Raznor's Rants

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Monday, March 27, 2006

V For Vendetta
Posted by Ross

What a strange film. I mean, it's the kind of film you have a hard time hating just because it breaks so many rules of conventional moviemaking, sticks it to the man in so many ways it's hard to keep track.

I mean, yeah, it's got the martial arts that keeps the kids in their seats, but you have to slog through endless scenes of talking heads explaining everything that's going on, because evidently that's the only way the Wachowskis know how to develop things like plot and character.

And you have to wonder if this is less a political sci-fi action/thriller, and more a coming out, a confessional if you will, of the Wachowskis' strange, creative, gothic sexual preferences: hot chick with a shaved head making out with a man in a mask. What is this, "Eyes Wide Shut 2"?

I'm not one of those guys that complains endlessly about actors doing accents not in their native tongue, but hearing Natalie Portman deliver her dialogue just reminded me of Charlize Theron's intentionally bad British accent in her hilarious stint on "Arrested Development" this season.

The scene that pretty much lost me as a viewer happened early on, when Portman has her first scene in the lair of masked weirdo V. Between the explain-it-all dialogue, Portman's accent, and Hugo Weaving delivering his flowery lines behind that silly mask, I was starting to feel claustrophobic.

And then there's the whole question about how V wages his revolution. I mean, as implausible as "Batman" is, you still sort of get a glimpse into how he makes all this possible, what with his great wealth, cool gadgets, hard-core training and loyal butler. But with V, he just kind of shows up and you never really have an idea how he's actually accomplishing any of these astounding feats. It's like, the bad guys are behind this fortress of security looking every which way to make sure they're not vulnerable to attack, and then they turn around and there's V, ready to kick some ass.

It's like the logic has been borrowed from a "Droopy" cartoon.

And yet, nowhere in mainstream popcorn movies are we seeing this kind of social commentary (however over-the-top and goofy it may be), and you've got to appreciate that.

In a way, "V For Vendetta" reminds me of those scattershot revolutionary films of the late-60s and early-70s. Call it "Billy Jack" meets "Zabriskie Point."

I wonder how a movie like this will look in 20 years. With an estimated $50 million budget, it could quite possibly stand as the most expensive experiemental film ever made.

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