2005's Sin City, A History of Violence and Batman Begins)

It is somewhere in the not too distant future. The US is embroiled in civil war, drought and chaos. The world is in a sorry state. London is now ruled by a totalitarian regime who came to power after a mysterious disease killed over 100,000 people. The Government is unrelenting in its Fascist like control over the lives of its citizens via fear, surveillance, curfews, reduction of human rights and media control. The undesirables, the indigent, any political opposition, homosexuals, and all else who do not fit the mold have been swept up, warehoused, beaten and most killed. It is bleak.

Enter 'V', in a Guy Fawkes mask (Fawkes was a 17th Century rebel who tried to blow up Parliament because of King James I's treatment of Catholics) to right the wrongs that have plagued the populace. 'V' and his young sidekick Evey will save the day.

I was enthralled within minutes by the look of the film (all angles, shadows and knock your socks off splashes of color) and fell into its seductive trap with the first large explosion of Old Bailey to the music of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture.

A fun screenplay by the Wachowski Brothers (The Matrix Series) and a fine first time out directing job to James McTeigue. The story is based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore (who has disassociated himself from the production).

Yes, it is an allegory, Yes, it is a cautionary tale. Yes, some of the politics are all too familiar. And a big yes to its being very entertaining. I admit to cheering during the climax. Check it out and have yourself a super large entertaining couple of hours.

Acting: Hugo Weaving as V was great (even though we never see his face). Natalie Portman was believable as the young innocent turned anarchist. Stephen Rea was wonderful as the good cop who tries to do right. John Hurt was deliciously evil as the dictator. The rest of the cast did the film proud.

Predilection: I like films about politics and it seems that I am now a big graphic novel fan as well.

Critters: Thankfully no critters were in this film.

Food: Eggs on toast was all that we see during the very busy film.

Soundtrack: Wonderful

Visual Art: Fabulous images throughout.

Theater Audience: A very crowded 11AM Monday morning showing. I was surprised at the crowd and even more surprised by the variety of people seeing this film. Every age, every ethnic, every walk of life. I even saw a guy who eerily resembled Dick Cheney.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 4

Squirm Scale: Knives make me squirm.

Drift Factor: No time to drift.

Predictability Level: Moderately high.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: Why not?

Big Screen or Rental: The big screen is a MUST for this one. For some other terrific political films, try renting: Inherit the Wind, Mississippi Burning, Norma Rae, Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Casablanca, The Manchurian Candidate, The War Room, All the President's Men, Manufacturing Consent - Noam Chomsky and the Media, Truman,The Trials of Henry Kissinger, The Quiet American, Being There, No Man's Land, The Candidate, Fahrenheit 9/11, Do the Right Thing, The Deer Hunter, The Great Dictator, Patton, One, Two, Three, Paths of Glory, All the Kings Men, Dave, Wag the Dog and Bob Roberts.

Length: A bit over two hours.

LOBO HOWLS: My first 9 of the year.