With the video release of one of the most overrated movies of the year, V for Vendetta, libertarians are once again in a tizzy over the excellence and general wonder that is this terribly disappointing tale of resistance against despotism. Imagine Braveheart without heroism or humour, but piles and piles of PC garbage about homosexuality and Islam, and you have an idea of what Vendetta is like. And add to that a tribute to Guy Fawkes that does Fawkes no justice but makes him a puppet for the Brothers Wachowski to make their entirely hum-drum, predictable leftist rant or, as TNR has it, their bank shot against Bush.
Aside from another reason why libertarians should not be taken seriously on cultural questions, I am obliged to recall just how bad the movie itself is. The plot is hard to take seriously. For one, how does the notorious associate of a known terrorist (Evey) go undetected in a society where there is supposedly strict surveillance and control over everything? Then there is the problem of understanding anyone’s motivation (except for that of V, whose motivation is very clearly one of revenge that he dresses up as high-minded principle). There is, of course, the ludicrous world in which Anglican bishops cavort with authoritarian dictators and fascists, which shows the author of the “graphic novel” to know nothing about the spirit of modern Anglicanism and confirms the ignorance of the Brothers Wachowski. Then there is the spontaneous, popular uprising at the end, which is completely unbelievable–how have the stupefied, terrified masses suddenly discovered the inner love of anarchy? Worse than insulting, Vendetta is silly, no worse than many a B action movie but certainly no prize.
I understand the anarcho-capitalist ideological urge to praise a movie that pretends to exalt anarchism, when all it manages to do effectively is glorify violence and mock Christians, and I also understand that this ideological lens blinds our libertarian friends to the sheer mediocrity of the piece. Still, that does not excuse abominably bad aesthetic judgement. Rather than rehash the movie’s flaws, both dramatic and philosophical, I will leave the reader with my previous comments on the film and the general Rockwellian craze to praise and honour the film. Here, in a few posts, are my thoughts on V for Vendetta and related matters.