V for Vendetta (15)

THE makers of The Matrix, the Wachowski brothers, return to pseudo-philosophical sci-fi territory with their adaptation of Alan Moore s late-80s comic book V for Vendetta, although the original author has disowned the project. The story was an allegory fo

THE makers of The Matrix, the Wachowski brothers, return to pseudo-philosophical sci-fi territory with their adaptation of Alan Moore's late-80s comic book V for Vendetta, although the original author has disowned the project.

The story was an allegory for Thatcher's Britain but has been tweaked to be more relevant to today. Set in London in the not-so-distant future, it stars Hugo Weaving as the masked hero V. Britain has been taken over by a Nazi-style police state where repression is rife, all ruled over by the evil Chancellor Shutler (John Hurt). Then on Guy Fawkes Night V blows up the Old Bailey, hijacks a TV station and promises to return a year late to blow up Parliament, urging the people to rise and support him.

Our perspective on things is mostly through the character of Evey (Natalie Portman), a junior at the TV station who V rescues from a gang of police thugs. Others in the cast include such Brit luminaries as Tim Pigott-Smith and Stephen Fry.

Debut director James McTeigue makes a fair stab but V for Vendetta doesn't translate too well to the big screen. To start with the hero is constantly behind an unmoving mask, making emoting somewhat tricky. Then there's the lack of action - this is not a fast-paced thrill fest, preferring to aim for a faux-intellectual feel but coming across as a bit adolescent. And Natalie Portman's English accent is decidedly iffy.

There have been worse comic book adaptations but V for Vendetta is certainly not one of the best.

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