“People should not be afraid of their governments; governments should be afraid of their people.” — V
I’d been trying hard not to build this one up because most adaptions are a severe disappointment to those who enjoyed the original work — and the original graphic novel is something I really did enjoy. Add that to the fact that Alan Moore disowned it, then I was really expecting this film to be as bad as The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen from the moment I first heard it was in production.
Once it did get near to release though the hype did start affecting me a little and I did reconsider it enough to check out the score on IMDb: 7.6/10 — pretty high for IMDb! So I thought maybe I should try and keep an open mind.
I’m glad I did, because this was a pretty enjoyable movie. Not perfect, but I think the Wachowski Brothers captured the style of the novel quite effectively.
Somewhat surprisingly for an American movie they kept the British setting and didn’t introduce too many appalling British stereotypes (“Tally ho chaps, looks like those bally Americans have gone and saved the day again. Anyone for tea?” — Independence Day). Even the dodgy-looking London pub scene seemed pretty authentic in fact! The references to the war against terror, government oppression, rule by fear etc. were a little heavy-handed but still done well enough to strike a chord.
I felt the pace of the film slumped very slightly in the middle, but I was not bored at any point. Hugo Weaving did very well to put the character across without any facial expressions to make use of, and there were excellent performances from Natalie Portman, Stephen Rea and Stephen Fry. Stephen Rea in particular is one of my favourite underrated actors.
I would give this movie 7/10; just try and see it somewhere less expensive than High Street Kensington (£10)!
PS Today, London has the highest concentration of CCTV cameras in the world.