V

"Very Good"

V Review


Independence Day ripped off the far superior 1983 TV miniseries, V, correctly assuming that the public has only a short-term memory. The pervasive image of flying saucers hovering over every major metropolitan city in the world is undeniably creepy, especially when the visitors are not our friends. V's mice-munching lizards, disguised in human form as soap opera-friendly actors in bright red Nazi uniforms, wore false smiles and were much scarier than any computer generated menace proposed by ID:4.

What we're quick to forget is that TV movies from the early 80s were actually pretty frightening, what with Ronald Reagan threatening to bomb the Russkies and all. The Day After caused many a sleepless night as Jason Robards marched through a nuclear nightmare. While the good guys ultimately score a point for justice at the end of V, much of the film is devoted to the insidious alien plot to corral humans into concentration camps for food. Yum, yum, yum. A few supporting characters get picked off in the first hour or two when they try to prove that "the truth is out there." We're gonna snatch you, and then we're gonna eat you!

Marc Singer and Faye Grant make for credible freedom fighters, playing a news cameraman and doctor, respectively, but it's the aliens who make the deeper impression. Jane Badler's perpetually shrewish Diana was a Lady Macbeth for the space age, and even better was Richard Herd as John, the kind-faced and soft-spoken politician who speaks of peace in his marmalade voice while innocents are being rounded up in Earth's ghetto and natural resources are being plundered. Sly bastard.

Memorable subplots include the teenage girl (Blair Tefkin) who becomes impregnated by a swell looking alien (Peter Nelson), the smug young opportunist (David Packer) who turns traitor in exchange for a snazzy red uniform (and ultimately gets his just desserts, heh heh), and the wise old Holocaust survivor (Leonardo Cimino, in a small but memorable performance) who lets us know, in case we didn't figure it out already, that this is a ham-fisted allegory. Indeed, writer-director Kenneth Johnson had originally planned V as a World War II series, but when the networks balked he simply made them alien invaders. Clever, no?

As cool as V was, there are still a fair share of ridiculous scenes. I could never abide Robert Englund's cutesy alien, much preferring him as Freddy Krueger. V also didn't have the budget to pull off the elaborate final showdown between alien spaceships and gun toting freedom fighters, and there are some truly corny Star Trek moments with Marc Singer running around the alien spacecraft (read: wobbly set) with friendly alien Martin (Frank Ashmore). Nostalgia does strange things to a man, though -- it makes him more forgiving. V remains a surprisingly engrossing affair. (Avoid the sequel and lame TV-series that followed.)



Facts and Figures

Genre: Sci fi/Fantasy

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Daniel H. Blatt, , David J. Latt,

Starring: Buddy Ogün as Buddy Ogün

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Advertisement
Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.