The V for Vendetta trailer is up. Natalie Portman, back from stinking up the screen in the Star Wars prequels, stars as a young woman taken under the wing of a masked anarchist fighting a fascistic British government.
It’s based on an early work by Alan Moore, though oddly enough his name isn’t even mentioned in the trailers. Instead, it says the story is entirely written by The Wachowski Brothers. They didn’t approach Moore about the story; rather, they acquired the rights from DC Comics, which owns the story even though Moore and DC Comics famously don’t get along.
As I said, it’s an early work by Alan Moore. I read it once, and it’s a terribly boring tale. I kept expecting it to be good because it’s Alan Moore, but it’s Moore at his worst. It’s blatantly paranoid, and while it’s set in a 1984-like future Britain it’s clear that the writer thinks it’s not far off of the Great Britain of his then-day. As poster Striker Z…a Power Company fan, I would presume…says over at the Libertas blog, all the great lefty writers of the early 1980s were paranoid about Margaret Thatcher.
Adapting this meager work at all is questionable. It’s just hard to take seriously a movie where English chaps are acting like Nazis, even conducting Dr. Mengele-esque experiments, and the story seems cribbed from Orwell. This delusional view of Merry Old England didn’t even work as a statement about Thatcher’s administration, and now Thatcher’s party isn’t even in power. Why would this movie get greenlit? Oh, perhaps it could still work as an interesting “what if” story, sure, if one stuck more to the central plot. But making this movie now, when England is at war and has been for almost four years, can only be a political statement.
I mean, this film contains explosions on subway trains and bombing attacks on government buildings, plus protagonists in bomb vests and numerous statements about government and anarky…it’s not like this film reached the studio’s desk and then they looked around and said, “Oh, dear, maybe this isn’t the right time to release this. We hadn’t realized some of the subject matter mirrored current events. People might take it the wrong way.” They’ve even decided to leave in scenes of bombings on the London Underground!
And it’s by the Wachowskis. You know, the fellows who made cops and suited agents the bad guys in their Matrix movies, establishing scenarios where you are supposed to admire characters who enter a government building and begin shooting everyone in sight. These guys aren’t exactly apolitical, or they wouldn’t be putting Professor Cornel West in their movies because they love his philosophies so much.
Folks, you thought “The Passion of the Christ” was going to stir people up? You thought it amazing that “Fahrenheit 9/11” could get financing during a time of war? You wondered about George Lucas getting in his sly digs at Dubya in SWIII? Wait till this one hits.