V for Vendetta

V for Vendetta ★★★★★

Alan Moore and David Lloyd brought us one of the most anarchistic anti-heroes of graphic novel fame in the titular guise of V. A subversive freedom fighter who seeks to awaken a country's population to its governments crimes against its own people and the fascist state that it has become, this film asks serious questions of a fictional future England. An oppressed country ruled by fear, racism, and intolerance, it was only a matter of time before someone stood up to the dictator in charge played with conviction by John Hurt.
Moore and Lloyd weave a decidedly intricate web here for director James McTeigue to run with, and run with it he does. Scripted by the Wachowski's, it's endlessly quotable, full of stunning set-pieces, with a fetching Natalie Portman, and a virtuoso performance from Hugo Weaving who stays behind the mask for the entirety of the film, this film has a style all of its own. We get heaps of stylized violence and a plot that captures the pure horror of a dystopian future society where lies, deceit, and ruthlessness are used as weapons to control a population. Visually stunning, colorful and sharp, this has a high-gloss comic book feel to it that heightens the enjoyment of an almost pantomime style anti-hero. Backed by the likes of Stephen Rea, Stephen Fry, and Roger Allam, this does boast a cast that are up for something a little different from the ordinary, and both Fry and Allam are over-the-top in their respective roles.
Larger than life, just like the entire story, V quickly earns our respect for doing the right thing when others take the safety approach and pretend that all is well. Weaving was an inspired choice as V as he channels a mixture of psychotic anarchist and the Count Of Monte Cristo's anti-hero to stunning effect, you couldn't imagine anyone else playing him. One of the best graphic novel adaptations of recent years despite Moore disowning the film, only Sin City has come close to the originality shown here.

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