Alan Moore’s original graphic novel, begun in the early ’80s, reshaped the contours of Orwellian nightmare as an indictment of the Thatcher era, though Moore has disassociated himself from this adaptation by the post-‘Matrix’ Wachowski brothers, who somehow persuaded Warner Bros to bankroll a dystopian anti-Bush onslaught where the bomb-toting good guys cherish the banned Koran and the baddies are the government. Still, audiences may not be rushing from the multiplexes to man the barricades just yet. They’ll have to wake up first, because ideological frissons aside, this is a strikingly soporific debut for the Wachowskis’ former assistant. Tantalising set-up in place, it flounders for the next two hours, desperately piling on exposition and flashback before a truly laughable would-be rabble-rousing finale. Decent performances notwithstanding, this is both visually uninspired (the totalitarian iconography looks like ‘1984’ with LCD screens), and ultimately unpersuasive in its posturing radical chic. For all its anti-establishment esprit, it’s more a case of ‘Z for Zzzz’.
Cast and crew