YMMV / V for Vendetta

The comic:

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Whether V is really a hero or just a lunatic who would rather screw over the world than be controlled by his government. Alan Moore readily encourages readers to come up with their own interpretation of V. A common complaint about the movie is that it lacks the ambiguity of the original.
  • Crazy Awesome: V is a Knife Nut who speaks philosophically, manages to make the populace of England revolt, hides out in an underground base full of lost cultural items, and wears a Guy Fawkes mask with intentions of making it the face of a revolution.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Yes V is the protagonist but that doesn't really make him a good person. The comic makes very clear that V is just as capable of bastardry as the Dictatorship, even if he has good intentions.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Helen Heyer, who opposes V.
  • Narm: The government leader and blatant Hitler expy is named Adam Susan. Heil Susan! Changing it to "Sutler" in the film seems overwrought, but at least it actually sounds menacing.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Line Art: It was originally released in black and white, and then recolored by a different person. With watercolors. In quasi-impressionistic colors. Without paying attention to the lines.

The movie:

  • Anvilicious: A criticism of the movie is that it is heavy handed with Black and White Morality.
  • Award Snub: Hugo Weaving's amazing performance as V went unnoticed at award shows.
  • Broken Base:
    • Changing the villain's name from 'Susan' to 'Sutler'. Fans of the original comic feel it's Anvilicious, as the new name sounds too much like 'Hitler'. The other side argues that the new name is less heavy-handed if one doesn't know it was changed from 'Susan'. And a villain named Susan could have caused Narm when said out loud.
    • Natalie Portman's English accent. Some found it atrocious and unbelievable. Others felt it was a decent effort.
  • Complete Monster: Unlike the comic book, where the fascist characters are more well rounded, in the film some of them are irredeemable monsters:
    • High Chancellor Adam Sutler is a fascist dictator who rules the UK with an iron fist. After the Three Waters Incident leaves the UK in chaos, Sutler seizes power. After becoming Chancellor, Sutler sends anyone he disapproves of (Muslims, homosexuals, political dissidents) to concentration camps to be killed. Sutler violently cracks down on any sort protest against the regime. Sutler is also a very petty dictator, having a talk show host arrested and killed for mocking him.
    • Peter Creedy is the head of The Finger, Norsefire's Secret Police. Creedy's agents seem to have free range to do almost anything they want, including raping women found violating curfew. Creedy's agents arrest anyone who is deemed a threat to the Norsefire regime. Creedy is something of a sadist, sometimes violently beating some of the political prisoners he arrests. However, the worst thing Creedy has done, is masterminding the aforementioned Three Waters Incident, in which he launches a biological attack on the UK that leaves 80,000 people dead and allows Norsefire to seize power. In the end, Creedy decides to kill Sutler and seize power for himself.
  • Cry for the Devil: V for some. He is shown to be a terrorist and murderer, but the film also explores his Dark and Troubled Past.
  • V, as in the comic, is Crazy Awesome. Doubly so, in fact, in the film, thanks to his introduction.
  • Director Displacement: The film was actually directed by James McTeigue rather than the Wachowskis, though the latter did write and produce the film, and by all indications were very much in creative control throughout production.
  • Ear Worm: "This Vicious Cabaret".
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Finch has a lot of fans especially among readers that aren't entirely convinced of V's virtue.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: One of the first actions of open rebellion and anarchy by the citizens against the Norsefire government is when a Norsefire officer kills a little girl for making a spraypainting of V on a Norsefire Propaganda sign. On August 7th, 2011, London started suffering from a continuous riot by the population over a police officer shooting someone during a dispute.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Rupert Graves and Eddie Marsan play officials within the Norsefire security forces; both of them played Inspector Lestrade in different adaptations of Sherlock Holmes.
  • Jerkass Woobie: V isn't a very nice person but it's hard to blame him given his backstory and the setting he resides in.
  • Magnificent Bastard: V plays everyone like a fiddle until he gets exactly what he wants...and thinks he deserves.
  • Meaningful Name: In addition to sounding a little like "Hitler," "Sutler" is an old word for merchants who sold goods to the military, implying that the dictatorship represents the "military-industrial complex." (This fits in with the fact that the lead villains, including Prothero, the "voice of London," got rich at Big Pharma after the evil experiments were over.)
  • Memetic Mutation: Like you wouldn't believe. From a single Epic Fail Guy comic to the face of worldwide protests. Today, V is the face of Anonymous. Along with the infamous "V" speech. Evidently, Moore is actually quite proud of this fact, but is a little annoyed that it was sparked not so much by his comic as by "the rubbish movie".
  • Misaimed Fandom:
    • Meta-example, as it did this to Guy Fawkes. It's true that Fawkes entered Parliament with honest intentions, but few actually know what those intentions were. He wasn't trying to take down an authoritarian government, but instill a different one (indeed, since the Catholic church strongly believed in the divine right of kings, Guy Fawkes's co-conspirators would most likely have abolished the power parliament had claimed from the crown). He wanted England to move from the Church of England, which was oppressing to the Catholic Church, back to the Catholic Church (which would then have oppressed the Church of England). The history of Catholic oppression in England is still a contentious issue to this day, however, with a lot of Historical Villain Upgrade and Historical Hero Upgrade which should be treated with Rule of Cautious Editing Judgement.
    • The movie has spread the misconception that November 5th, Guy Fawkes Day, honors Guy Fawkes, the plucky rebel, instead of celebrating the fact that England narrowly averted a terrorist attack on the capital. It's like thinking September 11th honors Osama Bin Laden.
      • On top of this, Fawkes wasn't The Mastermind, he was The Brute of the operation and a somewhat incompetent version of that to boot. One of the reasons he was sent to be the triggerman was because he was deemed relatively expendable to the more important conspirators. But then I guess "Robert Catesby Mask" doesn't have the same ring to it....
    • V. Though the film does play the hero angle a bit more straightforward than the comic book, it's still made very clear in the film that V is a terrorist who took his likings of Fawkes' philosophy too far.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
  • Rooting for the Empire: Happens to V himself, thanks to being portrayed as a saint in comparison to the Norsefire government.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/VForVendetta