The acting was also a cut above. Hugo Weaving was brilliant, imo. It's not easy to convey all that he had to tell us through a costume, but he pulled it off and made it look easy. Natalie Portman was a little flat and unemotional in some of the early scenes, but that might have been a directorial choice, to contrast the scenes that come later (in which she was amazing, by the way). The supporting actors were astoundingly good-- Sinead Cusack and John Hurt especially. There were a couple of places that delivery was so over-the-top that it detracted from my experience, but I actually expected worse. I think the director and actors walked a fine line, and did a great job of it.
Visually, the film was stunning. It really captured that high-contrast, graphic novel feel, and there was a tremendous amount of attention paid to detail. I don't doubt that there are a great many number of lovely little details I didn't catch... which I look forward to finding the next time. It was vibrant, rich and visually very exciting.
The narrative was heavily character-driven instead of plot driven, and it's here that the Wachowski brothers shine. Kudos to them. Here is the storytelling that the Matrix movies missed. It's not meant as deep political commentary or dark drama, but manages to express a bit of both without losing what it's really designed to be-- wonderful entertainment.
There were a few terribly minor continuity things, but if there weren't, I'd have been disappointed ;)
Deeeeelicious. I'll be seeing it again.
As for the controversy... What controversy? It's a movie. If it makes you uncomfortable, perhaps it rings true for you on some level, and that bears further investigation... and perhaps self-examination. I will say that as much as I hate guns, I support our country's right to bear arms for exactly this reason.
See it. Especially if you appreciate the graphic novel art form, but even if you don't. A wonderful
Edited: to add the strikethrough above (because true_nexus reminded me that it isn't actually summer, d'oh!), and to include the rotten tomatoes critique below, which made me want to see it way more than any of the positive reviews did:
"”V” is a gay Shakespeare-soliloquy spurting blowhard with a creepy, but well-groomed, hairdo. He’s also a dancing knife-wielding karate killer. "
-- Victoria Alexander, FILMSINREVIEW.COM
Seriously. How could I possibly resist that?!