Movie Review — hij ??

Heath Gordon

In the early ’90s, before the age of bullet time and Agent Smith, the Wachowski Brothers wrote a screenplay taking place in a future Great Britain. At this time, the UK is ruled by totalitarian government, which controls everything from the media to the hours which one can be walking outside.
Our story begins when Evey Hammond (Natalie Portman) has to walk home after hours, and is caught by agents of the government, who are about to do all sorts of awful things to her, when a cryptic V (Hugo Weaving) rescues her. V, struck by coincidence, shows Evey the secret war he has been fighting against the government of Great Britain.
Evey then follows V as he begins to expose the unfortunate and terrible means by which the government took power. Just as questionable, however, is the past of V, whose face is always concealed behind a Guy Fawkes mask. However, Evey often does not appreciate the unconventional tactics that V uses, and each moment of the movie pushes her towards a decision: whether to fight with V, or to turn him over to the government. All the while, an ultimately sympathetic pair of detectives Inspector Eric Finch (Stephen Rae) and Gordon Deitrich (Stephen Fry) pursues V.
If you were thinking about seeing this movie with the hopes of catching a glimpse of Natalie Portman’s cleavage, I am sorry to disappoint you. At one point, she shaves her head, and spends most of the last half of the movie in an orange jumpsuit. It just doesn’t happen. However, her role as Evey was fantastic. She balances the feelings of curiosity, disgust, pride and fear towards V and his work very well, which is quite a task, since half of the movie is basically her talking to a mask.
Honestly, I don’t know what to think of Hugo Weaving as V. I mean, it was a great casting choice, since the best part of Agent Smith is his voice and deadpan face. However, the character of V gets more and more confusing, and leads me to my main problem with this movie: I had no fucking clue what actually happened. I’ll explain.
First, this movie was written before the Matrix, and shares many of the same thematic elements. The film touches on the idea of coincidence and revolutions. We have a grassroots uprising against a faceless and oppressive overlord. However, where the point of the Matrix is that the real world is not in fact real, in V for Vendetta, the Wachowski Brothers go out of their way to make the movie seem to be a portrayal of a very real and possible future Great Britain. Things start to get weird after Evey gets her head shaved, and goes out on a roof and gets zapped by lightning. I don’t want to give too much away, but I think they were trying to turn her into some sort of elemental. And then, in the last 15 minutes of the movie, we find out that V might not even be a real person. They try to explain this away, but it remains wholly unconvincing. As well, we find out that V gets his inspiration and strength from two lesbians who like roses.
The bottom line is that this movie is, for the most part, pretty awesome. There are a lot of great visual effects, and the movie is very crisp and entertaining. At the end it gets kind of ridiculous, but so does the Matrix Trilogy. I wouldn’t go so far as to buy this movie, but it is definitely worth a trip to Family Video.
Also, there was a part where a bunch of army guys are standing around, and I was like, “Man, those guys are wearing paintball masks”. When I went home and checked the trivia section at IMDB, the first tidbit was that the army guys were, in fact, wearing paintball masks. I totally called that one.
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