Review: V for VOMITOUS

In honor of Guy Fawkes Day, I thought it apt to reprint my review of  V FOR VENDETTA (2005) starring Hugo Weaving.

This was written during the Bush Administration, not long after the fall of the Twin Towers in New York, back when my opinion of Pharmaceutical Companies was less cynical than now. Reprinted here for the edification and amusement of my cherished readers. 

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I had a chance to see V FOR VENDETTA, starring Hugo Weaving’s voice and Natalie Portman’s bald head. I must say that rarely have I hated a movie so much.

Usually when I say I “hate” a movie, it is in the half-serious half-pompous and utterly frivolous way that, for example, a fan of Green Lantern “hates” Kyle Ryner (who is not the real Green Lantern) or the way that fans of Spiderman “hated” the black costume (until it became a supervillain in its own right). In other words, geeky fans are just having fun by disliking something they know, deep down, is not very serious. Fanboys “hate” things because they are things that insult our intelligence, or they are pious-PC dreck, or they treat our beloved schoolboy comic characters with contempt.

But I was appalled by this movie in a most serious way, appalled with a revulsion I can hardly explain. It did not offend my aesthetic sense, but my moral sense.

I am not saying the movie offended the principles of story-telling, such as by being ugly or boring (it was, of course). I thought the movie offended humanity itself, by acting as an apologist for evil, by glorifying terrorism, by upholding as noble the doctrine of nothingness which forms the empty core of nihilism.

This movie was sick, and it left a stain of moral nastiness lingering in my heart to have seen it. This kind of hate comes when someone insults your moral code in a serious way. The word “blasphemy” is one that both theists and atheists can understand to mean the kind of hate that makes you yearn—if only for a moment—for the Grand Inquisitor to find and ever-so-slowly burn to death whoever desecrates everything you love.

I confess that the strength of my own revulsion surprises me. Usually I hold such things at arm’s length and regard them dispassionately, trying to see what the argument for the other side might be. Here I cannot. The film is an abomination. Can I explain, defend or justify all my furor? I fear not, but let me try.

I will also admit that I also “hated” the movie in a Kyle-Ryner-is-not-Green-Lantern sort of way. Let me deal with the lighthearded hatred first, before I speak of serious hatred.

For those of you who have not seen it, the movie is a semi-unfaithful adaptation of the Alan Moore comic of the same name. Mr. Moore penned a tale of an anarchist fighting a totalitarian system in near-future England. Global catastrophe has ushered in a dictatorship in England, complete with ubiquitous Orwellian observation cameras, secret police, corrupt clergy, gulags in Suffolk, thuggish cops, fearful citizens, and other typical police-state props.

In the mind of this reader, at least, the comic book version was not glorifying bloodshed and anarchy. It did not really take sides. Mr. Moore’s own thoughts and opinions on the issue raised did not intrude on the storyline. The anarchist, a terrorist murder named “V” is hardly a hero, but is, instead, by turns ghoulish, witty, bloodthirsty, kind, kooky and spooky. He does not really stand for anything, and his crimes are as much motivated by personal revenge as any abstract political goal. He is closer in spirit to the Abominable Dr. Phibes than to Robin Hood, a murderer who executes a series of daring and grotesques crimes, meant to terrify only the terrible. The comic was by turns exciting, thought-provoking, bittersweet, horrifying, sad, and tinged with gallows’ humor. Many fans of comics regard it as a classic. It certainly was different, even if not better than, your average funnybook effort. I have not much love for it, and found it memorable more for the crisp draftsmanship of the artist than the self-indulgent arabesques of the writer. It is not bad, but I would not recommend it. But no matter: Mr. Moore’s name is not in any way associated with the movie, and any comparisons between the two, as is typical for film adaptations, leave the movie wanting.

The movie version definitely took sides, and the side it took was that of the sadist terrorist.

Now, if this were merely a movie about a freedom-loving patriot in rebellion against an oppressive dictatorship, I would be a fan.

