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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    ‘Vendetta’ brings summer fun in spring

    Vendetta brings summer fun in spring

    The thinking man still likes some action now and again.

    Thankfully, the Wachowski brothers have returned to form after two disappointing “”Matrix”” sequels, delivering an adaptation of Alan Moore’s graphic novel that blends thrilling fights and timely commentary.

    While Moore publicly blasted the script, creating plenty of bad buzz, the film is visually delightful and the writing, well, it’s not that bad.

    The setup is reminiscent of George Orwell’s “”1984,”” with a futuristic United Kingdom run by totalitarian dictator Adam Sutler (John Hurt). With the help of a television network resembling FOX News on evil pills and advanced surveillance on citizens, Sutler and his minions reign supreme. Counter-thought is outlawed and a curfew is one of the lesser restrictions.

    Most of the citizens seem to be demoralized by being willfully ignorant of the atrocities “”secretly”” being carried out by the regime in power, and a wake-up call is sorely needed.

    Enter V.

    A masked vigilante armed with swords and smarts, he saves Evey (Natalie Portman) from some corrupt security on his way to blow up a symbolic statue for the country to see. Later, he takes over the television station to send a message of uprising, asking for those who can see the evil of Sutler’s reign to join him in one year’s time, as he blows up the Parliament building.

    Evey, who works at the station, gets caught up in the dissent and is kidnapped by V to keep her protected.

    As the year passes, the mystery surrounding V, Evey and the unspeakable evil of Sutler is uncovered by detective Finch (Stephen Rea), leading up to the inevitable but exciting conclusion.

    Lowdown

    “”V for Vendetta””
    R, 132 min.
    Warner Bros.
    8/10

    Even though it’s directed by James McTeigue, the first assistant director on the “”Matrix”” trilogy, the film is classic Wachowski – for good and bad. On the good side, the fighting is nothing cutting edge but plenty stylized, and the effects are top notch. However, the lapses in judgment about taking emotional moments and turning them into sentimental mush, which plagued the “”Matrix”” sequels, are still in full force. These instances, of which there are quite a few, are probably the reason Moore didn’t back the project.

    Hugo Weaving, aka Agent Smith, is boring and emotionless as V, but Portman and the supporting cast give the movie enough life to sustain it.

    As for all the terrorist talk about the character of V? Well, sure, he’s a “”terrorist,”” but one that any audience outside of the Nazis can understand. The society on display in the film is one that sorely needs a terrorist to bring its citizens back from their comatose state.

    We may not be able to relate to his actions in this United States 2006, but we can certainly relate to some of his sentiments. V calls for freedom of speech and criticism of those in power. In one of his more powerful lines, he says, “”people should not be afraid of their governments; governments should be afraid of their people.””

    Rest assured, I won’t get into a critique of the Patriot Act in this review, but the ideas that the Wachowskis, Moore and V assemble in the film should resonate with viewers who care about where this country is headed.

    At the very least, “”V for Vendetta”” will give you more food for thought than most action films. Plus some kick-ass explosions.

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