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

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Advertisement
Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

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.