Godot's Reviews

Godot

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Okay before I jump into this a brief warning: The religion of Ancient Egypt is kinda screwy, the gods and their relationships to each other were often rearranged and much like the Greek pantheon most of them are relatives. Trust me, we'll get into the commonly accepted modern interpretation soon enough.

So our story begins in Egypt centuries before the first human pharaoh. Set, son of Ra, had killed his brother Osiris for various reasons that change with every telling. Sometimes the motive involves Osiris sleeping with Set's wife (who was also one of their sisters, I told you it would be problematic) Nephthys. Sometimes it's because Set believes he's the rightful heir to their father's kingdom, either way Osiris is murdered and there's very little anyone can actually do about it.

Isis (the goddess, but that should be obvious given the context), Osiris and Set's other sister and Osiris's wife, grieved her husband/brother's death. Set takes Osiris's corpse, cuts him into many pieces, and spreads the pieces of Osiris around the entirety of Egypt just to make giving him a proper funeral that much more difficult. Isis with the help of Nephthys scoured all of Egypt to recover the bits and pieces of her husband's corpse. Thoth, Isis and Osiris's other brother, was called upon to heal the wounds and or resurrect the dead god. Anubis, Nephthys and Set's son (or Osiris's son depending on the telling we'll stick with Set though because adding that to it either involves making this a more uncomfortable topic or makes the story take forever), performed his uncle's funerary rites. Osiris is the first pharaoh to be mummified and Anubis becomes the god of mummification. Osiris and Isis's son Horus is positioned to become the new king, depending on the telling Horus either exists before this point or is born after Isis slept with her briefly resurrected husband. For the sake of my sanity, we'll say Horus existed before this point. Horus fights his uncle and wins, exiling Set, and Osiris becomes the god of the afterlife (and death).

I apologize if this retelling of the story made you uncomfortable, I tried to minimize the creepy or problematic parts while staying true to most of the myth. Sometimes it's split into three different segments and the details of each myth make me uncomfortable so I condensed a lot of it. As an explanation of why the afterlife is a thing in Egyptian mythology and how Anubis got his role, I'd give it one star. There's a decent, if Lion King like, story buried somewhere in there but it's kind of muddled in with the absolute garbage fire that is the divine family tree.
 

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Been a while. So mythology time... Because anything else would take a while to type a synopsis with jokes. And we haven't done Norse yet, so let's go Norse.

So our story starts off with Thor and Loki heading off to meet with a Jotun named Utgard-Loki. And yes, this will potentially get confusing just stick with me. So along the way, for no real reason other than the plot demands it, Thor and Loki pick up a boy and a girl. I'd say be careful about the babysitters you select, but if you can't trust the god of thunder and Loki then who can you... Oh wait, Loki. Right. Well if you can't trust Thor then maybe you shouldn't trust anyone.

Tired, hungry, and almost certainly listening to the children complain about being tired and hungry, our hero (and Loki) managed to find a convenient cave. Which turned out to be the glove of a massive Jotun (they aren't all massive, or maybe Loki's just short for his species) by the name of Skrymir. Skrymir kinda snores a lot, it's also late so when Skrymir goes back to sleep Thor is woken up by the snoring and thumps him twice with Mjolnir. Skrymir shakes the first one off and basically compares Thor's strength to an acorn or something falling on his head. The second one wakes Skrymir as well and he compares it to twigs falling from branches. Skrymir then tells Thor and Loki to not be boastful about their accomplishments as Utgard-Loki won't be impressed. Asking a norse god to not be boastful is like asking a cat not to be curious, it just doesn't work ever.

Upon reaching Utgard-Loki, the even more massive Jotun insists that they prove they're worthy of meeting with him. And Loki's first thought is to state he can eat faster than anyone... Because if there's anything Loki lacks it's commonsense and humility. Utgard-Loki basically says "yeah, that's a fine competition. Your opponent will be Logi. Good luck." A table is set and Loki and Logi start eating both at an alarming rate. They meet in the middle, but Loki hadn't eaten the bones. Logi on the other hand had eaten the meat, the dishes, and the table itself... Good to know I should never go out to eat with either of them.

