The ads promise "an uncompromising vision of the future," but it's not possible to translate Alan Moore's comic-book masterpiece into a two-hour movie without making cuts that oversimplify, and it certainly isn't feasible to expect producer Joel Silver (The Matrix trilogy) to keep things subtle. Set in a world where the War on Terror has led to the fall of America, biological warfare, and a fascist dictatorship in the U.K., it's the story of Evey Hammond (Natalie Portman), a TV network assistant who befriends a masked vigilante named V (Hugo Weaving) who, inspired by the 17th-century revolutionary Guy Fawkes, is plotting to bring down the government. In Moore's comic, Evey was a teen prostitute -- which gives you an idea of the extent to which things have been toned down for mass consumption. In trying to make the film more "relevant," the Wachowski brothers' screenplay detracts from the story, with silly bits about the Koran and inappropriate comic relief from Stephen Fry. What they get right is great; if only the film weren't so erratic.
Director: James McTeigue
Writer: Andy Wachowski and Larry Wachowski
Producer: Joel Silver, Andy Wachowski and Larry Wachowski
Cast: Natalie Portman, Stephen Rea, Hugo Weaving, Rupert Graves, Stephen Fry, Sinead Cusack, John Hurt, Tim Pigott-Smith, Selina Giles and Nicolas de Pruyssenaere