Review: ‘V for Vendetta’

For a film that advocates freedom and truth, this package is missing a lot. Not only is there no participation from the Wachowski brothers, there is no commentary track at all. There's little mention of Alan Moore, who wrote the famed graphic novel this movie was based on and refused to have anything to do with this production.

For a film that advocates freedom and truth, this package is missing a lot. Not only is there no participation from the Wachowski brothers, there is no commentary track at all. There’s little mention of Alan Moore, who wrote the famed graphic novel this movie was based on and refused to have anything to do with this production. Nothing is said about James Purefoy, cast as one of the leads but later replaced by Hugo Weaving. This is unfortunate, because “Vendetta” is a terrific, daring film — it just deserves a better release than this.

The featurettes are generally unsatisfying. “Freedom! Forever!: Making V for Vendetta” contains very little filmmaking and a surfeit of complimentary chatter from folks such as director James McTeigue, Natalie Portman, Weaving and producer Joel Silver. Actor Stephen Fry, however, offers this salient observation: “The hero is a terrorist, and it’s a very good ethical point, because one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.”

A featurette on the pic’s production design, from sets, to models and locations, is mildly interesting. The film, about individuals fighting a fascist government, was shot in a Berlin studio and Portman points out that, in a chilling bit of synchronicity, some of Hitler’s propaganda films were shot in the same studio.

A featurette on early ’80s influx of British comics creators is simply too skimpy to register and doesn’t do its subject justice. Finally, there are two “videos” included, one which shouldn’t be and one which technically isn’t. The former, a Cat Power song played over a montage of scenes from the movie, feels like padding. The second is a hidden Easter egg of Portman doing a foul-mouthed rap on “Saturday Night Live,” and, although it has nothing to do with “Vendetta,” it does at least have the virtue of being hilarious.

V for Vendetta

Release: Aug. 1 Double disc: $34.98

Production

A Warner Home Video release of the James McTeigue film.

Cast

With: Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving, Stephen Rea, John Hurt, Stephen Fry.
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