Good and/or bad news for V For Vendetta fans: Reader Ethan Mackin sends along the trailer (Quicktime required) for the Wachowski-approved movie adaptation of Alan Moore's popular comic book, ahem, graphic novel. As always when viewing a trailer, the main impression I get is of the way every trailer manages to look like every other trailer: Where V For Vendetta ends and Aeon Flux begins I have no idea, and I'm confident future generations will develop the technology to do a perfect mashup of the two. (By the way, who's the genius wot decided to dress Aeon Flux in a jumpsuit? Note to producers: If the slumming Oscar-winner you've cast in the lead isn't willing to humiliate herself the way the part requires, then hire a B-lister who will give it her all.)
So my two cents: I'm always happy to see Stephen Rea off the dole, and if they're at all faithful to the source, his character will be the center of the picture, despite Natalie Portman's higher billing. Portman, a thespian I wouldn't believe if she were reading the line "Your name is Tim Cavanaugh," looks as unpersuasive as ever, but it looks like she actually shaved her head rather than putting on a baldness cap, so I'll give her the benefit of the doubt. The action sequences look like the same old shit, but on balance it could be a pip.
Go ahead and hate me, but my real hesitation is with the source book, which I've always thought was the least impressive of Alan Moore's eighties epics. I'm not one of those freakazoids who believes MiracleMan was the real masterpiece, but I even liked that one better than V, which is one of those falsely bold political fantasies: It sets up a situation nobody could ever agree with, then dares to disagree with it. (For my money, "The Bowing Machine" is Moore's real masterpiece.) They could get a great movie out of it by beefing up and sharpening Rea's man-in-the-middle role: Fans will recall (i.e., spoiler alert) that Finch's conversion comes when he drops acid and gets naked in an abandoned concentration camp, and I have no doubt Rea, who did not win the Oscar he deserved, will be up to that challenge.