Alan Moore made quite a stink earlier this year by publicly disassociating himself from the cinematic adaptation of his 1982 graphic novel V for Vendetta, which he assumed – after unpleasant experiences with From Hell and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen – would be bastardized in its translation to the screen. It turns out, however, that the acclaimed author had nothing to fear: Christopher McTeigue’s film is wholly faithful to its anti-Thatcherite source material’s juvenility. Written by those masters of pretentious verbosity, The Wachowski Brothers, McTeigue’s would-be blockbuster is an unbearably talkative affair with virtually nothing sane to say – unless, of course, you think that a thinly veiled allegory which posits America/Britain as a fascist, genocidal Christian dictatorship, the Koran as a symbol of beauty and enlightenment, and terrorists who like to blow up national monuments as intellectual, freedom-loving heroes is in any way, shape or form rational. Worse than its inane political pontifications – or the fact that McTeigue and the Wachowskis seem to believe the claptrap they’re peddling – is that V for Vendetta isn’t even an energetic dystopian nightmare, its two-plus hours little more than a turgid morass of conspiracy theory exposition, concentration camp imagery, and anti-clergy (they’re all pedophiles!) and anti-media (it’s a tool of tyranny!) blather that somehow manages to celebrate the replacement of conformity with more conformity. Oh yes, and it’s also another May-December celluloid romance (after The Professional, Beautiful Girls and Closer) between Natalie Portman (as blossoming radical Evey) and an older, withdrawn gentleman (here Hugo Weaving’s ludicrous V, a Batman-Joker hybrid who wears a Guy Fawkes mask and advocates terror as the solution to terror). One could spend hours dissecting the myriad ways in which this piece of pseudo-insurgent pop art fails – how its visual compositions are lackluster, its pacing is slack, its verbiage is embarrassingly silly, its obligatory bullet-time action sequences are both lame and out-of-place, and its revolutionary worldview is tailor-made for tenth-graders who wear Che Guevara t-shirts – but that would imply that the film is worthy of such close scrutiny. Call it V for Vapid.