Well, I'll be damned. This film could have turned out horrid. Seriously, there are so many elements that could have come across as ridiculously cheesy and idiotic. A story about a man whom spends a solid portion of his life planning for a single event taken from the pages of history to repeat and help set a Britain of the future on a new path. Really? All right McTeigue, hit me with your best shot.
Truthfully, there is still a nice layer of 'other worldliness' to the film that makes it over the top, but it only counter balances some of the great seriousness of topic. It's based on a graphic novel so of course some retention of 'comic book' elements will remain. But with solid as brick wall writing through political and philosophical ideologies with a sense of culture and a clever style and eye from director McTeigue, this film comes off as anything but brilliant. It's this balance of fantasy and reality that makes this a film of universal appeal and yet pure film entertainment too...a potent and perfect combination.
I have to give props to the acting too. Of course the story and the directing are superb as mentioned before, but stunning acting from all parties makes this all the more real. For an extremist terrorist, its hard not to love V in all his elusive and brilliant foresight in this film. Hell, the actor and character have to work with a stationary mask the entire film and still with body language and proper use of voice work we feel as much for him as we do for Natalie Portman (whom gives one of her best performances here too). Even the supporting cast is sick good with Stephen Rea and Stephen Fry stealing a good portion of their scenes with more subtlety then the script should have needed. Again, it was a brilliance of balance.
For a film that is well over 2 hours, this baby flies by when its on and it sticks with you for weeks after watching it. The interesting moral choices made and brought forth in the script (like my favorite...is violence necessary for peace?) and some of the great character work concerning fear, death, and life this is not only a riveting watch, but an amazing thinker of a film.
This is one of those classics that will forever remain on my list of amazing films. It's thought provoking, edgy, and yet never misses a beat to entertain. One of the best films of balancing I've ever seen.
Written By Matt Reifschneider