tek's rating: ½
V for Vendetta (R)
IMDb; Rotten Tomatoes; Templeton Gate; TV Tropes; Vertigo; Warner Bros.; Wikipedia
Well, I finally got around to reading the seminal graphic novel upon which this movie was based, shortly before the film's release. Then, alas, I didn't get a chance to see it in the theater. Later, I was hoping to see it on DVD on Guy Fawkes Day, but again, I was disappointed. The next year, however (2007), I did see it on the holiday, finally. And... well, I don't remember the comic now quite as well as I'd like, but I still think it was somewhat better than the movie. Nevertheless, the movie was still pretty good. Even if it was condensed, leaving out some things while adding others, and changing some things...
Um... the exact nature of the state of the world at the time the movie is set isn't entirely clear to me, though I think there's a civil war going on in the United States. And Britain, where the film is set, is run by a totalitarian regime, led by a man named Chancellor Adam Sutler (John Hurt); though in the comic, the leader was named Adam Susan. His rise to power we learn about later in the movie, as it involves an important secret. In any event, Sutler is very power-hungry, and claims to be religious. He certainly thinks God is on his side, and has outlawed various personal freedoms, such as homosexuality.
The movie starts with Evey Hammond (Natalie Portman) watching a speech by the chancellor on TV, before she goes out, after curfew, to meet with Gordon Deitrich (Stephen Fry), the popular host of a sketch/talk show, which is made at the station where Evey works, I guess. But she doesn't get to his place. Instead she's accosted by "fingermen" (members of the state police), who want to do vile things to her. But she's rescued by the masked freedom fighter V (Hugo Weaving), who then takes her to a rooftop to witness the destruction of the Old Bailey, which he has blown up, along with a display of fireworks and broadcast the 1812 Overture. The next day the news is reporting the destruction as a demolition, but then V takes over the TV station to broadcast the truth, and invite the public to join him one year later, on November 5th, when he will blow up the Houses of Parliament. So over the course of the year, he continues his vendetta against the oppressive government, which meanwhile is constantly seeking to capture and kill him.
Evey ends up getting involved with V's mission, though her involvement has a few twists and turns. I don't want to spoil anything about that. Meanwhile, we get to see a couple of different people who are investigating V. One is Creedy, the head of the Finger, who is an evil man himself, and... eh, I dunno what else to say about him. But another is Inspector Finch (along with his assistant, Detective Dominic Stone). In trying to learn who V could be, he uncovers a government plot which led to the state the country's in now, and Sutler coming to power. Which affects his feelings about the case he's supposed to be working on. The plot involved a secret project, which... is both similar and dissimilar to something from the comic. But anyway, it had the byproduct of creating V himself; or at least turning a test subject into what he is today.
Well, anything else... would perhaps be too spoilery, so that's all I'll say about the plot. Though I didn't always completely follow everything that was going on. I really need to reread the graphic novel someday, and also I look forward to watching the movie again at some point. There were some points that I think might have been better, but also some things were pretty cool, particularly the visuals. Again, all I can really say is it was a good movie, but the comic was better.