V For Vendetta (15)

How to lose the gunpowder plot
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The Independent Culture

It's a nice casting coup to have John Hurt in the Big Brother role, given that he played Winston in the Nineteen Eighty-Four film, but his bellowing, puce-faced tyrant doesn't exactly reflect the ingratiating, faux-matey leaders we're saddled with at the moment. And it's difficult to detect much urgently topical satire in a dystopian Britain where Renaissance paintings are banned, real butter is a luxury and people go around saying, "Listen to me, you bleeding sod!" It's all a bit of a muddle. Scripted by the Wachowski brothers, the writer-directors of the Matrix films, V For Vendetta attempts to cram in so much that it gets crowded with flashbacks and digressions, and doesn't have room to breathe. A film that begins with the words "remember, remember" is, in fact, all too easy to forget.