Big question: Natalie Portman stars as an unlikely ally to V (Hugo Weaving), a masked man who blows up buildings and kills officers of a totalitarian English government in the not-too-distant future. Is this movie promoting terrorism?
Catch it: Save for a few explosions, "V for Vendetta" (adapted from '80s graphic novels) isn't the eye-popping action blowout you may expect. Written by the Wachowski brothers ("The Matrix"), it's a majestic and controversial means of addressing when violence is needed to overthrow a Fascist regime.
Skip it if: A political activist cooking breakfast in an apron--as V does for Evey (Portman)--is too Martha Stewart for you.
Bottom line: Though the dystopian elements here are pretty standard, "V for Vendetta" provocatively captures a society at the tipping point of rebellion. Far from just a comic book movie, its themes about the threat of governmental intrusion and the power of ideas are always relevant.
Bonus: After seeing Portman with her head shaved, women may once again enter their barbershop and say, "Give me the Sinead O'Connor."
`V for Vendetta'
Directed by James McTeigue; screenplay by Andy and Larry Wachowski; photographed by Adrian Biddle; edited by Martin Walsh; music by Dario Marianelli; production design by Owen Paterson; produced by Joel Silver, Grant Hill, the Wachowski brothers. A Warner Bros. Pictures release; opens Friday. Running time: 2:12. MPAA rating: R (for strong violence and some language).
Evey - Natalie Portman
V - Hugo Weaving
Chief Inspector Finch - Stephen Rea
Chancellor Sutler - John Hurt
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