I was apprehensive about this movie, because I really like the graphic novel on which it was based. The trailers did not inspire confidence since they were edited as if for an action movie. I also read recently that Alan Moore (the graphic novel author) demanded that his name not be associated with the film. So expectations were low, but I still wanted to see it. So I took a break from unpacking to go catch an afternoon matinee today.
Good news is that it exceeded my expectations. Bad news is, not by much.
The rest of this review will involve spoilers of both the movie and the graphic novel so stop reading now if you want to remain spoiler-free.
Things I liked: Natalie Portman was excellent. She made Evey work as more than a plot-advancing device. I liked that the Wachowski brothers agreed with me that Evey’s imprisonment is the core of the story – that arc really worked for me. I thought the guy that played Finch (Stephen Rea?) was fabulous and his story line fit together better than in the graphic novel. I liked most of the cuts they made to the plot – I tend to skim through most of part 2 in the graphic novel myself. I liked that the bollocks girl from the graphic novel was chosen as a people representative.
Things I didn’t like. I hated the Hollywood ending with the people mysteriously marching in step – I think the graphic novel ending would have been far more effective. I disliked how V was treated whimsically – his opening speech, while dizzyingly acrobatic, also made him sound insane instead of visionary. I thought that the attempts to make it currently relevant (with references to terrorists and biotech viruses) were heavy handed. I disliked the movie’s version of Gordon. I disliked the scene just after Evey gets out of prison – I preferred the graphic novel version (and thought it was interesting that Evey’s line of “I felt like an angel” was left as “I felt…”)
I also wish that the ideas that I loved about the graphic novel were even alluded to in the movie. How people need to take responsibility for themselves. I would have loved if they could have included V’s line distinguishing chaos from anarchy (chaos is “the land of take-what-you-want. Anarchy means ‘without leaders’; not ‘without order’. With anarchy comes an age of Ordnung, of true order, which is to say voluntary order”).
Decent movie for what it was, with a few shiver moments as they got something right. Go read the graphic novel if you haven’t. I’d lend it out, but, well, none of y’all live near me right now.
P.S. Almost fully unpacked. Still need to throw out a ton of trash, and put up a few pictures, but all but two boxes are unpacked. And everything fits! Just barely! I even stopped by the store after the movie, bought some groceries, and made dinner this evening
P.P.S. Apologies for incoherence – it’s weird writing this post from the Sidekick.