By Matt Fleming and Jarrod Jones. This is the ANTI-MONITOR podcast, where we’ll always remember the Fifth of November. This week, Jarrod & Birdy get political with Warner Bros’ adaptation of Alan Moore and David Lloyd’s ‘V for Vendetta’. But first, the boys share their favorite political films — be they thrillers or farces — and offer up a single public service announcement by the episode’s end.
As always, be wary for spoilers throughout, and please enjoy.
ANTI-MONITOR: MATT — By 2006, The Wachowski’s hadn’t quite depleted all the goodwill garnered by the success of the Matrix trilogy, so they tapped their longtime assistant director James McTeigue to bring to life Alan Moore’s V For Vendetta. The resultant film delivers a well-executed, if not entirely faithful adaptation of one of Moore’s more challenging works. The film is dense, driven by emotionally charged undertones, and features a fairly incredible cast. Still, V For Vendetta isn’t quite the home run everyone hoped for.
Of course, adapting such a large volume is no easy task, but the Matrix team does their darnedest. John Hurt’s face looms heavily and effectively throughout, Stephen Rea sulks his way to uncovering the vast conspiracy that controls England quite well, and Stephen Fry brings just enough humor to a dismal future. Natalie Portman does a fair job through the film’s second half, but the biggest treasure is Hugo Weaving. The actor best known for his grimace emotes from behind a mask with a bravado unmatched. Though not a perfect endeavor, V For Vendetta strikes a giant chord in the revolutionary buried inside even the most jaded cynic.
ANTI-MONITOR: JARROD — Within every frame of V for Vendetta lies a story, one that is almost too familiar in film (the dystopic political thriller). From the hue of a certain rose to the crackle of an egg cooking inside a crust of bread, there’s more depth and nuance to be found in James McTeigue’s version of Alan Moore and David Lloyd’s seminal comic book mini-series than most adaptations ever bother with.
If you’re looking for engrossing intrigue, top-notch performances, and staggering emotional heft, look no further than the Wachowski’s furious ode to the second Bush Administration. Required viewing.
CONSENSUS: It goes down some contrived avenues, but James McTeigue’s daring adaptation of V for Vendetta has serious steel coursing through its veins. — 7.5 out of 10
Before: “Don’t You Ever, EVER, Watch ‘FREDDY VS. JASON’,” here.
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