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V for Vendetta
A futuristic comic book fantasy from the makers of the "Matrix".
V for Vendetta
Natalie Portman and Hugo Weaving in "V for Vendetta".
OPENING WEEKEND: $39,000,000
DOMESTIC TOTAL: $150,000,000
  This Film is NOT a Future Release.
  The Following Preview has been Archived.

January 3rd, 2006: The story takes place in a futuristic British society, ruled by a totalitarian government. One night, a young woman named Evey Hammond is rescued from a violent situation by a vigilante known only as “V.” The mysterious freedom fighter, highly skilled in combat, employs terrorist tactics to battle the oppressive government and to incite rebellion. As she begins to learn more about him and about herself, Evey becomes his ally and joins him in his struggle to restore freedom and justice back into the corrupt society.

What to Expect: The film is an adaptation of a comic book series by Allan Moore, whose From Hell and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen were already made into movies with unspectacular results. While both films failed to draw the crowds into the theaters, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen was also universally panned by critics. This time around, however, the Wachowski brothers (The Matrix trilogy) have taken over the project. Apparently, the pair even wrote a draft of the script back in the 90s before they started work on The Matrix. James McTeigue, their long time protégé, has been given his first ever directing assignment. In addition to working as the second unit director on all three Matrix films, McTeigue also assisted on Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones and Dark City. For a rookie director, he should be well prepared to handle V for Vendetta, which falls within the same genre.

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Natalie Portman, who received an Oscar nomination in 2005 for her performance in Closer and whose star status continues to grow considerably each year, will be in the Keanu Reeves role as the “blind” individual awakened to the reality of the surrounding world. Reportedly, she has already impressed insiders with her performance as well as with her commitment to the role by allowing her head to be completely shaved. Hugo Weaving, known to everyone as Agent Smith from The Matrix trilogy, plays “V.” Supposedly, the character never removes his mask in the film, which should add an interesting element. Weaving will therefore have to command the role with his distinctive voice, which he is certainly capable of. The two veterans, Stephen Rea (The Crying Game, Interview with the Vampire) and John Hurt (Dogville, Hellboy), should round out the main cast nicely and bring credibility to the story.

With a rogue vigilante terrorist as the main hero, V for Vendetta will undoubtedly be subject to a lot of controversy. Right Wingers, who have yet to see it, have already accused it of being pro-terrorist and anti-American. Predictions are being made that the film will fail because of its content. Unfortunately for those who wish to hurt V for Vendetta by attacking its subject matter, negative publicity of that kind usually only generates curiosity among the public. Interestingly enough, the release date for V for Vendetta was changed from November of 2005 to March of 2006 following the terrorist attacks on mass transportation in London last summer. Since the film features bombings of the underground subway system, many have speculated that the producers delayed the release to avoid controversy.

In my opinion, the film will be anti-establishment in the same sense as The Matrix, by suggesting that people question authority. In all probability, it will be darker and more overtly political than The Matrix, but it will not stray too far from remaining comic book fantasy. It’s funny how fantasy films like this or Harry Potter generate the most controversy simply because of their moneymaking potential.

In Conclusion: The trailer for V for Vendetta looks very promising, as the film is engrossed in shadows and features wonderful set design. Expect a low-key Matrix-like atmosphere, with a little less focus on special effects. Early reports from test screenings have also been largely positive. Fans are eagerly anticipating this release. I believe that this could be the next Matrix. Any controversy or negative publicity for a film like this will only cause an increase in ticket sales. Frankly, I prefer to see a film that explores interesting ideas rather than a simplistic action movie. I am confident that this will be the biggest hit of the spring.

Similar Titles: The Matrix, Batman Begins, 1984
March 17th, 2006 (wide)
August 1st, 2006 (DVD)

Warner Bros. Pictures

James McTeigue

Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving, Stephen Rea, John Hurt, Stephen Fry, Rupert Graves

Total: 45 vote(s).

Action & Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction

Click here to view site

Rated R for strong violence and some language.

132 min






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