When the V for Vendetta movie popped up on the radar, I was cautiously optimistic, but then I just got some kind of negative vibe and never went to see the movie in the theater. Maybe it was Joel Silver, maybe it was the Wachowski brothers, who knows? Anyway, the movie finally made it to the top of my Netflix queue and so I, hoping against hope, spent a hard-earned evening checking it out.
Compared against other Moore adaptations, I’d say it wasn’t bad, but it was still extremely disappointing from the perspective of someone who’s familiar with the source material.
Overall, I liked the fact that they remained faithful to the graphic novel, and I knew that they were going to have to take some liberties with the plot to get it to fit into a reasonable running time (I can only imagine what they’re going to have to do to Watchmen if they ever make a movie of it). But three things in particular really, really, really bugged me:
- The “love story” between V and Evey. Besides the fact that it makes no sense in relation to the original plot, it wasn’t even convincing on the screen. Really, must every Hollywood movie with a man and a woman in it have a love subplot?
- The evisceration of Evey’s psychological transformation. Leaving aside the fact that they butched up Evey’s character to begin with (thus making the transformation less dramatic), they truncated the scene in the book and left out, I think, the heart of the interaction between her and V. Cutting out Finch’s similar psychological journey also was a crime…
- The loss of the mystery of who was behind the mask, and the related loss of Evey’s assumption of V’s mantle at the end. Part of what made the whole story interesting was speculating who was behind the mask. Not even on the movie’s radar. And what was the point of Evey being in the movie at all if V wasn’t preparing her to lead after his death?
Anyway, I think League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is somewhere near the top of my queue now. However, I know that’s unmitigated trash, so no impending disappointment there!