I loved the comic and it's still way better than the movie, but while the two share many things in common, the big screen version is different enough to make it interesting in its own right. The special effects are top notch, the actors (yes, even Angelina) do a fine job with a supremely silly script, and the whole thing is served up with healthy dollops of black humour which break up the action sequences well. At times it does feel like a mash up of The Matrix, Nightwatch and Fight Club, but then it is a fantasy action movie and they're all a bit like that, aren't they?
I'm a wee bit surprised there wasn't more of an outcry about the film when it came out though, after all it does seem to me to provide a template for any paranoid-schizo to build a delusional fantasy on: God weaves a binary code into bits of material which reveal the names of random strangers who need to be killed. Sounds reasonable to me, I'll grab mum's sewing machine and an automatic weapon and head on over to my school! Yay.
Anyway, the central message isn't really that killing is ace - (although the wizards in charge of choreographing the gun battles and car chases do make it seem pretty exciting) - but that modern life is turning us all into drones and that we need to wake up and take control of our lives - like I said all very Matrix, but an interesting idea nonetheless, especially in a mainstream action flick. Obviously I'll still be heading to the office to sit at my desk and be bored out of my skull when I'm finished up here, but you know, it is nice to be reminded that I could be doing other stuff with my life if I could just be bothered to get round to it. Sigh.
The choice of James McAvoy and Angelina Jolie to play the leads which Millar had originally earmarked for Eminem and Halle Berry was a sound one I think. McAvoy is a top actor who pulls off the journey from nine-stone weakling to buff assassin convincingly. Angelina is, well...Angelina - all permanent pout and stick insect thin but quite good all the same. They have a better chemistry than Berry and Eminem would've (I think). Morgan Freeman plays Morgan Freeman, which he always does a good job of I find. The supporting cast of grotesques are suitably odd and there are a couple of excelent cameos from David O'Hara as McAvoy's dad (ahem) and Terence Stamp as a fellah who makes magic bullets (obv).
All in all a perfectly enjoyable movie adaptation of a comic then. Hardcore fans of the original will obviously be pissed off with the lack of superheroes, but for those of us who don't treat comics as sacred texts there's plenty to enjoy here.