Ebert enjoyed the revolutionary superhero tale of a lone freedom fighter in a fascist future Britain, despite not being able to draw specific analogies between the film’s political message and any corresponding situations in the real world: "The strange thing is I kept feeling it was a sharply pointed political parable but I couldn’t get the parallel going." Despite this apparent ambiguity, Ebert said "it does make incoherence really entertaining."
Equally impressed, Roeper commended the overall performances of Hugo Weaving and Natalie Portman — "she kind of wrestled with her English accent here and there, but it’s a nice performance" — and dismissed the controversy that "Vendetta" glorifies terrorism, noting that anarchist hero V is labeled a terrorist "by someone who’s essentially Hitler, a dictator."
Both Ebert and Roeper drew the quite obvious thematic parallels to "Phantom of the Opera" (V’s masked mentor), "1984" (with John Hurt as Big Brother), and even "Beauty and the Beast" (guess which is which). Both critics were also quite taken with the film.
Ebert celebrated the growing maturity of comic book adaptations, which "are getting more thoughtful and challenging in their stories and after "Batman Begins" and "Spiderman 2", "V For Vendetta" is one of the most intriguing so far."
Roeper agreed: "There are some great brilliant action scenes but this is more thoughtful, darker, and more in the vein of "Batman Begins." And that’s a very good thing."
For Ebert & Roeper’s complete audio review, visit their official site.
"V For Vendetta" comes out this Friday, March 17. Incidentally, it now has a Tomatometer of 77%, with 13 reviews.