Next the boy basically says something equivalent to "I'm the fastest person I know". Considering you didn't know the gods personally until just yesterday when you and your sister were forced into servitude to Thor, I doubt your speed. Utgard-Loki basically says "fine, you'll race Hugi." Hugi wins by multiple miles. Hugi is basically that one bit from the spongebob episode where everyone got powers from wearing costumes. "Wanna see me run to that mountain and back? Wanna see me do it again?"

Thor challenges Utgard-Loki to a drinking contest and... Well you probably see the pattern at this point. He loses only able to lower the amount in the drinking horn by a slight bit. Thor insists on a redo, so Utgard-Loki challenges Thor to lift his cat. Which Thor attempts to do, but only one paw leaves the ground. Thor, not to have his pride ruined, asks for yet another redo because at this point he's furious and just wants to bash someone's face in. Utgard-Loki chooses an old woman to be Thor's opponent and she beats Thor rather easily, that said Thor is able to put up a fight for a while.

Finally adhering to sacred hospitality, Utgard-Loki allows the hero and children (and yes, Loki too) to stay and party. After the party he escorts them out of his home personally and basically explains that everything Thor had encountered up to that point was a trick. Skrymir was Utgard-Loki in disguise and when Thor thought he was smacking Skrymir with Mjolnir he was actually denting entire mountains. Logi was literally fire, so that's why he was able to eat the table and everything on it. Hulgi was Thought, because light wasn't available that day I guess. The drinking horn was connected to the ocean and while Thor didn't empty the horn he did lower the sea level substantially. The cat was Jormungandr the world serpent and the fact that one paw left the ground is incredibly bad because it means Thor came very close to ending the world. And the old woman was old age.

Thor tries to retaliate, but Utgard-Loki and his palace disappear. Loki clearly knew all of these were illusions, but went along with it because he wanted to watch Thor fail spectacularly at all the tasks. The moral here is don't trust people named Loki... And also maybe blindly agreeing to prove yourself isn't the brightest idea.
 

Godot

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It's about high time I stepped outta this little niche I've built for myself. We're gettin' a little bit darker with this one. And I feel like kickin' this off right, so let's get anarchic (that's a joke, I have to say this because the movie is kind of political). Hope you paid attention in history class, because it's time to remember remember the fifth of November. This is gonna get political, and there's really no avoiding that It's kind of a political movie.

We start with ominous music over a monochrome Warner Brother's logo. Moving to DC's logo, ah good old DC comics back before the DCEU was a thing. After the logos have all stopped appearing, we hear a woman's voice recite a poem. This poem, being one of my favorites, goes like this: "Remember, Remember the fifth of November. The Gunpowder Treason and Plot. I know of no reason why the Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot". The narrator, for lack of a better word explains the details. Namely talking about Guy Fawkes and pondering what he was like when he wasn't attempting to blow up parliament. This narration of the nature of ideas and their importance is done as we watch Guy Fawkes get executed.

The narration wraps up and we're treated to the movie's logo. A V contained within a circle, or an upside down anarchy symbol without a line. After the title zooms towards the screen we see a news broadcast, which V is listening to as he puts on his mask. The camera then changes to a different room with the same news broadcast voice over as we see a woman putting on lipstick. The guy on TV continuing to spout British authoritarian propaganda as we continue to watch our protagonists get ready. In fact as the broadcaster keeps speaking, I see some very apt comparisons to be made to the republican party. Namely the fact that this news anchor, if he deserves to be called such, is a homophobic xenophobe talking about how the government he's singing praises of has practically eliminated most of the people he hates. "Unity through faith" As a Texan I can say that sounds like the type of thing I'd expect to hear from the right wing down here.

And both turn off their TVs in disgust. And Evey is harassed by three men in a dark alley and almost raped until V swoops in to kick the men's collective asses. Oh, and V's speaking in alliteration that consists primarily of words using the letter V. Now all that said, V is literally killing all these men so he's clearly not a good guy (even Batman would subdue them non-lethally). Similar to Watchmen, Alan Moore's other comic, the hero is really more of a deconstruction of the very concept. "Who is a form following a function of what and what I am is a man in a mask" Yeah we get that, asshole, geez it's like fictional Brits tend to be snarky or something. V's... For lack of a better term eloquent vocabulary can be a little frustrating if you're trying to follow whatever he's saying.

