From the makers of The Matrix... Starring Natalie Portman of Star Wars... Adapted from Alan Moore’s genius graphic novel... V For Vendetta is... a bit of a mess. Portman is Evey, a young woman drawn into the dangerous world of V - a masked freedom fighter/terrorist trying to bring down a fascist government in futuristic Britain. There are a lot of ideas here - and two impressive set-pieces - but while it may provoke thought, it rarely thrills or engages as a story.
Moore’s comic was written in the 80s as a reaction to Thatcherite Britain. Gripping and provocative, it presented a bleak vision of the future which bordered on prophetic. The changes made in the Wachowski brothers' adaptation (such as Evey’s overwrought backstory) will irritate some, but the major problem is that while having a masked (anti-)hero works on the page, it’s isolating on screen. Director James McTeigue rarely frames V with any imagination and his scenes, which need to bristle with emotion and wit, are static (it’s pretty much a voiceover gig for Hugo Weaving, The Matrix’s Agent Smith). You’re hard-pressed to give a damn about the man, while the majority of Portman’s energy is devoted to wrestling with an English accent (she loses).
"LITTLE SENSE OF PLACE OR ATMOSPHERE"
There is also little sense of place or atmosphere or the grubby Britishness of the comic. The 'domino' montage is exhilarating and the ending does have an emotional charge - particularly if you feel disillusioned by our current political leaders - but once the pyrotechnics have faded way, you’re left with emptiness.