“What are you for Halloween?”
“The terrorist V for Vendetta. You?”
“The terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.”
“What movie is he from?”
“I don’t know, but if I don’t get a treat I’m going to light a fuse and blow up a stick of 3 Musketeers!”
Who is this masked phantom?
Is he a KISS front-man? Is he Sir Walter Raleigh with incendiary devices? Is he the love-child of Cher and Prince Valiant? Is he Chyna, but sober and without all the drama?
Nope, he’s “V,” a cross between Osama and Isaac Mizrahi. At once fiendish and fashion-forward.
It’s 2020 or so, and progress has brought us the inevitable: A terrorist with a logo. “V” is stamped everywhere, even as a “bug” in the corner of his TV spots.
“First, I wish to make a clarification,” said V in his commercial. “My name is V, not ‘five!’ That is not a roman numeral! It has never been a roman numeral! When I hear the TV news reader say ‘five strikes again’ and it’s 6:30 – even I’m confused’”
V is against everything that…he’s against. Because the government favors everything that…it favors. The issues are pretty murky here, but one gets the impression that, no matter the problem, it can be solved if some venerable old British buildings are vividly demolished.
It’s “V for Vandalism!”
The government is evil because it stands for standing for bad. V, meanwhile, stands for standing for freedom from standing for what the government is standing for. Got it?
“People shouldn’t be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people,” says V. “Unless, of course, your government can’t pronounce ‘nuclear’ – in which case you should flee to Canada now.”
What makes V heroic? Easy. He blows up half of London and does it without the use of peripheral vision. What’s more, he tortures Natalie Portman – and then wins her heart! “Let’s practice our wedding vows,” said V. “I promise to love, honor, and cattle-prod you into submission. ‘Til death do us part – and by ‘us’ I mean ‘you.’”
“There are no coincidences, only the illusion of coincidences,” says V.
“But,” says Natalie, “if it’s an illusion then why couldn’t the coincidence be an illusion of an illusion of coincidence and thus, no illusion at all.”
“Um…Suck it, Amidala.”
Eventually V enlists Portman to his cause. Says V: “Now if I could enlist Scarlett Johansson and Keira Knightley I could conquer the readers of MAXIM without firing a shot!”
I don’t know what makes V more terrifying, his deadly skill with knives or a leisure time so abundant he can arrange ten thousand dominoes in a perfect topple-ready sequence.
Imprisoned, Natalie finds a hidden diary of a jailed lesbian filmmaker. What is this, some kind of Sundance jail? Is this the Rosie O’Slammer?
Whether we’re talking V for Vendetta, Beauty and the Beast, or Phantom of the Opera, it’s always the story of a lovely woman and physically frightening guy. Why not call it what it really is: The love life of Bill Maher!
V for Vendetta will go down in history as the most popular movie ever to include the word “sobriquet.” And it reminds us of one of the great historical moments in British history: No, not that whole Guy Fawkes thing. I’m talking about the moment when Benny Hill was considered funny.
It’s a visceral, virulent vamp with a vacuous vagrant in a vaunted vocation of villainy, vivifying a venal Victor/Victoria! Okay, I don’t even know what I’m talking about but alliteration is key in this movie.
Ultimately, here’s the lesson: It takes blowing up buildings to create hope.
Um…okay. Kind of like Habitat for Humanity – in reverse.
Overall, I liked V for Vendetta very much, but the harder you think about it, the dumber it gets.
Photos Copyright ©2006 Warner Bros. Pictures
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