Peter took the crew in a more dystopian direction recently with V For Vendetta. This film was pretty epic when it came out but the God-tier level of meme the Guy Fawkes mask has since attained makes me kind of hate looking at it for the entire movie. It’s a good thing that’s Hugo Weaving behind the mask and not some internet edge-lord.
Still, the character of “V” is an interesting demon of a man to follow in his quest for vengeance, even though he’s kind of a bastard. Now when I saw this movie I had no knowledge of the graphic novel it was based on so the only expectations I had were based on what I saw in the trailer. I didn’t know that Alan Moore hated it (I would come to learn that he hates pretty much everything based off his work.) or that it differed from the source material. Had I known I may or may not have had an issue, it all depends on the material in question and the level of departure. Now if we’d been watching Eragon, I could talk your ear off about how that movie’s a pile of butt.
But I digress, back to the topic at hand.
V For Vendetta (2005)
Direction by: James McTeigue
Screenplay: Lilly Wachowski & Lana Wachowski (As The Wachowski Brothers)
Featuring: Hugo Weaving, Natalie Portman & Rupert Graves
Production: Silver Pictures/Vertigo
Major Threats: Knives, high explosives, poison. fascism, angry fat men
Britain has become a really bad place to live if you deviate from the norm or the government’s idea of “acceptable” by even a centimeter, a fascist state run by the Norsefire Party where all manner of things have been banned and the public’s access to both news and information is heavily state-controlled. For all the gloom and doom the government spouts, I get the increasing feeling that the world beyond isn’t actually doing as poorly as they spin it.
Just being out after curfew is enough to get some of their private police, or “fingermen” (They’re really just thugs.) after Evey, our connective character to this world, when a stranger cloaked in black and hidden behind a Guy Fawkes mask beneath a wide-brimmed hat comes to her aid, effortlessly taking out both Fingermen with some swift knife play. When she asks who he is, the stranger proceeds with one of the most impressive deliveries that I would quote constantly if I only had the mind to recall it correctly:
“Voilà! In view, a humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of Fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished. However, this valorous visitation of a by-gone vexation, stands vivified and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin vanguarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition.
The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous.
Verily, this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose, so let me simply add that it’s my very good honor to meet you and you may call me V”
Damn, that’s great stuff, and V follows it up by taking Evey to the rooftops to witness his orchestrated demolition of The Old Bailey to Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. Now how am I, an average Joe, supposed to top a first date like that?
But while I tried to pitch in my share of riffs, I just couldn’t help falling into the same pit of “angry” at watching a film that was cool when it came out but was now uncomfortably echoing a lot of what I and others are dealing with in the world right now. Without getting too political- actually, no. I’m going to stop there. Trust me, it’s for the best. So I didn’t riff on the story. V’s history and fight against the authoritarian regime is just too masterful a construct to poke fun at, especially the climactic knife fight that reminds me of my glory days as a top-DPS rogue when I stalked the lands of WoW.
L for Lousy: A wasted opportunity to make greatness. Read the comic. Rating: 4/10
P for Pretty Good: A decent dystopian film set in modern day Brexit Britain under Theresa May in cahoots with the Daily Mail. Rating: 7/10
A for Acceptable: Unfamiliar with source material at release, didn’t look for source after release. Enjoyed the visuals and idea at first release but saw too many parallels to current events this time around. For action, dialogue, comedy sketch, and the final knife scene, I judge thus. Rating: 6/10
Collaborative Average Score: 5.6/10 [A Mask in the Crowd]
This was a shortie. I reached the point where I didn’t know what to write next and finally realized that if you don’t know what to add, there’s probably nothing to add. There’s much backlog and I didn’t have much to say on this one other than that V is a cool character even today if you pretend that the stupid mask didn’t take off like a rocket and become a symbol for basically the entire internet.