V for Vendetta

V for Vendetta, directed by James McTeigue, has a fascinating premise–that America has gone so far in the “war” on terrorism that Britain has copied the excesses, resulting in a totalitarian state in which individuals are kept in constant fear of terrorist plots, and a suspect can be arrested merely because for having a copy of the Koran at home. Indeed, the totalitarian control is so> oppressive that those who favor democracy are forced to become terrorists. The hero for the terrorists is Guy Fawkes, an English Catholic who plotted to blow up both houses of parliament on the day when Protestant monarch James I was to address the opening session in 1605. If the story were developed in a straightforward manner, the impact could be an extraordinary indictment of the policies of George W. Bush. Instead, the story tries to update a 1989 graphic novel by Alan Moore, with a surreal story and stereotypic characters who do weird things, and the result is a confusing anarchy of half-baked ideas. Moore took his name off the project for obvious reasons. MH

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