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V for Vendetta

V FOR VENDETTA is, for me, the best screen adaption ever made of a graphic novel. Intelligently written, beautifully shot and well acted by a powerhouse cast, V rocks.

In a near-future Britain, America has fallen to disease, apathy and violence and Britain has shored up its borders, taken away nearly all freedoms and rules its people by force.

Terrified not to comply, they run inside at curfew time, are spoon fed government controlled TV shows and strictly obey the leadership of Chancellor Sutler (John Hurt chewing every bit of scenery).

As the film opens on November 5th, a mysterious figure rescues TV producer Evy (Natalie Portman, excellent) from state police that are scarier than any bad guys in the alleys.

The masked figure, V, eloquently convinces Evy to join him of the rooftops to watch a concert he has planned for the masses.

As Big Ben strikes midnight, symphonic music rises in the streets as a domed government building explodes. V takes to the airwaves to tell the people of Britain to rise up against oppression and join him one year from that night to take back their country.

Writers The Wachowskis (The Matrix Trilogy, Cloud Atlas) then unleash a fast, smart story of the next 12 months.

Hugo Weaving is terrific as V, which is all the more startling when you realize that he gives the entire performance behind an immobile but somehow powerful Guy Fawkes mask. Weaving's voice and performance are startling and truly carry the film.

What a cast. Stephen Fry, Stephen Rea, Ben Miles and a slew of English thespians give the film weight and reality.

This was director James McTeigue's first film in the chair and its a stunner. Why he hasn't had any major hits since is a mystery.

The film builds smartly to an exciting conclusion that has excellent action, dramatic consequences and some real power behind the images.

This is one of my all time TOP 100 Movies and always surprises me with just how great Weaving is behind that mask.

V has a lot to say. It's how brilliantly he says it that makes this one of my favorite films.

V gets an A+.

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