It's dreadfully boring. For starters.
Viewed artistically, V for Vendetta is simply not there. It's a reflection. A phantom of better work. In a better world, it would sleep at the bottom of the B-Movie DVD rack. In a better world, V for Vendetta might only be heard from again in some cheap Sunday marathon.
But the point at hand is that we do not live in a better world.
And, as an Anarchist, I am distinctly aware of this. Would that I could address this movie through some lens of absolute artistic criticism. But V for Vendetta was never meant to stand on its own. Borrowed entirely from works such as 1984 and The Count Of Monte Cristo, neither is V for Vendetta an agile surrealist impression.
Instead of ponying up some direct political motivation, the movie occupies an uncomfortable middle ground. One might say it "cops out." If this attempt to straddle all artistic operandi ever demonstrates a particular agility it is one that smacks of sluggish and defensive fear rather than adroit ability. It fails as a stylish action flick. It fails as a nuanced and loving homage. It fails as a rebellious political film. And most of all it fails as a hybrid.
But it still falls to me to pull off and dissect what gristle remains. I am, as it is unfortunately relevant, an Anarchist. And there's just no getting around that crimson circle V. The twisted iconography makes this inevitable.
When Alan Moore wrote the original graphic novel (of which, I must admit, I only really read the first half) the alteration was both concise and understandable. Moore wanted to craft a quick English lovesong without the unbounded modern optimism of Bakunin, Goldman or de Cleyre. Moore wanted the droll Victorian conflict of the broken man. His narrative needed the nihilism of oily British sludge under wheel and the fiery passion of an antiglobalist Edmond Dantès. Moore moonlights as a literary fanboy so the alliterary and metaphorical power of the sharpened and inverted (V) was perfect. The balanced and intrepid (A) plummeted to coldest depth, unbalanced, inverted and cast down.
The frigid corpse of Anarchism's hope.
If one should but for a moment doubt my connection between such a fable and the popularly unwieldy yet historically vast political movement, one need only watch the damn thing. It's an upside-down circle-fucking-A. The masked protagonist is at his most adept when he's quoting our beloved dead old white guys. Hell, when Emma Goldman's infamous 'can't dance: no revolution' paraphrase is used to drive a dramatic scene just about my entire fucking theater groaned. I shit you not.