Monday, March 20, 2006

Graeme Jamieson ~ V for Vendetta

V for Vendetta lacks any singular element of élan and, for me, it seems to be as flavourless, overrated, and set on sand, as its source material was, back in '83.

Before I tear in, let me begin by saying that I sincerely believe the Wachowski's simply can't write charismatic scripts. It seems that, somewhere along the road between Whitney M. Young Magnet High in Illinois, and the heady heights of an audience with 'The Architect' insisting 'Zion' was already five-times destroyed, they bypassed their Curie Point, and became artistically null and void.

For a moment, lets forget their next trick, and remember that for their last flick, they refused to do any press, interviews, or photo-ops whatsoever, insisting that 'the material' must speak for itself. Well, I'd advance a theory that it spoke volumes for 'the gimmies', and made these small men susceptible to complex, Napoleonic allegations of being greedy, self-abased elves, doing a pseudo ladder-shimmy.

I'd reason that it offers a retrospective ray of light for why they've chosen to now make an entire picture around an incuriously expressionless hero, while adding a salty insult to a stinging injury, by wasting the collective talents of Hurt, Graves, Biddle and Mazzotti. Sure, wearing a full facemask peels eyes over pulped pages, but on-screen it made 'V' oh-so-resistible, and for that you have to shoulder arms' blame onto those schnook sibling sages.

You would think that a comic book caper would fit right into their overuse of overhead shots, particularly given that trenchmate James Matrix McTeigue directed again here, but it takes more than a signature storyboard gimmick to hit the limit and break the skin that quickly formed over the top of this not-so-hot soupy shizit.

Further, for a screenplay with such dusty dialogue, it's doubly disappointing to say that neither the effects, the sound, the furious fantasy, or even the au courant arc save the day.

Less than intriguingly, the Wack Bros. have also written what is reckoned to be one of "the best unproduced films ever," at least according to Empire anyway. It's called Carnivore, and it remains frozen in their digital domain, somewhere between the cutting room floor and where the rain gets in by the bottom shelf. Perhaps art imitated life, and it ate itself?

Graeme Jamieson


Anonymous said...

The Brothers W didn't choose now to make the film, they've been trying to make the film since the early `90s. It's a fact conveniently forgotten by those who view the film as solely an attack on the Bush administration.

Oh, and Carnivore is a decent script, though not one of the "best unproduced screenplays ever". For that honor I would probably nominate Andy Kaufman's The Tony Clifton Story or the Roger Rabbit sequel Toon Platoon...

Graeme Jamieson said...

I didn't think it had anything to do with the Bush administration. It has somethings to do with the British Prime Minister, yes, but despite our man's oft-reported mountebankery, he's not actually a card-carry Republican, ya know. Neither, for that matter, is Blair a first-terming Thatcherite with little opposition. Whatever, the dystopian original had a darker agitprop disposition, while I can only wince at what they'd have done were this a 90s mission.