Britain is ruled by a totalitarian government in the future where no one has any rights, everyone lives in fear and the government runs wild with corruption.
Set in the not-too-distant future, but it doesn’t really state when, the United States has fallen to terrorism and Britain has risen as the world leader. The leader has named himself lifelong president after being elected in a state of fear. People willingly gave up their rights in order to feel safe, and now they are paying the consequences of a nightly curfew with police and other government officials with too much power. The people have no power and it is no longer a democracy.
The movie is based on a graphic novel written in the 80s by Alan Moore, who also wrote The Watchmen and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. He sold all his story rights years ago. He hated what the movie industry did to Gentlemen so he has disavowed anything to do with this movie. I haven’t ever read the story, but I’m guessing this one stuck closer to the graphic novel than Gentlemen did. Even though the story was written in the 80s as a response to Margaret Thatcher, it holds a lot of relevance to what is slowly happening in the U.S. today.
Hugo Weaving is V, who always wears a mask of Guy Fawkes, a fellow that tried to blow up Parliament in 1605 in response to the what the government was then doing to its people. V has decided to take on the crusade against the government by blowing up things and vowing to blow up more. He invites people of London to join in with him and proclaim the government is corrupt. Everyone has just been ignoring it. He runs into Natalie Portman as Evey who comes from activist parents, but has been ignoring what is happening to her rights like everyone else. She resists his ideas at first, but slowly comes around, like other people of London.
Hugo Weaving is awesome as V. It is extremely hard to act behind a mask since you can’t see any facial expressions. He has to act through his voice only. I did keep expecting him to say, “Mr. Anderson.” 🙂 Other than that, he did more than just talk behind a mask. He did actually act. Natalie Portman was also good in it, and I remembered what I was impressed by with her from The Professional that the Star Wars movies made me forget.
I did love how British it was. I got a kick out of people saying “bullocks” and other British phrases. Sometimes things are set in London, but there doesn’t really seem to be anything different from any other major city. This movie had a sense of character with the city itself. I liked that.
There are fight scenes, but they aren’t graphic. They are fun to watch and not too long. There are explosions that are fun to watch, especially when grand music playing over them. By the end of the movie, it seems everyone in London has realized they have been screwed over by their government and aren’t going to take it anymore. It is a little too neat and nice to wrap up, but I think that’s the only major flaw with the movie. It is a tad one-sided and almost made me roll my eyes at the crowd rising up against the evil corruption.