Adapted by the Wachowski brothers (creators of "The Matrix") from Alan Moore's 1988 graphic novel, V For Vendetta is a piece of dystopian science fiction set in London in the not-too-distant future. V (Hugo Weaving) is a mysterious masked avenger fed up with the fascist, totalitarian state that has taken control of Britain. After donning a fetching Guy Fawkes face mask and arming himself with more knives than a gang of 15-year-old school kids, he begins his attack on the oppressive Orwellian government by blowing up the Old Bailey. Then, with the help of a shaven-headed Portman, he sets out to destroy the Houses of Parliament on November 5th in honour of his hero.

Since "The Matrix" in 1999 the Wachowski brothers appear to have been slowly losing the plot. "Reloaded" and "Revolutions" were pretentious and impenetrable, reviled by fans of the original and panned by the critics. Meanwhile, the Larry half of the duo was caught cheating on his wife with a dominatrix pornstar and then outed as a closet transsexual. Sadly, V For Vendetta (written and produced by the brothers) continues their miserable downward spiral.

As for the extras it’s a mixed bag with most saved for a special two disk version available at HMV in the UK. On the single disk edition Producer Joel Silver and director James McTeigue contribute to a workmanlike “Making Of” featurette that is the only extra included on the regular single-disc DVD edition.

Die hard fans (there must be some of you out there as VFV is currently placed 150th on the IMDb’s greatest films of all time list) can get hold of a two-disc special edition, available only from HMV, that includes a brief history lesson on Guy Fawkes, a eulogy to comic book creator Alan Moore (who doesn’t feature and reportedly hated the movie), and a Cat Power music video taken from the soundtrack.

Sadly, however, there is no director’s commentary or any contribution from the Wachowskis who were too busy picking out new dresses and getting their nails painted to participate. Probably.

Seeing our hero blowing up the London tube train with explosives is the most tasteless piece of cinema all year, and lines such as "Verily, this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose" come across as pompous non-sense.

Verdict

As Weaving, permanently hidden behind his mask, struggles to bring any character to V, Portman deserves locking up for her feeble attempt at a British accent.

At 132 minutes long, you may feel like you are being punished by a fascist regime if you manage to sit through it all.

The Verdict: V for Vapid

Certificate: 15
Staring: Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving, Stephen Rea, Stephen Fry, John Hurt
Directed by: James McTeigue
Extras: Freedom! Forever!: Making V For Vendetta – The Cast And Crew Reveal The Intense Filmmaking Process

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