Monday, April 10, 2006

Gimme a V

I watch a film on the big screen about once a year, and this year's obvious pick was "V for Vendetta." I was pretty hyped up for it based on the teasers and the reviews, and wasn't disappointed. However, given the number and variety of the reviews, I don't feel any great need to take it from the top. Instead, I'll let it go with a few notes:

- The film was less action-oriented than the previews would lead one to believe. I don't have a problem with that, but if you're looking for two hours of stacked-up car chases and gunfights, this isn't your flick.

- Yes, some of the politics was a little over the top for those who expected a subtle commentary on the current situation. Yo, guys -- it's a comic adaptation. What did you expect, an episode of "The Capital Gang" with the racy parts cut out?

- On the other hand, some of the politics was subtle enough (from an American audience's perspective) that "V" probably isn't going to assume the cult status of the Wachowski brothers' previous work, the "Matrix" trilogy. The younger brothers and sisters of the kids who went out and bought black trenchcoats and wraparound sunglasses and started quoting Baudrillard eight years ago probably won't suddenly show up at the mall wearing Guy Fawkes masks and capes and intoning "Remember, remember, the 5th of November" at passersby. It would be neat, though, wouldn't it? I may just have to buy one of those masks to wear to city council meetings.

A good movie, and an important one (the more films which offer an undiluted "the government is bad" message, the better). It's on my "buy as soon as the DVD comes out" list. But I suspect that most of the viewers most affected by it will be those who are already at least halfway down the road to anarchism.

Of course, I may be wrong, and that would be great too -- res publica delenda est.

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