September 29, 2006


REVIEW: of V for Vendetta (David Edelstein, New York Magazine)

With even retired Supreme Court justice (and Reagan appointee) Sandra Day O’Connor warning of the “beginnings” of a dictatorship, it’s the perfect moment for the ridiculous but riotously enjoyable revolutionary comic-book thriller V for Vendetta—which will doubtless outrage conservatives and unnerve fuddy-duddys but liberate the rest of us with its magisterial irresponsibility. [...]

Whatever else it is, V for Vendetta is not frivolous. The Wachowskis—one of whom is reportedly in the midst of a sex change—introduce a lesbian martyr to make a plaintive case for the right to be what one is.

John Hurt (who once played Winston Smith in a version of 1984!) is the country’s Fascist chancellor, Sutler, who’s largely seen on monitors bullying his underlings, among them a pasty Stephen Rea as a plodding, good-hearted inspector. This part of the movie might have seemed fresher if Sutler weren’t such an old-fashioned Hitler type; he might have, for instance, folksily counseled his countrymen to put food on their children or accidentally shot an acquaintance in the face. But even without the nudge-nudge parallels, V for Vendetta’s Pop Art mixture of revolutionary symbols from history, literature, and painting feels gladdeningly subversive.

Finally got around to watching the movie, which is a triumph of art design and a caastrophe for coherence. It's exactly as vapid as the notion of "magisterial irresponsibility."

What's really stunning though is that, even after 9-11, the makers of the film seem to take seriously the idea that something good can come of "destroying a building" and that, as Mr. Edelstein hints (once he's done comparing our President and Vice President to Hitler), the sole purpose of the "revolution" would appear to be making England safe for sexual aberrance. You can see why a transsexual would think that, but what interest can the folks who march towards Parliament at the end of the movie have in anarchy?

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 29, 2006 7:00 PM
With even retired Supreme Court justice (and Reagan appointee) Sandra Day O’Connor warning of the “beginnings” of a dictatorship [...]

The Court truly was packed with leftist screwballs if she was one of the most conservative justices of the past half-century.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at September 29, 2006 8:08 PM

I suppose anarchy can be fun for a bit, but once the fires burn down to ashes, who's going to clean up?

Posted by: ratbert at September 29, 2006 9:01 PM

Much like "King Kong", DVR'd May 12, still has almost 2 hours of unwatched movie, "V" was DVR'd on Sept. 9 and has 90 minutes of unwatched movie.
However, "Eight Below" has been watched three times since Aug. 25, and the Documentary Channels "Frederic Remington" has been watched twice since Aug. 27 (I know, unless you're a DISH subscriber you've probably never even heard of the DocChannel).

Posted by: Mike Daley at September 29, 2006 9:06 PM

You left out the key point that this neo-Cromwellian regime, arose out of a deliberate
series of terrorist acts, against Londoners
; blamed on terrorists (Ironically, the set
piece, example of this; was being filmed at
the same time of the Tube bombing) It's a
shame that Natalie Herschlag nee Portman,
would abide this ISM/Al Queda script

Posted by: narciso at September 29, 2006 10:06 PM

Hollywood is a lot like the Democratic Party in that they trot out the same vanity pieces of their own personal conventional wisdom again and again under the notion that this will finally be the time the rabble sit up and take notice of the real life threats their films are alluding to directly or through metaphor. The advantage Hollywood has is, unlike Democrats, foreginers can actually vote with their wallets for dreck like "V" and allow its makers to survive horrid U.S. box office or DVD sales.

Posted by: John at September 30, 2006 12:16 AM

Just another lefty adolescent revolution fantasy, and, like most, it does indeed seem blind to the inevitable consequences. On the other hand, it's just a work of art, and as such politically simplistic.

Amazing that the reviewer suggests the movie would be "fresher" if it had "nudge-nudge parallels" with Bush/Cheney. Sure: stale partisan jabs always improve works of art!

Posted by: PapayaSF at September 30, 2006 1:15 AM

It's yet another example of why libertarians are funny, but all comedy is conservative.

Posted by: oj at September 30, 2006 9:10 AM