V takes Evey to a roof top so she can witness his "live performance"... It's the 1812 overture blaring over the speakers the corrupt government has placed throughout London. And the percussion is explosions, Michael Bay and Tchaikovsky would both be proud. And V's cackling like a madman the entire time, seriously he's not a hero (if you're blowing up buildings, you forfeit whatever right you had to be called a hero). We cut afterward to the head of this authoritarian regime talking to his advisers/lackeys about the thing V just did. We also get some of the names of these guys. The guy in power is Sutler, because what's subtlety? His lackeys are Finch, Creedy, Dascombe, Heyer, and a guy who's barely in the movie at all.

Orwell's influence is felt in this film and I can only imagine it was just as present in the graphic novel. We see that Evey's job is working as an intern at the news corporation and we know her bosses are corrupt and working directly for Sutler. We cut to Finch showing pictures of V to another guy. And then switch back to Evey carrying coffee and tea for her bosses. Dietrich, one of Evey's bosses and arguably the most likable character in this film, is a TV host. We cut from Evey with benevolent boss Dietrich to Finch finding out Evey's identity and where she works. Then we cut right back to Evey bringing a cart of strange packages to one of her other bosses. These packages contain masks and robes that look remarkably like V's.

Finch explains Evey's backstory as he and his employee drive to her place of business. We cut yet again and see V walking into the studio headquarters to reveal he's got a bomb strapped to his chest... V causes chaos, Finch and his employee find Evey, and we get a chase sequence. V has hijacked the network and is now broadcasting a dvd he made beforehand to all TVs in London. Okay, I'm expecting more than digital terrorism from V. Okay, he's using the smoke machines. V has also put those costumes on hostages,at least one of whom end up getting shot to death by the police force.

Dascombe sets to work defusing V's bomb with is now on top of the computer. While V has managed to trick police officers into believing another hostage was him. Once they've removed the hostage's mask, V strikes and there's no way any of these cops are surviving. With Finch no longer leading him around for the time being, Stone (I'm using last names for the sake of consistency aside from our protagonists) corners V and gets maced by Evey. He manages to knock Evey out, but V knocks him out immediately after that.

Evey wakes up in a room filled with books. V's hideout looks very dungeon-y or like he set up shop in a museum. V explains why he chose to bring Evey to the hideout and honestly it does make sense, if the government wants her dead she's safer where she can't be found. Though that doesn't excuse V's wanton murdering up to this point. Evey is understandably pissed off about her situation, especially when V mentions that she'll have to stay in the hideout for a year. Guy's got an obsession with the fifth of November, and while you could try to reason with him, he gives no fawkes. We cut to Stone and Finch talking about Evey's activist parents and her brother.

Cut back to V, now making breakfast. Through the ensuing conversation with Evey, we learn that V is as cultured as he is insane and we learn a little more about Evey's past and that Evey is also very cultured. "People shouldn't be afraid of their governments, governments should be afraid of their people" Yes and no. People have the power to change governments through rebellion yes, but that comes at a great cost and is only ever a last resort even the Glorious Revolution was a last resort. V waxes philosophical and then we cut to the news anchor from the opening who is so full of himself that he's watching himself on TV. We didn't catch his name earlier, at least I don't think we did, but this jerk is Prothero. And he is about to die very soon because V broke into his penthouse. Before V kills him we learn his name proper (I could have waited, but why wait?) and that they have some connection to each other. You could say V is seeking vengeance on Prothero and his ilk, or you could be use the title of the movie and say V has a vendetta but that's not as fun.

Ghost of christma... V, stick to one theme would ya I don't need to flit through Dickens references here too! Oh joy, he pulled a trick out of the joker's book and is now leaving calling cards... Which is to say flowers, he's leaving flowers at the scenes of his murders. Because V used Evey's ID to get in, well great if the government didn't want her dead before they certainly do now you masked jerk! His favorite film is The Count of Monte Cristo? Remind me why this pretentious psychopath is our protagonist aside from Alan Moore wanting to make a point. "Violence can be used for good" That's a line I'd accept from Batman, V, not from a mass murderer with a massive body count.

Prothero's death sparked Stone and Finch to do a deep dive into all his dealings a few scenes ago, but they're picking back up on it now. He owned a pharmaceutical company that assisted Sutler's rise to power. He was eventually put in charge of a detention facility, which is where he met V. When they try to get information from the guy who runs that part of the government, they get stonewalled. We cut back to Evey and V to learn more about Evey's past, specifically that she witnessed her parents getting taken away to be killed by the government. Evey agrees to work with V.

