V for Vendetta is based on a comic book written by Alan Moore and illustrated by David Lloyd. The movie is adapted by the Wachowski brothers, of Matrix fame, and directed by James McTeigue. I haven’t had the chance to read the graphic novel yet; I wanted to go into the movie without the expectations of the original format. I’ve found, in past experiences, if I watch the film and then read the book, I’ll enjoy both for their own merits. If I read the book first, then the movie will a visual list of missing elements.
First of all, the movie takes a paranoid look at a "Greater" Britain that’s come under religious, fascist control. It wasn’t slow, it wasn’t subtle... it was driven pushed through in a climate of fear under a promise of peace and security. An entire country acted on baser instincts and traded their freedoms over loud, brash leadership.
It’s not an accident. The film makers are not subtle about the message, and it detracts from the film a bit. Some sequences which are probably inspired by the comic book, and work there as stylistic and time-frozen panels, hit the audience over the head. This has turned several people off a movie they themselves admittedly would have otherwise enjoyed.
Hugo Weaving is spectacular as V. He wears that Guy Fawkes masks throughout, but his mannerisms and his distinctive voice carries the character. He’s clever, smart, funny; the kind of guy you can’t help but want to be friends with... except for his perchance to blow up buildings and murder government officials. He wants to free the oppressed. "People shouldn’t be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people."
I’m sure it was entirely unintentional, but one could almost make the argument that the film is supposed to be a bit blunt. Like V himself, the film is not subtle because the time for that is over. People need loud actions to shake them out of their apathy.
I’ll hopefully get a chance to borrow and read the graphic novel. I have yet to read an Alan Moore story I didn’t think was brilliant. I’m just glad I enjoyed this action adventure flick as well.