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Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

V for Vendetta (2006)
(2020 4K Ultra HD)


Starring: Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving, Stephen Rea, Stephen Fry and John Hurt
Distributor: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment


Certificate: 15
Release Date: 02 November 2020

Against a backdrop of a future totalitarian Britain, a young woman called Evey has her whole interpretation of society changed when she is rescued from thugs by a charismatic vigilante wearing a stylish Guy Fawkes mask. Known only as “V” the figure is viewed by the establishment as a terrorist, but V is a freedom fighter skilled in the art of combat and deception, who detonates London landmarks and takes over the government-controlled airwaves. As Evey learns more about herself she also discovers there are multi-facets to her new companion...

Let me say from the outset that V For Vendetta is a genuine classic. Like synergy, all the planets are in alignment for this one. This is a movie that can never be experienced again for the first time. As obvious as this sounds, I mean it can never have as profound an effect on the viewer on subsequent revisits. That doesn’t mean you won’t want to re-run the movie. Believe me, you will! This is a film which has everything. There is mystery, action, intrigue, love, politics, deception and truth. This is essentially about people, belief and being true to ourselves. It teaches us that we are the future – not governments, societies, establishments and symbols of power. More definitively, the film has ‘heart’. It’s ultimately a feelgood concept, too; the age-old fight against oppression, but told in an exciting and refreshing way.

There hasn’t been too many stories – either documentary or dramatic in content – depicting Guy Fawkes. The film opens with a scene depicting his capture and public hanging at the time of the infamous Gunpowder Plot to blow-up the Houses of Parliament. Although the film proper is set in a fictitious future Britain, our anti-hero utilises a costume and very striking mask to portray the essence of Fawkes, representing a fight against corruption. It is not giving too much away to reveal that the face behind the mask is never unveiled, though there are clues as to what he may have looked like many years before. This is very clever, as we all accept that the unknown is far more frightening or intriguing. Once something or somebody is seen and understood, it loses much of its power. V himself is articulate and literate, quoting not only the ‘Remember, Remember the 5th of November’ rhyme, but relevant Shakespeare and the odd bit of French (for some reason).

There is a veritable plethora of notable British actors on show here. Aside from the peerless John Hurt, there is Natalie Portman, Tim Pigott-Smith, Stephen Fry, Hugo Weaving, Stephen Rea, and many others spotted in cameo roles. It is good to see Roger Allam (Endeavour’s Inspector Thursday) and Ben Miles from the excellent sitcom Coupling, too. V For Vendetta is based on the outstanding graphic novel written by Alan Moore, illustrated by David Lloyd and published by Vertigo/DC Comics. The film was written and produced by the Wachowskis, who made The Matrix trilogy, and directed by James McTeigue.

This set contains a 4K Ultra HD and High Dynamic Range version of the film for the first time. Being that a new scan has been produced using the original film negatives, the picture looks fantastic – crystal clear and sharp, with a wider colour spectrum allowing deeper shades to be clearer. For those who have the appropriate speaker systems, the disc features a Dolby Atmos soundtrack. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the soundtrack without that equipment, but you will need a 4K TV and a 4K player – essential, I think, for the seasoned film buff. New special features on this disc include V For Vendetta Unmasked (a Behind-the-Scenes making-of featurette), James McTeigue & Lana Wachowski in Conversation, and Natalie Portman’s Audition.

There is also an HD Blu-ray included in this set, the previously released extras of which are made available again here. They include: Freedom! Forever! – Making V For Vendetta featurette; Designing the Near Future featurette; Remember, Remember – Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot; England Prevails – V For Vendetta and the New Wave in Comics; Cat Power (good surname!) Montage – the song played against images from the film; and an Easter Egg Hidden Bonus of a Saturday Night Live Short. Additionally, there is a Digital Download copy of the movie.

An excellent film, brilliantly presented, and in three formats… How could you go wrong? Take my word for it: Add this to your collection. You won’t be sorry.


Ty Power

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