Saturday, March 18, 2006

V for Vendetta (film)

Not sure if I reviewed the book before on my blog. I don't think so, as I must have read it the year before I started university.

The movie isn't as good. The book was unbelievable. It was just fucking outstanding.

The thing is that the movie is good on its own. Standing by itself, ignoring the book, it works pretty well. Not as bad as Constantine, but there were some definite and major changes to things.

Overall it was a good flick. I'm torn as to whether or not I should call it "great". On one hand I want to, becuase it was pretty damn cool. But on the other "great" begins to infringe on the book. And the movie was NOT as good as the book.

Really, I think, in terms of adaptations, V for Vendetta ranks up there with Hellboy. Not spot on, but pretty good and touching on most of the themes.

Nicely done, though. Visually speaking, most of it was spot on. V's costume was spot on, I gotta say. Just perfect. The Shadow Gallery was done nicely. Not quite the same as in the book, but it was pasasble. Evey in the little girl's dress waiting for the dirty priest worked, thought it was a bit more modern and, to be honest, fake looking than the way they had it in the comic.

Now, some of the scenes were taken wholesale from the book, and I agree with a poster over on Barbelith that those were the best. The "Valerie" autobiography in Evey's cell was quite well done, as was the scene with Dr. Delia. Similarly, the little girl spray painting "V" on the wall.

Then again, there were things that just didn't happen in Moore's telling of the story. People dressing up in V costumes at the end to march on Parliament, Creedie's people killing V instead of the cop, etc.

My one big problem with the film was that they whitewashed the setting. Instead of a post-WWIII world where only Britain remained strong we were given a world where the British government engineered a plague to kill tens of thousands of its own citizens as an excuse to declare martial law. It was a bit extreme, and it just didn't have the same oomph as the government just pulling Nazi tactics and rounding every non-white, non-straight, non-right wing person in the country up and shipping them to concentration camps. Not that the book's take on things wasn't extreme...but...I dunno. Government's instigating states of emergency to have an excuse to declare martial law just doesn't have the same punch it as a government just straight out declaring it because, essentially, the people elected the Nazis.

Now, the film did have some new scenes that were quite nice. The talk show sketch making fun of the Chancellor was quite funny, to be honest. And nicely done.

The scenes with Evey in prison were VERY well done. As was the opening scene with Evey, V, and the Fingermen, though I kind of missed the exploding hand gag.

Speaking of that opening scene, right from the beginning the movie diverged from the book's plot. In the opening scene of the comic, V blows up Parliament. He blows up the Old Bailey later, but after giving a speech to it about how fickle and whorish a mistress Lady Justice has become in a fascist world. The TV broadcast was kept, but it was no longer V's actually humorous monologue where he pretends to be God, acting as a CEO and adressing humanity as the employees of a corporation. Instead its a more direct broadcast talking to people about what is wrong with their world. Not bad, but really a little bit too Matrix for me.

Similarly, V's planning didn't work quite as well in the movie. In the books V had everything figured out to a level that was damn near precognitive. He had everything planned out and it WORKED. In the movie his plans fell apart a bit too readily, and he had to improvise. It was more than a little dissapointing.

Overall, worth watching. I'll probably grab it on DVD when it comes out, though they may release a Special Edition, so I may just wait. I still regret only getting the first Sin City disc when it came out. Missed out on plenty of stuff.

Speaking of movies, I've got $125 in Futureshop gift cards waiting for me at home, courtesy of the Royal Bank and VISA. Gonna grab CSI Season 5, The Harry Potter Collection (Philosopher's Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban, Goblet of Fire). Been waiting on it for a while, but the first and fourth are damn good films, and Prisoner has its moments. Might just grab Goblet and the Stone, though. Dunno. I'll have to check prices (I'm willing to shell out an additional $20 for two movies that I'm not so fond of...dunno). Probably also get Corpse Bride, which was good but so short I can't bring myself to spend real money on it. Dunno what else. Maybe another season of SG-1. Ah, yes! That's it! Immortel! Grab that as well. Heh. Should be fun.


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