Even movies where the protagonists are not on the right side of the law, such as Robin Hood or pirate movies or film noir efforts do not necessarily lose my good will, provided the dashing highwayman, or lovable smuggler, or cunning thief, or bold pirate either (1.) stands for some principle I believe in (such as, in the case of Robin Hood, freeing Saxons from Norman oppression – I grant you this is not a very current political issue, but it is one I can believe in) or (2.) the lovable rogue has some other lovable quality (such as, in the case of SPIDERMAN III, the evil Sandman has a mechanically stock motive for being a bad guy—in his case he is the father of Little Nell, who is dying of Stereotype Tearjerker Still-looks-cute Disease. I am fine with that. My literary standards are not exactly stratospheric, here, gang) or (3.) the not-lawful protagonist shows me some eye-candy style kick-ass ninja wire-fu or throws slo-mo daggers through the heads of mooks so that I am not bored. Yes, you heard me. I will watch and enjoy a film with no redeeming social, political or scientific value, nor will I be offended if the protagonist is a scofflaw or criminal, provided he can do a boot-to-the-head ti-kwan-leap backflip as well as Jackie Chan.

Let me add one more. (4.) Even movies where the protagonists are not on the right side of the law, such as Robin Hood or pirate movies the hero will earn my good will if he does not and can not kill or threaten innocent people.

The movie fails on all four counts. Last things first:

Objection 4: The hero threatens the innocent. In the first fight scene, Guy Fawkes seems to adhere to the standard of having a code against killing: he knocks over policemen like ninepins, and no one can draw a gun Guy cannot kung-fu out of his hand with the speed and accuracy of Zorro’s black whip. But by the second scene, Guy Fawkes is leaving vests wired full of dynamite laying about in rooms full of civilian bystanders, and dressing them up in his costume in order to get the police to shoot them—a tactic eerily reminiscent of a parallel scene in DARK KNIGHT, except there it is the Joker, the nihilist criminal lunatic, and not the hero, who is trying to push gagged hostages in costumes into being shot by their friends and saviors. Nothing in the film indicates that the dynamite was faked: a whole building full of people was about to be detonated, but for the cold-blooded bravery of the only heroic character in this mess, that is, the cop.

Objection 3: There is not enough wire-fu in this film. Codename V, while he looks jawdroppingly badass in that Guy Fawkes get-up of his, has only one not-bad fight scene near the opening of the movie, and one stupid fight scene near the end of the movie.

The second fight scene is so stupid and so lacking in motive and logic that not only was my suspension of disbelief unsuspended, it fell to the ground along with the aching jawbone of my incredulity, nay, it was driven below the bedrock as if by a piledriver, and ended up somewhere south of a coal mine shaft. The stupidometer — that most useful device which measures the suckitude of things that suck in sucky movies — not only hit the pin at ten, it pushed past the pin, wrote in the number eleven, pointed at that, quivered, uttered the rite of extreme unction, and burst into flame.

The scene is one where the protagonist in his cool looking Elizabethan get-up confronts the villain when surrounded by as score of armed and trained henchmen, thugs, brutes, goons, gorillas, heavies, and evil cops.

Protagonist announces his plan is to let himself be shot by between 120 and 200 bullets (depending on whether evil cops have revolvers with six shots or automatics with ten) and then, when they have to stop to reload, the announced plan is to waltz in slo-mo between all the trained thugs and killers, stabbing and slicing them all, each and every one, murderizing each man with one and only one blow, grabbing the villain and choking him to death.

So the plan is carried out. Bang bang bang go the bullets. Ding ding ding, Guy Fawkes staggers back but does not fall. Ho hah! Draws his knife. Kills everyone in room. Gallons of fake blood. Villain gasps, “Why don’t you DIE?” and Guy Fawkes smirks, “You cannot kill an idea!”

Oh, he had a thin metal plate hidden under his coat, which might have stopped a .22 or perhaps an angry BB from an air rifle. So you cannot kill an idea that wears body armor, I guess. Good moral for the kiddies.

Good thing none of the twenty or so gunmen shot him in an arm or leg or head or back or shoulder! Good thing that thin metal plate not only stopped all incoming fire, but also negated the kinetic impact of the bullets, which, in the physics of our reality, can break bones and rupture organs even through Kevlar vests. Good thing that not one, I say again, not one of the evil secret police of Evil-land (as England shall be known in her totalitarian future), even when told that Guy Fawkes will wait until they expend all their ammo to kill them, did not shoot five rather than six bullets, or draw a back-up or hold-out revolver, or draw a knife, or anything.

Most stupid of all, of course, Guy Fawkes did not simply, when asked his plan by the villainous villain of villainy, draw and throw a fancy knife into the main bad guy’s skull in what we D&D players call “the first action rank.”

Sorry if I betray my low-caste origins, but, yes, I play Dungeons and Dragons. Imagine, dear reader, you are the 10-level Chaotic Good monk named Guy Fawkes, and you are surrounded by a half circle of Lawful Evil level 1 gunmen confront you during the Boss Battle.