We cut back to Stone and Finch who have obtained files and are now searching through them happening to find out about Bishop Lilliman, V's next target, right before we cut to him. The bishop is rather corrupt and judging by his reaction to the mention of Evey being "older than usual" is also a pedophile, draw whatever parallels to the catholic church you want to I'm moving on. Evey initially tries to warn him about V then kicks him in the nards when he both refuses to listen to her and attempts to force himself on her. Then V breaks the door down and kills the ******* while Evey runs.

Creedy and Sutler are now suspicious of their own organization, or at least that's what Creedy tells Finch. Evey runs to Dietrich, because she's come to the realization the V can't be stopped. Dietrich says something about how if his house were searched Evey would be the least of his problems and then reveals a room full of things, but the most important is the Koran. Dietrich also reveals to Evey that he is gay. Meanwhile Finch is asking Dr Surridge about poisons and flowers, she asks about V but is basically told they still know nothing. Back at the computer Finch and Stone are trying to figure out what they can but are coming up short on information related to the only doctor V hadn't killed yet.

We cut back to Surridge, and it really should be obvious with how the film's cutting around like this. Surridge opens her safe and then we cut back to Finch and Stone who have put two and two together, albeit a little to late to save anyone. Surridge, knowing that V's here to kill her just has a calm conversation with him. She admits that she's not been able to live with the things she's done. She asks if he's going to kill her now and he explains that he injected a poison into her ten minutes ago. Unlike V's previous targets, she is repentant and actively apologizes before she dies.

Finch has a meeting with Sutler in which Sutler not so subtly suggests that Finch forget everything he's learned from covering this case if he wants to live. We then cut to a flashback narrated by the now deceased Dr Surridge. Surridge's narration explains that they were working on making a virus that could be used as a massive biological weapon. And they were testing on prisoners. The facility blew up on the fifth of November, V was the only surviving victim of the facility's evils. The fact that that bio weapon is responsible for so much death prior to the events of the film is sickening.

We see Finch alone, drinking in silence just after the flashback. Then we cut to Dietrich making breakfast as Evey wakes up. Evey notices similarities between Dietrich's egg cooking and V's. Which Dietrich seems to think is a good chance to make a joke about him and V being one and the same. Evey's not amused. Finch is looking into the articles about the virus and then explains to Stone, while telling him in no uncertain terms that this conversation doesn't leave this room, that he suspects the government might have used the virus against its own citizens. The ballpark estimate given is "almost a hundred thousand people" and is said to be the worst biological attack in English history.

Cutting back to Dietrich and Evey, Dietrich states he's celebrating his latest episode of his show. Which is an incredibly poorly thought out satire of Sutler, i.e. the head of the government that wants Evey dead. Made worse by the fact that Sutler, and the government in general, is listening in on every citizen in London. And a comedic V stand in is also present in the show making a fool of the Sutler impersonator... Dietrich really doesn't understand how poorly authoritarian regimes take criticism. A fact that's demonstrated for us when Dietrich's home is broken into and Dietrich is murdered by Creedy.

Now might be a good time to note we're over half-way through have seen some pretty bad things implied and also large amount of murders on screen. And now we're down several named characters, they're dropping like flies. With Dietrich murdered, Evey tries to make her escape. And gets captured and put in a cell. She's being interrogated by a silhouetted figure. Her head is shaved and she's locked in yet another cell, this time without a table. Eventually she starts getting notes through the mouse hole in her cell which seem like they're from another prisoner. These notes are written by a woman named Valerie.

Valerie mentions having a crush on another girl when she was younger, falling in love with a different girl when she was older. The rest of the biography is told in numerous notes, between each note Evey endures the torture. Valerie states that she was an actress and met and fell in love with a woman named Ruth while working on her first movie. Valerie describes moving in together and how Ruth grew the same roses that V now leaves at crime scenes. The roses stopped being imported due to the many wars that were taking place.

