For reasons that are unimportant for this post, I was forced to rewatch the 2006 film adaptation of Alan Moore’s graphic novel V for Vendetta. This movie is garbage. It is garbage in ways and for reasons that are important to enumerate specifically.
I will do so now.
1) V Is A Terrible, Terrible Person
This is going to be a recurring theme in this post, but bear with me for the this round at least: V is a giant piece of shit when it comes to being a human being. Specifically he’s a giant piece of shit to the only person
with whom he has a relationship whom he kidnaps on two occasions, Evey. For those who haven’t seen the movie in a while (bless you), Evey is the young woman who V discovers being nearly assaulted by corrupt governmental police at the beginning. In a White Knighter’s wettest of dreams, V swoops in, beats up the bad guys, saves the girl, and then asks her to join him for a concert where he blows up the Old Bailey. First. Date. Nailed. (Also I know that they can’t show us how Evey extricated herself from that situation, but God help me, I’d love to see it. How do you end a date where a guy in a mask literally blows up a building?)
This momentary connection leads V to believe that, when he meets Evey again the following day and inadvertently involves her in his year-long plot to overthrow the government, his best course of action is to bring the unconscious Evey to his underground secret lair so she can hide out. For a full year. And by “hide out” he means “be a captive.” She’s his captive for a year. The only discussion they have about this arrangement is when she apologized to him for her reaction to the news that she isn’t allowed to leave. Because this movie hates me.
There’s a brief scene where V agrees to use literally dolled-up Evey as bait for a predatory, pedophile Bishop, which gives Evey a chance to escape. Of course V handles this development by carefully considering how he had treated another human being, and vows to not let his plans of rebellion overcome his empathy for other people.
JK. He totally kidnaps her again. This time using the methods that she had confided in him were used on her parents. An event which permanently scarred Evey, and has left her with a constant feeling of fear. Then he imprisons, psychologically tortures, physically isolates, and deprives her until she’s convinced she’s going to be killed. But don’t worry, because V did all of this for Evey’s own good. Or maybe because he loved her. Either way. Have I mentioned that V is the good guy in this movie? Yeah. So in closing, this movie is garbage.
Holy shit, am I still on my first point?
2) V Is Terrible As A Revolutionary Leader
The movie hinges on V’s ability to subvert and overthrow a totalitarian government with its own secret-police-death-squad using only his wits and incredibly detailed plans. So, over the course of a year, he does absolutely nothing. Like, he literally does nothing to further his plan once he’s announced it to the audience. At midnight on November 5th, V blows up Old Bailey. Midday on November 5th, he takes over British Television Network to call on the citizens of Britain to rise up against the corrupt government, and to announce that a year from that day he would blow up Parliament. And then he did jack shit. I mean, he killed some people he hated, and there was all that Evey-napping to get done. Women who trick you into allowing them to run away from you aren’t exactly going to brainwash themselves. So yeah, sure. He was crossing things off his personal to do list, but nothing to advance the idea of rebellion.
And yes, I know that some of the people he killed were high-ranking party members (well two were, one was a nobody doctor who was hiding out), but the corrupt government covered up the murders, so people didn’t even know he was doing anything. There was essentially radio silence from him to his theoretical supports for a full year. Remember all of those great, revolutionary leaders who did one thing, disappeared, and then expected their followers to show up for him a full year later? Yeah! Super shitty job, V!
3) V Is Terrible At Collecting Evidence
The prologue for the movie is the government-orchestrated murder of 80,000 citizens. By performing criminally unethical medical experiments on political activists and other undesirables, the government was able to manufacture a deadly biological weapon, which they released on the general public. The antidote to the virus was produced at the same medical facility using the blood of a somehow-immune prisoner. The mysterious prisoner kept in room five. Only since it’s a medical facility they use Roman numerals on the doors? So (dun dun dun!) it’s actually room V! It’s V! The magical patient is V, guys! (This movie is dumb sometimes.)
Anyway, V therefore knows who was involved in the government killing a shitton of people, he knows how they did it, and he knows that he physically represents corroboration of his story and evidence of their crimes. So what does he do? Kills the shit out of everyone including himself. What exactly was his thought process? “Hmmm … I wonder if I should spend my seemingly unending resources over a twenty-year-period to recreate a failed terrorist plot from 400-years-ago in order to rally the populate, or should I just go on the fucking TV and show people my magically burned body? Hmm, hmm, hmm.”
But it’s not like any of that actually matters because . . .
4) This Movie Is Really Stupid Sometimes
Listen, every movie has a dumb moment or two. But this is a Wachowski-written vehicle, so there are more than a couple of dumb moments. And plot-holes. And dialogue. Jesus, is some of this dialogue bad. Like when V came up with his whole plan. Or when Evey somehow knew Mr. Finch’s name even though they’d literally never met before. Or when Evey and V fell in love, because who wouldn’t care very deeply for the man who she knows nothing about and who terrorized her for untold months? Or when the good guy in the movie. FUCKING. KIDNAPS. AND. TORTURES. A. WOMAN.
Have I mentioned the torture yet? Because the hero of this goddamn movie flat out tortures the protagonist. That’s a thing that happened.
Now sure, you could argue that this is just a stupid movie, and we shouldn’t overthink it. Number one, this is what we do here, man. Get with it. Number two, this isn’t exactly a “dumb” movie. It’s not a stupid action flick. It’s not like I’m picking on The Transporter or something (although, The Transporter, you’re on notice. You probably should have been called Jason Statham Is A Trafficker Of Women Who Can Only Be Assumed Are Sex Slaves. Your day will come). This was a movie that at one point was getting Oscar buzz. It’s still got a 73 percent fresh rating. And let’s not forget, people still love those fucking masks. So as long as people are still citing this piece of garbage as a movie that stirs audiences to fight injustice, I’ll still be reminding people it’s garbage. That and reminding you about the kidnapping. Because, seriously guys, there were two kidnappings. Two.