V For Vendetta ? An Action Packed Cult ClassicNo comments yet
For thrills that chills to the bone from start to finish, plug yourself into the 2006 dystopian thriller, V for Vendetta. Directed by James McTeigue and produced by Joel Silver and the Wachowski brothers, this fast paced, “Orwellian” action thriller is based on an adaptation of the comic book series of the same name by Alan Moore and David Lloyd. Set in London in a not so distant-future dystopian society, Natalie Portman stars as Evey, a working-class girl forced to discover if her hero has become the very menace she is fighting in opposition of. Hugo Weaving plays V—a bold, charismatic freedom fighter determined to exact revenge on those who disfigured him. Stephen Rea portrays the detective leading a desperate campaign to capture V before he can ignite a revolution.
While reviews were mixed, the worldwide box office earnings amassed over $ 132 million. The filmmakers removed many of the anarchist themes and drug references present in the original story in addition to altering the political message to what in their opinion would be more relevant to a 2006 audience. The film is viewed by many political groups as an allegory of oppression by government. Libertarians used this as a statement to oppose government intervention into citizens’ lives. Anarchists utilized this film to propagate the political theory of anarchism. Activists belonging to the group Anonymous use the same Guy Fawkes mask made popular by the film when they appear in public at a number of high-profile events, emulating one of its key scenes later on.
In an effort to modernize the film, filmmakers added topical references relevant to a 2006 audience. According to the Los Angeles Times, “With a wealth of new, real-life parallels to draw from in the areas of government surveillance, torture, fear mongering and media manipulation, not to mention corporate corruption and religious hypocrisy, you can’t really blame the filmmakers for having a field day referencing current events.” Additionally, there are references to an avian flu pandemic, as well as insidious use of biometric identification and signal-intelligence gathering and analysis by the regime.
The film received a mixed critical reception. Ebert and Roeper gave the film a “two thumbs up” rating. Roger Ebert claimed that V for Vendetta “almost always has something going on that is actually interesting, inviting us to decode the character and plot and apply the message where we will.” Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton from At the Movies posited that despite the problem of never seeing Weaving’s face, there was good acting and an interesting plot, adding that the film is also disturbing, with scenes reminiscent of Nazi Germany. Jonathan Ross from the BBC sunk the film, calling it a “woeful, depressing failure” and stating that the “cast of notable and familiar talents such as John Hurt and Stephen Rea stand little chance amid the wreckage of the Wachowski siblings’ dismal script and its particularly poor dialogue.” Harry Guerin from the Irish TV network argues the film “works as a political thriller, adventure and social commentary and it deserves to be seen by audiences who would otherwise avoid any/all of the three”. He added that the film will become “a cult favourite whose reputation will only be enhanced with age.”
The film was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form in 2007. V was included on Fandomania’s list of The 100 Greatest Fictional Characters. Empire magazine named the film the 418th greatest of all time.
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Brad Parmerter has almost 20 years experience in the music and entertainment industry as a writer, programmer, and merchandiser. He has professionally interviewed and photographed such artists as: Rush, Metallica, Celine Dion, Live, Phil Collins, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Live, Van Halen, Queensryche, Anna Nalick, Styx, Def Leppard, and many more.
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