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V for Vendetta

USA/UK/Germany 2006
produced by
Joel Silver, Grant Hill, Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski for Virtual Studios, Silver Pictures, DC Comics (Vertigo), Anarchos Productions/Warner Brothers
directed by James McTeige
starring Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving, Stephen Rea, Stephen Fry, John Hurt, Tim Pigott-Smith, Rupert Graves, Roger Allam, Ben Miles, Sinéad Cusack, Natasha Wightman, John Standing, Eddie Marsan, Clive Ashborn, Emma Field-Rayner, Ian Burfield, Mark Phoenix, Alister Mazzotti, Billie Cook, Guy Henry, Cosima Shaw, Megan Gay, Roderic Culver, Tara Hacking, Andy Rashleigh, Chad Stahelski, Antje Rau, Amelda Brown, Richard Campbell, Patricia Gannon, Mark Longhurst, Simon Holmes, Charles Cork, John Ringham, Oliver Bradshaw, Jack Schouten, Caoimhe Murdock, Juliet Howland, Brin Rosser, Raife Patrick Burchell, Joseph Rye, Adrian Finighan, Malcolm Sinclair, Radley Steve Ford, Madeleine Rakic-Platt, Carsten Hayes, Derek Hutchinson, Martin Savage, Grant Burgin, Gregory Donaldson, Imogen Poots, Jason Griffiths, Laura Greenwood, Kyra Meyer, Paul Anthony-Barber, Anna Farnsworth, Mary Stockley, Simon Newby
screenplay by Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski, based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore (writer), David Lloyd (artist), music by Dario Marianelli

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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England, the not-too-far future: Evey (Natalie Portman) is saved from a gangrape by V (Hugo Weaving), a terrorist in a Guy Fawkes-mask, who then even has the courtesy to let her see his work for the night: the blowing up of alondon gouvernment building ... Bad news about this is, now everybody thinks Evey is in league with V, and the totalitarian British gouvernment, led by asshole Chanellor Adam Suttler (John Hurt), desperately wants V dead and everybody who helps him too ... and soon enough they have picked up Evey's trail.

However, before they can capture her, Evey saves V from a cop as a sort of thank-you, right after V has killed a rightwing TV-presenter. But unfortunately the cop knocks her out before going down himself, and suddenly V sees no other choice than to take her with him and imprison her in his own luxury secret hiding place, just so the police can't capture her and do something much worse to her, like torture or stuff ...

Evey soon feels drawn to V, even though she doesn's even know what he looks like under his mask ... but she just can't accept that he keeps on killing people, all the killings being in equal parts personal vendetta and cleansing the country of its worst political figures, who were all involved in a scheme to develop biological weapons and spreading them, and then put the blame on the liberals, which eventually turned Great Britain into a totalitarian state.

At the first possibility V gives her, Evey manages to escape from V's clutches and hides with her friend, TV-comedian Deitrich (Stephen Fry) ... but unfortunately, Deitrich has filled his latest program with anti-gouvernment jokes, so one night he is pulled from his home and executed after the authorities find a Quran with his belongings (not that he ever was a Muslim, just a collector ...).

Evey tries to escape on her own, but soon enough is caught by the authorities, thrown into the slammer and tortured to give away the whereabouts of V. But she refuses to talk ... and when she is threatened with death, she rather chooses this than become a stool pigeon - which is when her oppressor turns out not to be the authorities but V, who has just made the whole prison-situation up to toughen her up ...

Evey is appalled, and leaves V immediately, with him not trying to hold her back, but she promises not to give him away and visit him once more before his big finale, the 5th of November - known in England also as Guy Fawkes Day, which was when Guy Fawkes burned down the parliament ... and V plans to do the same.

Fast forward to the 5th of November: V has meanwhile managed to play the Chancellor and his chief advisor Creedy (Tim Pigott-Smith) against each other - mainly because Creedy is such a powerhungry asshole he will even use the help of terrorists to get where he wants to - and has managed to make Creedy hand over the Chancellor to him. At the same time he has made it a fashion trend in London to wear Guy Fawkes masks to undermine the efforts of the police to capture him, and he has created civic unrest. November the 5th is also the day Evey returns to him, as promised, and he puts it in her hands to drive a subway loaded with explosives beneath the gouvernment to blow it up, while he has his final showdown with the Chancellor and Creedy, a showdown none of them survives.

Evey on the other hand not only manages to get the explosives to the right spot just in time, she even manages to convince Finch (Stephen Rea), the police inspector who was after her and V for quite some time, that what she's doing is right and that England needs a new beginning ... and the end sees the parliament blown to Kingdom Come, with everybody being in high hopes that something better will follow ...


V for Vendetta the graphic novel by Alan Moore (writer) - who had his name removed from the film's credits - and David Lloyd (artist) is brilliant, a complex story that works out the thin line between heroism and terrorism and a political satire disguised as an action comic. The film has to be credited in at times following the comic faithfully ... but at some times following the comic too faithfully - which results in packing way too many subplots into two hours worth of celluloid - and at other times just simplifying the comic's complex world to be more in tone with mainstream audience expectations.

The result is not all bad, at times V for Vendetta (the film) remains a razorsharp satire ... but it would have worked way better if one had cut the film by half an hour, thrown away a few of the less important subplots and concentrated on the main story. The film yould probably still not have been as good as the comic, but it would have been a better film.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD