J for Jeff


Just stumbled upon Jeff Wells giving his thoughts on the buzz around V for Vendetta.

The first-anywhere big-media blowjob for Larry and Andy Wachowski’s V for Vendetta (Warner Bros., 3.17) is in the current February issue of Vanity Fair, and has been written by political columnist Michael Wolff, of all people. This London-based political tinderbox of an action film will be screening before long, and I guess it’s about time to dive in. I’m guessing Warner Bros. is feeling fairly nervous about it, which, in my book, makes this grimy-and-desexualized-Natalie Portman-with-a-tennis-ball- haircut flick seem preemptively cool. Wolff, who’s seen it, says the film’s “punch line” is that “some of the world’s most famous towers are blown up — by the good guys.” Talk about running counter to mainstream post-9/11 sentiments, or about a film that seems destined, if not determined, to out-do Fight Club in terms of setting off tremors. I’m not saying this will happen, but if there’s an incendiary political-alarm potential in this film (and I do say “if”), who will be the first journo or essayist to launch an Anita Busch-like “first strike”? V for Vendetta is a big-metaphor flick with some kind of impassioned portrait of violent revolution as a good and heroic thing. The passage that got me is when Wolff invokes and compares it to the gunfire-from-the-rooftops finale of Lindsay Anderson’s If… — the greatest mythological 1960s revolt movie ever made. However good or intriguing or deliberately alarming V for Vendetta turns out to be, I’m presuming right now that all kinds of political horseshit will be part of the process leading to decisions by Warner Bros. publicity about who in the media gets to see it first (or at least early)…just wait. (Yes, yes…I’m aware that James McTeigue is the credited director and I’m sure he’s a consummate pro and knows how to say “cut” and “once more, please” and all that, but we all know he was basically hired to be a flunkie stand-in for the Wachowskis.)