Not five paces away is Chancellor Evillo, Prime Minister of Evil, who, in your past, falsely accused you of being a Bonapartist traitor, imprisoned you for life in the Chateau D’If, and married your fiancée, Mercedes. If that is not enough, he had cruel medical experimentation performed on you, melted your face, ripped off your design for Cortlandt Homes, wiped out your family and your whole home planet in the Mount Pleasant Massacre, and killed your partner, Miles Archer.

The Dungeon Master says, “OK! First action rank! Do you throw your kung-fu plus-5 knife through the head of Chancellor Evillo? Since you are Chaotic Good, and we are using cinematic rules, you get a plus 3 to hit for dressing like Guy Fawkes, another plus 1 for wearing a billowing black cape, another plus 1 for announcing your plans beforehand, and the cleric bless spell adds another plus 1. Since he is THACO tweed jacket middle aged white guy, you have to roll a zero on a twenty-sider to miss. Plus he is flatfooted. You can also get a plus 4 for your strength bonus and plus 2 for Spring Attack.”

You: “No! In order to increase the pointlessness of the dramatic action, I wait for them to shoot me for the next five turns!”

Dungeon Master (dropping his neon-orange Cheetos in a spray of geek powder): “Uh? What? Come again?”

You: “Indeed! Then, once they have fired all their bullets, I will move to attack the two or three mooks on the left, then attack the next two, and so on down the line for all twenty bad guys. I tumble. Since I have Great Cleave, I assume I can kill two men per action rank, or six per turn, and this will allow me to stabify mooks for three full turns of combat while I am severely wounded. This will give the main villain plenty of time to escape, should he chose to turn and run.”

Dungeon Master (rolling dice). “Aha! What is the AC on that thin metal plate hidden in your dickie? Well, it stops every single bullet, so not only are you not knocked from your feet, but you can still move and act at full combat value! (Good thing this game system does not have a hit location chart, or else the mooks would shoot you in the head.) Furthermore, you are somehow, at the same sense and the same time, completely wounded unto death, so that you will bleed and die in less than five minutes screen time. All the mooks are dead. Do you throw a fricking knife into the skull of the Evil Chancellor of Evil?”

You: “Absopositively not! I prefer to pick him up with my severely wounded arms and strangle him to death extremely slowly. It is a free move to drop my ninja knife. Can I roll for a grapple?”

Enough of that. Let us just say that if the fight scene is less realistic that what I and my overweight friends can act out on a tabletop with little painted pewter figurines and a box of dice while playing make-believe we are in flying unicorn land, I would rather we act it out ourselves. Costs less than a movie ticket anyway.

Objection 2: Does the Lovable Rogue have some other lovable quality, such as a sense of humor, or a love interest?

Answer: no. While the movie makers awkwardly tried to insert a love interest between Natalie Portman and Guy Fawkes, even to the point of having her kiss the mouth of his mask, it was awkwardly done. Since there is no hint of such a thing in the original comic, I thought it was tasteless at best, if not an insult to Alan Moore. (Not that I mind insulting Alan Moore, who is a child pornographer ferchrissakes, but to insult his work by reversing his ideas even I recoil from).

Guy Fawkes has some funny, if creepy, lines, but he is not really charismatic or a lovable rogue. What he is, in fact, is a nutcase, and not a lovable nutcase like someone from a zany Robin Williams movie, but a nutcase in a suffers-from-clinical-psychosis, Hannibal-Lecter, kill-him-now sort of way.

I noticed that half way through the movie, I was rooting for the police detective to solve the crime and find the criminal, since some half-unconscious part of my brain had decided that the cop was the good guy and the lunatic murderer was a bad guy. I am sure this was not the movie maker’s intent.

Objection One: Does the Lovable murdering psycho stand for anything?

Well, here we cross over from my Geekish “hating” a movie because it was boring or stupid, and I start to hate a movie because it is an abomination to everything good and sacred in life.

The original Guy Fawkes aimed to blow up Parliament while King James was inside in order to destroy the Protestant government and restore the Catholic Establishment. The foiled plot is recalled every Bonfire Day back in Merry Olde England, when subjects of Her Majesty get to shoot off firecrackers. I suspect that England does not exist any more, since I am sure that the National Institute of Controlled Experimentation does not allow the people of Airstrip One to own firecrackers. Be that as it may, the original Guy Fawkes was a partisan of a particular faction, and he stood for something.

