V for Vendetta (2005) Review

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O is for Oklahoma

V for Vendetta (2005): 6 out of 10: Ah, the law of unintended consequences. You seek to adapt a 1982 graphic novel about Thatcherism and convert it to a too clever by half attack on the Bush administration and the War on Terror and you end up with a love sonnet to Timothy McVeigh. Uh-oh.

V is Timothy McVeigh from the fertilizer bombs to the horrible Waco style fire flashbacks it is of all people McVeigh behind that mask. (In reality, Guy Fawkes and McVeigh shared a similar philosophy. The only difference being Fawkes is famous for failing.) Now obviously the filmmakers were too busy ripping off 1984 and Phantom of the Opera to notice this. The film itself is entertaining in a mindless way. The script is full of self-referential pseudo-intellectual quotes, and all the cute little British people say things like bollocks. (I have never heard an Englishman say bollocks anywhere besides an album cover. It’s interesting to note that the British press hated this film with a passion unmatched by any in recent history. I guess they aren’t as pro-bombing of Government buildings as Americans are.)

The films bad guys are all evil mustache twitching, child raping psychopaths while the good guys are all innocent liberals. The idea mind you that the people will automatically rise and support the bomber against the big corrupt government is a fantasy right up with we will be greeted as liberators and Jodie Foster will love me if I shoot the President. Nuance doesn’t enter the picture.

Which is a shame because the movie had an excellent chance to make a statement had it been willing to go off the rails a little (pun intended) and put some shading on these characters? In all fairness to the filmmakers, Timothy McVeigh was also a one-sided character. The only difference is where I come from, he is the bad guy.

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