DIRECTOR: James McTeigue
May contain spoilers!
“BOLLOCKS!” This is the standard British insult which is banded about by the stereotypical characters as perceived by our American cousins. Or is this a succinct review of the film?
Alan Moore, more famously known for Watchmen, was the original author of the graphic novel of the same name, which was published between 1982 and ’85 and then later reprinted in full by DC comics, had his name removed during production. The Brothers Wachowski, of The Matrix fame, a seminal film, penned the adaptation and did so without truly understanding the source.
We ended up with a dull, overly bombastic and ponderous take on a much more subversive novel, with stereotypical fascist villains, shown to have taken power by releasing a virus upon the country’s population, rather than the comic’s thesis on the apathetic voters, legitimately electing them.
This is Hollywood does Britain, and as usual, they got it wrong. This is a sci-fi fantasy, where the hero/terrorist dons a Guy Fawkes mask and romantically spreads revolution across the country. But Hugo Weaving‘s ranting, good though he always is, is just boring and overblown. He is a Nutter and not in the good sense. I don’t understand what gives him the right to blow up Parliament for us?
I think that he’s the other side of the same coin; a dictator in his own right. Is this the point? Maybe, but that point is lost when the film is trying to walk the fine line between epic political film-making with an edge, and a major comic book adaptation by the creators of the revolutionary Matrix. Though, the Matrix’s ill-conceived sequels should have served as a warning to us all as to what to expect from this project.
When I first watched this, I thought it was okay, but on repeat viewings it just continues to fall further and further down in my estimation. Boring, contrived, and misconceived. The Brothers Grimm (Wachowski) need to rethink their strategy and their role in the business and they are in no way, shape or form serious film-makers. They have a fantastic and they did have a revolutionary view of cinematography, but as for being deep and meaningful writers… more ponderous and self absorbed than anything else.
N.B. This review was originally published 14th March 2011.