The Founding Fathers of the American Revolution likewise stood for something, the proposition that all men are created equal. The French Revolution stood for something, the Terror. The Russian Revolution stood for something, a boot stamping on a human face forever. The German National Socialist Worker’s Party stood for something, a boot stamping on a human face forever, plus stamping on the Russian Revolution.

Codename V stands for nothing. The principle that governments should fear their people is hardly a political doctrine: the only thing fearful governments do is organize crackdowns. Codename V in the comic stands for something: he is an anarchist, someone who wants to see the world burn because some people like to see the world burn. Codename V in the movie is oddly bland and saccharine compared to that.

The scene where Codename V tortures Evey and has her read a little propaganda article in favor of homosex is in the movie and the comic, and the movie makers kept this in. I was not as annoyed at shallow pro-pervert agitprop in those days, so I cannot tell you if the comic was as bland and predictable as the movie, but since I knew the surprise ending — that Evey’s concentration camp cell is a fake, as she is inside an elaborate stage set orchestrated by Codename V — I just found the whole scene tedious.

However, when, upon discovering that she is both free of her fear of dying, and free of the pretend jail cell, Evey shouts at Guy Fawkes “You are insane! You tortured me!” I suddenly had one of those sharp inversions of perception similar to what had happened in the movie.

Boredom is not torture, but it is often so described. Being subjected to “the Objectification Room” where every normal object is presented as abnormal, and every abnormality (sexual and otherwise) is presented as charming and sympathetic and laudable is not torture, but it is a attempt at brain-washing. Thus, having been tortured and brainwashed by the movie, at this point in the film, it was as if I myself stumbled out of the cell and discovered the guard at the corner was a manikin, and everything I thought was real was fake.

Guy Fawkes, and the film makers, were insane. I do not mean cognitively insane, I mean morally insane. It was as if the conscience was plugged in backward, so that everything abnormal to them looked good, and everything normal to them looked bad. Evey’s discovery of her own inner strength due to her being tortured and reading about a gay person, in the mind of Codename V (and perhaps in the mind of the writers, who can say?) was presented as a type of therapy, harsh but necessary. Only in a modern film would the idea of torturing an innocent girl in order to unlock her inner strength be presented in a sympathetic light, and only by a writer and to an audience that had lost all sense of right and wrong.

In America today, we are having a serious yet acrimonious debate about whether torture and cruel interrogation methods are justified when used against terrorists we hate to gain intelligence possibly to save the lives we love. In the film, the terrorist is using torture and cruel interrogation methods to give intelligence, or, at least, a viewpoint, to someone he loves, in order to steel her against those he hates. See the difference? Torture is bad and meant to do bad to bad people. For Codename V, torture is bad and meant to do good for good people, to make them better.

Torture and terror and fear are here merely a method of re-education: brain-washing to teach virtue. To put it in Marxist terms, Codename V was trying to erase her false consciousness, that set of ideas by which she supported the oppressive exploiter class.

Okay, so that revolted me. Not to worry, because Evey has no other plot function and darn little screen time until the boring climax, which I have in such detail described above. So nothing in particular comes of her epiphany.

To step back for a moment from the real hate we owe to moral depravity to the pretend hate geeks shower on sciffy when it is done badly, during this same scene my disbelief was staggered again when I wondered how much money and time went in to constructing a miniature soundstage of a concentration camp, merely to fool Evey. While the viewer cannot see the face of the various guards and barbers and interrogators Evey faces—they are all filmed from the waist down— nothing in the movie indicates that Evey cannot see them, and if they are wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, you’d think that would be a dead giveaway. In the comic she spots the rat cage where the trained rat is kept who was her only companion in the desperate loneliness of solitary confinement: an almost humorous touch. Since this is absent from the film, the viewer is left wondering where the rat came from.

Then I realized that Guy Fawkes lived in more than Lex Luthorian splendor, with works of art and music worth millions of pounds all around him. At one point, he says he stole it all from the government’s warehouse where “banned” works are stored. That broke my suspension of disbelief as well. Sorry, but it is common enough trope among Leftists to pretend that they are the protectors of Art and High Culture, when in fact their history tells the opposite story. Everything beautiful and sacred is in their crosshairs. An evil nationalist super-patriot xenophobic government in England would booster the art of Shakespeare, not suppress it. Had the ‘Shadow Gallery’ of Guy Fawkes been stocked with Picasso, and Piss Christ, and other ugly works of modern art, that would be something I might have believed an evil totalitarian government would be trying to suppress. To be realistic, Guy Fawkes could have caressed copies of ULYSSES by James Joyce and LADY CHATTERLY’S LOVER, and thundered against the evils of censorship, but then the movie makers might have lost the sympathy of the audience.

