James McTeigue's futuristic action thriller, based on Alan Moore and David Lloyd's graphic novel, works well, although at times it can be a bit clumsy and over-preachy. Nevertheless this 2005 release, starring Hugo Weaving, Natalie Portman and John Hurt, shows great promise.
It's set in an Orwellian future where England has purged itself of all "undesirables": homosexuals, terrorists, dissenters and Muslims. The country is repressed, controlled, clamped shut by Chancellor Sutler (Hurt). One man not only thinks differently, he dares to act too. The freedom fighter known as V (Weaving) announces himself by blowing up the Old Bailey. "Gentlemen, I want this terrorist found and I want him to understand what terror really means," rages Sutler.
While the security forces ransack the country in search of V, Evey Hammond (Portman) wonders about the masked man with a fistful of blades who saved her from rape by three "fingermen' (curfew enforcers). Hammond lost her mother and father to the government. As the violence, hatred and suspicion intensifies, Evey questions which side she is really on.
With an uncompromising performance by the impressive Portman, powerful support from Hurt, Weaving, Stephen Fry, Stephen Rea, and some terrific cinematography, it's definitley worth catching.