V for Vendetta

By  · Published on August 3rd, 2006

Release Date: August 1, 2006

“Remember, remember the fifth of November.”

Such a poetic line that has stuck in my mind for months since seeing V for Vendetta in theaters. It was a film that to me was stunning in it’s poetic brilliance and political relevance. But even if you take the political relevance out of the equation, the film still stands as a great action thriller.

Based on the graphic novel with the same name, V for Vendetta is the story of V (played by the Matrix‘s Hugo Weaving), a masked man with a flair for the dramatic and a quest to bring freedom and liberty back to a totalitarian Britain of the future. His quest leads him to finding Evey Hammond, played by the effortlessly beautiful Natalie Portman. The daughter of political activists, Evey realizes that it is her destiny to be with V on his quest to bring down the government led by High Chancellor Adam Sutler , played by John Hurt.

The film itself is a beautiful opus to libertarianism and a wonderfully stylized spectacle of action and poetry. Hugo Weaving is articulate and dapper as the idealistic V, delivering a very dynamic character through only the use of his voice. Natalie Portman is both victim and vixen as the conflicted but relatable Evey. Her performance is the ying to Weaving’s yang as the two dance through this thought provoking and intensely exhilarating tale. And it is very evident that the Wachowski Brothers, whose claim to fame is The Matrix trilogy, had a hand in this, they produced; the movie is just plain cool. Director James McTeigue, who was the 1st Assistant Director for each of The Matrix flicks and George Lucas’ Star Wars Episode II, steps out from beneath the shadow of other great directors to match this amazing story with some breathtaking visuals, especially during the final fight scenes. It is clear that his tutelage under the Wachowski’s paid off, because his first film is one of the most intriguing and visually stimulating action flicks I have seen in years.

And we all know how these things usually go, a great film turns into a mediocre DVD release. Usually the studio decides to release a skimmed down version of the movie, then hit us later with a 2-Disc Super Special Director’s Cut Edition. Thankfully Warner Brothers did not do that here. V released on DVD with three different editions; a single disc edition, a 2-Disc Special Edition, and a Collector’s Edition that includes a miniature Guy Fawkes mask and 4 movie posters. My personal recommendation is the 2-Disc Special Edition, unless you are a serious movie collectables type. The 2-Disc version delivers the film in all of it’s visual glory on one disc, and enough special features on disc 2 to eat up an entire Saturday afternoon. There are three insightful and well put together features that take you behind the film and show you how the filmmakers created the world of V.

All-in-all this is my top pick for DVD releases thus far in 2006. V for Vendetta is spectacular; easily the best action movie of the year! The Wachowski Brothers obviously put their own touches into this thriller, and it certainly pays off. If you have been yearning for a movie that will absolutely rivet you to your seat, then all you have to do is “Remember, Remember the 5th of November.”

The Wachowski’s hand the reigns over to understudy McTeigue and a terrific cast to deliver the most intelligent, visually poetic film of the year!¬†Buy the right version (2-Disc Special Edition) and you will not only get a great film, but plenty of awe-inspiring special features.

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Neil Miller is the persistently-bearded Publisher of Film School Rejects, Nonfics, and One Perfect Shot. He's also the Executive Producer of the One Perfect Shot TV show (currently streaming on HBO Max) and the co-host of Trial By Content on The Ringer Podcast Network. He can be found on Twitter here: @rejects (He/Him)