Stepping once more into the real hate that real moral depravity earns, let me mention that one work of art singled out for particular reverence was the Koran, which was described as beautiful and poetic, even though right-thinking socialists don’t go in for all the God crapola. Of course, the movie writers probably do not know the difference between the Koran and the writings of David Koresh and hole in their head, but the point of the scene was to tweak the noses of Christians and conservatives, and to give aid and comfort to the enemy in wartime by showing support. Imagine if, during World War II, a sympathetic character was seen possessing a smuggled copy of MEIN KAMPF, which it was death in England to possess, and speaking lovingly about the beauty of some of its passages. “Are you a Nazi?” Evey might ask. “No,” the hero can reply with avuncular condescension, “but its images are beautiful.” Then they can read the passages where Jews are called pigs and homosexuals are condemned as abominations. Oh, no, wait, those passages are not from Hitler, are they?

How a Mohammedan could not be offended by this, I cannot say. (An aside: Flannery O’Conner was once invited to dine with High Literature Panjandrums, who, in those days were all Progressives and heathens. One Panjandrum conceded that the communion wafer was a symbol of the Holy Ghost and a pretty good one, whereupon Flannery made her famous reply, “Well, if it’s a symbol, to hell with it.” I assume any faithful son of the Prophet would feel likewise at this smarmy pat-on-the-head condescension toward his strict, ancient and warlike religion.)

I was seriously revolted again near the end when Guy Fawkes (as desperately wounded by a zillion bullet holes as the Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail after a passage at arms with King Arthur) staggers up to the railroad train loaded with explosives, by which he means to blow up the Parliament building Howard-Rourke-style (or should I say, Mohammed-Atta-style?) At the last minute he announces that he cannot make the decision whether to blow up Parliament or not, since his time is done, and he has not yet ascended unto his father. Instead, the decision rests with Evey.

His explanation for why she, not he, should decide whether to blow up Parliament was not just stupid and nonsensical, it was actually evil in that creepy everything-we-think-is-good-they-hate sort of creepiness that ran through the whole movie. You see, Guy Fawkes explains, or, rather implies, that the mere act of choosing is so sacred, that he cannot chose for anyone who lives longer than he, but rather the people who survive his mad rampage must chose for themselves. Wow. In other words, either Guy was doing all this just for personal vengeance, or he was doing it for no reason, or he did not think it was worth doing unless Evey also thought so, or something.

It reminded me of the atrocious scene at the very end of the third MATRIX movie when Agent Smith asks Neo why he is willing to fight and die for truth, justice, and the American Way. Being a modern hero, Neo is, of course, too cool to regard truth, justice, or liberty as anything but obstacles (if they cross him) or conveniences (if they please him).

Having been philosophically check-mated by the simple question of why a nihilist anarchist fights for anything if his sense of personal sovereignty allows him no room to hold anything as being higher than himself, Neo, in a flourish of trumpets, announces that he chooses to live and die for whatever causes he choose to live and die for simply for no reason whatever, merely because such is his godlike royal whim. BECAUSE I CHOOSE TO!

So thunders the Zarathustra of nihilism. Well, that showed dumb old agent Smith, eh, what? You tell ‘em! Nothing has any value worth fighting for, not your friends, not justice, not freedom, not truth, no your girlfriend who died in your arms with an absurd spike sticking through her and nine yards out the other side, nosireesssir: it is all about YOU baby!

The same ability to erect a Shadow Gallery and the prison soundstage also enabled Guy Fawkes, working by himself, to restore to operating condition an abandoned section of track, parts of which he laid himself. Busy little beaver, ain’t he? I am once again reminded of the elaborate no-expenses spared deathtraps of the Abominable Dr. Phibes.

Meanwhile, aboveground, a crowd all dressed in Guy Fawkes robes and masks (provided by the infinitely wealthy Codename V) accumulates outside the Parliament building. I was hoping they would all get caught in the blast, but no go.

Instead, with Chancellor Evillo dead, and the other evil guy dead, and the Rush Limbaugh character taking graft, and being evil, and being dead, and the Archbishop of Canterbury character being a child molester, and taking graft, and being a coward, and being evil, and being dead, there is no one in the evil government of Evilland (as England is now known) to give the order to open fire. So it is the Tiananmen Square Massacre all over again, except without the Massacre. Good for us.

