V For Video Rental

I was told I was going to see “V For Vendetta”. The posters, the ticket, the schedule in the newspaper and indeed the opening sequence and end credits indicated that the theater I was seated in was in fact the one showing “V For Vendetta”. There must have been some mistake, possibly a reel swapped accidentally with another movie, because the movie I ended up watching didn’t look a lot like Vendetta. It looked like “The Phantom Of The Politics As Spectacle”.

If you want to see a reasonably faithful rendition of a truly great comic up there on the big screen, you will have to keep on walking. If, on the other hand, you’re looking to sit in on a clinic of what “hollywoodizing” something means, your money could not be better spent.

Vendetta is striking in its comprehensive treatment of the subject.

A love interest? Wedge it in there. Slo-mo fight scenes? Ladle them on. Soaring violins? Keep’em coming. Need a superhero, pails of blood, you name it? Just back that truck up to the lot and start pouring.

There is some great acting in this movie. There is also a script that needs to be carried with tongs to be burned to ashes and never discussed again. There is an editor who needs to be caned.

Whoever’s responsible for that hack job cannot be allowed to touch film ever again. There should, as a matter of law, be a man of reasonable intelligence stationed in every editing studio in California, and every time a filmmaker decides to club their audience over the head with something, this guy gets to clout that filmmaker with an aluminum bat.

I understand that the actual V For Vendetta author, Alan Moore, actually sued to have his name taken out of the credits. Really, it’s not hard to see why; the movie is only related to his story in the most superficial, cosmetic sense.

8 Comments

  1. Posted March 25, 2006 at 3:06 am | Permalink

    Well. From my understanding of things, Moore didn’t exactly sue in the lawsuit sense, so much as insist his name be taken off the film, and his share of the money go to the artist. This has been his general policy towards films since the League atrocity.

    There was a bit of a Thing that upset Moore when Joel Silver said at a press conference that Moore would be involved with the movie, and they were looking forward to working with him, when he’d already said both to them and in several interviews that he wanted nothing to do with the movie. Moore asked for a simple apology and retratction, since he’d been made to look a liar, but that never happened. It’s fun hearing him refer to the Wachowski brother who’d initially contacted him about the movie as, “Curly or Moe, I don’t remember which.”

    Moore does believe as you do regarding the story and its not-resemblance to The Real V. I can imagine a better film adaptation. But as such things go, this is probably about the best we could hope for. It is a far better, more faithful movie than any of the other Moore-related films.

    At this point, I think our real focus should be on praying to whatever deities, dark, light, grey, or fluffy that we can think of that the Watchmen adaptation never gets off the ground.

  2. John
    Posted March 25, 2006 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    The Watchmen project is dead. Moore gloated and danced on it’s corpse.

    (After From Hell and LxG, he’s given up completely on movie adaptations and refuses to sell the rights to anything he owns. The problem is that DC are dishonest extortionate semicompetent scum)

  3. Mike Hoye
    Posted March 25, 2006 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    I go to about one movie a year, now, and if this is the best I could hope for then I’m pretty much done going to movies.

  4. Posted March 25, 2006 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    With all Deference to Moore, I think it’s more apt to refer to DC protagonists as Underwear Perverts than as superheroes.

  5. Posted March 25, 2006 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    I go to about one movie a year, now, and if this is the best I could hope for then I’m pretty much done going to movies.

    I mean that it’s about the best one could hope for given that it’s a big-budget, Joel Silver-produced, Wachowski Brothers movie.

    Moore’s work, in general, is extremely bound up in its medium. However, none of the Moore I’ve read could be translated literally ala the Sin City movie, IMO. They’re too bound up in the medium they’re in. And he’s too popular a guy for Hollywood to want to let be, whether they should or not.

    Honestly, for the purist, I’d say stay away. The movie is not the comic. It’s an pretty good movie. But it’s not the comic. I at least got the feeling that people who made it had read the comic, which wasn’t the case with earlier Moore adaptations.

    Finally… If you’re going to only see one movie in theaters this year, why in god’s name was it this and not Snakes On A Plane?

  6. Posted March 25, 2006 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    The Watchmen project is dead.

    Perhaps, but this adaptation is one project that’s come back from the dead more times than Jesus, Neo and Spock combined, from what I hear.

  7. Mike Hoye
    Posted March 25, 2006 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    “It was bad, but not snakes-on-a-plane bad.”

  8. Guillaume
    Posted March 26, 2006 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    You know, this reminds of a certain other movie that was adapted from another medium. I Robot it was called. You see, on its own, the movie is half-decent, as long as you’re not into the whole “plot and story” thing too much. The thing is, that it has nearly nothing to do with the source material. Just like I Robot it should’ve been called something entirely different.