V for Vendetta
You don’t need to fuss, Natalie. I like you just the way you are.

Theatrical Release Date: 03/17/2006
Directors: Andy & Larry Wachowski
Cast: Hugo Weaving, Natalie Portman, Stephen Rea, John Hurt

“Remember, remember, the fifth of November”. So begins the narration of “V for Vendetta”.

As I saw this on April 2, I’ll just have to try to remember this film every time I set my clock one hour ahead because otherwise, there’s not much to remember.

Those who keep a finger or two on the pulse of American pop culture have heard the buzz about this film for a long time now. Andy & Larry Wachowski, the guys behind “The Matrix” trilogy adapted work done by Alan Moore to create the screenplay for “Vendetta”.

The film was pushed from its original release date due to re-shoots and post production … officially. I’m sure the London subway bombings happening shortly before the intended date had no effect on a film about using the subway to bomb the London Parliament House. Are you getting the same faint whiff of sarcasm? Someone open a window.

Then to top off the hysteria, Natalie Portman was cast and the Internet furor went through the roof. “Oh my God, she’s gonna shave her head!” While a fervent Portman fan (no restraining order yet), I found the whole ordeal less than Earth shattering.

Once the film was released, there seemed to be a good deal of reviews drawing parallels between the film and current events. Why do members of the media feel the need to sensationalize things that don’t need it?

First off, Moore wrote the Vendetta material something like twenty years ago. Hell, he sold the rights to it in 1988. Since that time, he’s seen his work take unimagined turns becoming film (i.e. “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”). As such, he asked for his name to be taken off of “V for Vendetta”.

I think he was smart to do so.

The biggest problem with “V for Vendetta” isn’t the potentially controversial themes of terrorism, or freedom fighting depending on what side you’re on. The big problem is that for all its attempts to be grand and to convey a message, the effect for me was boredom.

I liked some of the style to the protagonist, known only as V (played by a Wachowski favorite, Hugo Weaving). The choice of Stephen Rea as the chief inspector of police was a brilliant one. Rea always brings a high level of excellence to his work. Even John Hurt, basically reprising his turn in “1984”, did little to shake my general malaise.

But as the story unfolds, I cared less and less about the story, and more and more about when it would end. Also, the whole Portman shaving her head … well, let’s just say that after now watching the event, it’s probably the most anticlimactic haircut in film history.

That’s not to say certain elements aren’t done well. And I expected some cheesy aspects since this is an adaptation from a comic book. Still, I wish I could have been more engaged that I was.

One of the few bright spots that perked me up was Portman dressing up like a little girl to facilitate a meeting with a Bishop. As stereotypical as this was, I’m letting it go because of the images bouncing around my head even now. Thankfully, since she’s over 18, I can feel slightly less ashamed about the ordeal.

Moving on, another bright spot is Portman’s accent. She did a wonderful job wrapping her lips around the Queen’s English and only a few times did I catch myself trying to pick her effort apart.

If you are a big fan of Moore’s original work on the comic book, no doubt you will either see this film or boycott it out of respect. For everyone else, don’t bother spending your time and money getting to a movie theater for this film. Either wait for it to hit video or a movie channel on cable. There’s no rush on this effort.

I’m giving “V for Vendetta” a 3 out of 5. There’s nothing too exciting about the film and my overwhelming comment afterwards was “blah”. And not in a “Greg the Bunny” kind of “blah”.