Meanwhile, belowground, the cop, who is the only good guy in the film, comes across Evey while she is about to throw the switch the send the Bomb-Train on its merry way to blow up the World Trade Center, oops, excuse me, I mean the trainlines in Madrid.

Cop does nothing, no doubt because he has learned that Chancellor Evillo organized the Reichstag fire just to get elected, and the Evil Pharmaceutical Companies of Evil made an obscene profit on it. (That free dig against the Pharmaceutical Companies was just in the movie, not in the comic, if memory serves).

In the moral and mental oxygen-free vacuum of a modern Hollywood movie, of course no one can actually do anything worth doing, so the cop does not shoot the mad bomber girl before she throws the switch, nor does he even step forward and put out his hand and slap her underweight four-foot-three 98 pound body back from the switch. Bombs goes off, but Codename V cleverly organized the explosions so that skyrockets spell out his bat-signal.

Anarchy erupts, rioters kill the Korean greengrocers, and without law and order, the Christians are all slaughtered by the Pakistanis, who form tightly-knit gang and protective groups, and the people go screaming to Napoleon or some other strongman to enforce enough order to make the streets safe to walk. The Americans land troops and try to restore order until a provisional government can be freely elected by the natives.

Oh, no, wait, that is the kind of thing that happens in the real world when anarchy breaks free. In Cloudcuckooland, all that happens is that fireworks go off. Stay off of drugs kids, and impeach Bush! That is the message from this pretentious, silly, poisonous, evil little bit of movietime mind-litter.

Mad bomber girl smiles a vacant smile, which I will here call ‘the Crystalman grin’, and tells the cop that Guy Fawkes was her father, her brother, her family dog, her bar of soap, and every little guy who was ever picked on by a big guy. He is all of us. We are all loony terrorist murderers who dress in billowing black capes and creepily smiling death-masks. I know I am. Everything is nothing and A is not-A. Or at least I think that is the moral message here.

Or maybe the point here is that type of collectivist crap we are always hearing from Cloudcuckooland: Guy Fawkes is anonymous because he represents the Will of the People.

The mad bomber girl and the cop watch the glorious Parliament building, one of the most noble symbols of human freedom mankind has ever produced, go up in smoke, in retaliation for the U.K. suffering what (as best I can tell) was roughly a decade of totalitarian rule under John Hurt.

So, probably about twice the amount of time as the reign of Bloody Mary, and probably about as rough and harsh a rule as Her Majesty’s. Now imagine how you would feel if the Protestant counterpart to Guy Fawkes, in protest against the Marian Persecutions, and in order to prove the point that governments should be afraid of their people, had blown up the Parliament house back then, depriving all generations thereafter of it.

The parochialism of the progressives is remarkable, and this is merely one emblem of it. For people who wring their hands about remote problems of Global Warming not to eventuate for centuries, they show remarkable contempt for future generations, as much, almost, as for past generations.

This is a cognitive impairment, an absence of a time-binding feature in the brain, or, to put the matter more clearly, a sin. The sin rests somewhere between avarice and impiety.

It is always Year Zero in the minds of the revolutionaries, and neither a decent respect for the dead, for the wisdom and legal precedence of our ancestors, nor a prudent concern for the future, nor a love of children, tends to inform the actions of the utopian rebels. “Fa-la-la-la live for today” is one of their mottoes. The credit card and the national debt are their enablers.

Why not blow up a Parliament Building? It is merely something built by dead white males. It is all about you, baby.

Since John Hurt and the other high-ranking members of the 700 Club (or whatever the evil party of evil was called) are all dead, the destruction is entirely pointless—as befits the ending of a paean to nihilism.

And there were countless gratuitous slams against Xtianity.

Watching this movie was almost an exercise in clinical psychopathology. It was like listening to the ramblings of a sociopath who has no ability to form abstract concepts, no willingness to believe in anything or stand for anything, no virtues, nothing he values, who cannot tell right from wrong, who cannot see the difference between helping and torturing a loved one, who cannot tell the difference between people and buildings, who is too shallow to notice anything but the loudest noise in the room or the brightest object, and who has no notion of past or future. It was like watching a movie about Heath Ledger’s Joker in DARK KNIGHT directed by, well, Heath Ledger’s Joker in DARK KNIGHT.

Like SEINFELD, it was a show about nothing.