She describes the Norsefire Government's rise to power. How they took Ruth from her, we see that she went through the exact same torture that Evey's experiencing and Valerie even goes so far as to say she'll die here. It turns out V was doing to Evey the same thing that had been done to him and to Valerie and so many others. This torture wasn't done by the government, it was done by the very anarchist that had saved her from those jerks in the alley. This is another point at which I must state that V is beyond redemption. Because as an action this was "Identity Crisis" levels of ****ed up and I desperately want to forget that comic existed.

"You're cruel, you're evil" He's no better than most of the people he's been killing really. If anything Evey's been the real protagonist here, V's just the title character. Evey continues to point out that V isn't as heroic or virtuous as he perceives himself to be and rightly so. The only part of the torture thing that V had not entirely falsified was the notes. Evey finds out in this scene that Valerie was at one point a real person who's last letters were received by V. "I suppose I should thank you" Dammit Evey, the man's a psychopath who literally tortured you just to get his point across. What the hell!

Cutting back to Norsefire for a moment because of a meeting they're having. Most of the members of the Norsefire Government believe V will air drop his next attack on them. Finch has come to the conclusion that V will use a train instead. Finch and Stone find out that Creedy's been running things behind the scenes to the point of the virus being unleashed under his command and all three men who released it were killed to keep that information from spreading. Fortunately they have an informant who spills the beans on how exactly Norsefire came to power and who's actually running the government. It's Creedy and anyone familiar with quotes from this movie knew it already.

Speaking of Creedy, He's gardening when V catches him at knife point and turns on some music so the security team can't hear. When asked what he wants V states he wants Sutler. Which is one way to get a shot at him, I guess. Turns out that informant was V, and I'd say to be careful about verifying his information but Norsefire Government's almost certainly covering it all up. Sutler keeps ranting to his co-conspirators about how V needs to be killed. Not knowing Creedy's plan, of course. We cut around to V's plan being arranged along with V setting up dominoes, I guess even psychopathic vigilantes need something for when they're bored. And everything falls perfectly where V wants it.

Finch is able to make predictions about the outcome of this plan, but it's just a feeling as he put it. We get visual on what he thinks will happen, an absolute massacre. And then we see the dominoes all fall in a V pattern with one last domino that won't topple. Night falls and Finch looks out the window, V wanders into the main room of his hideout to find Evey has kept her promise. "Revolution without dancing is a revolution not worth having" Well, you heard it here first ringing endorsement for Dance Dance Revolution from the psychopath vigilante.

Sutler rants again, V and Evey dance and Evey's about to remove the mask when V asks her to stop. Finch and Stone are driving around discussing the problems with V's plans, how everything could potentially go wrong, and then they reach a tunnel that Finch wants to explore. V reveals he's filled an entire subway train with explosives pointed towards parliament... Look I didn't want to say it earlier but now I must, this Guy Fawkes obsession is unhealthy. Evey attempts to stop V but he insists that he needs to see this through. V meets up with Creedy and demands he uphold his end of the deal. While Sutler keeps speaking on TV, a man with a bag on his head is dragged down the stairs and placed kneeling in front of V. It is in fact Sutler who's head was in the bag. V has Creedy shoot Sutler and then Creedy and his henchmen turn on V. V makes a simple threat, which seems hollow until he proves he can literally kill all Creedy's henchmen before they've reloaded. V manages to kill Creedy, but he's bleeding out and about to die as he walks back to Evey. V dies in Evey's arms, V's body is placed atop the explosives, Finch shows up to stop Evey but is unable to convince her, and citizens of London dressed like V march past the armed guards. The train laden with explosives moves towards parliament with the 1812 Overture playing.

I love this movie, but dear god all the things V does point to him being an anti-villain at the absolute best. Yes, The Norsefire Government is far, far worse but V murdered so many people. Most of his victims just happened to be in the exact wrong place at the wrong time and he's only marginally better than some of the folks he killed. Here at the end I feel it should be mentioned that this is not a negative review, in fact Alan Moore had stated that V was supposed to be more of a villain in the comic so as to question how far one should go to combat fascism. The film plays up V's more heroic side, but I feel that the villainous side of the title character far and away out weighs that. You're supposed to question V's actions and interpret it for yourself, or at least that's Alan Moore's intent. I personally think that V goes several steps too far in the practice of his philosophy and idolizes Guy Fawkes (a man who wasn't in any way the leader of the Gunpowder Plot and almost certainly is in no way a role model) way too much.
 
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