Equilibrium Movie Review
By Ryan Parsons | Images property of Dimension Films
I was just recently watching a little Cinemax and
saw a film that I had not seen for at least a year [so not too long]. I
actually own this film and realized that I have never done a review on it;
especially since this movie contains some of my favorite actors and only
witnessed a limited release. The film I am talking about is Equilibrium.
If you have not seen this movie starring Christian Bale, Dominic Purcell,
Sean Bean, Taye Diggs, Angus MacFadyen, and Emily Watson, go to your local
blockbuster [or whatever rental agency you have] and rent this DVD.
I don't know if its Prozium or steroids that he's injecting
An Old Look at Equilibrium
Equilibrium is a Kurt Wimmer film for those who really enjoyed
the original Matrix, as it is a classic story amidst an unknown
future. Another perk is for the Christian Bale fans out there, as he has
almost all of the screen time.
Equilibrium is about a giant city, Libria, under fascist-like rule
after the consequences of World War III [they even sport logos similar to
the nazi symbol]. After the war, man decided that human emotion was too
powerful of a 'thing' and only caused problems like violence and wars that
date back to the times of Alexander. There is only one solution, rid humans
the ability to feel by forcing them to follow a strict time schedule with
a prescription drug called 'Prozium.' Everybody takes the drug, including
With this drug in use there is only one punishable crime left-- 'sense offense.'
People who rebel and go off of the drug are accused and sentenced to death.
When a person goes off the drug, they will join small cells of others who
have also gone off the drug. The 'cells' work together to try to preserve
all the art and film that are being destroyed to protect people from their
own feelings. The cells also plan terrorist strikes against Prozium manufacturing
plants. As, once a plant goes down, the supply of prozium will cease for
a certain period of time. If people are allowed to go off the drug, even
for a day, they will also rebel and cause a mass revolution.
Taye Diggs plays the suspicious 'i love my job' partner
Obviously, the government knows of these risks and trains a special security
force filled with special ops personnel known as 'Clerics.' The head cleric,
John Preston [Christian Bale], loves nothing more than going out, kill sense
offenders, and destroy valuable pieces of art; all in the name of the law.
However, Preston is soon given a wake up call when he discovers that his
partner Cleric, Partridge [Sean Bean], may have stopped using 'Prozium.'
Preston is soon forced to kill Partridge, as he is a 'sense offender.' However,
right before Preston does so, Partridge spouts out a poem by Yeats[something
that is not allowed]. For some reason this poem sticks in Preston's head
after the incident.
A few days later, Preston accidentally knocks over his morning dose and
has to go to 'the clinic' in order to get a replacement. The clinic unfortunately
is closed and Preston is forced to work the day without a dose. Little by
little, feelings begin to seep through on Preston. While at first Cleric
Preston was extremely frightened, he soon learns that he would rather feel
and remain off of the drug. This part of the film is actually one of my
Preston's change from non-emotion to full-emotion is truly awesome in Equilibrium
and Christian Bale plays his role perfectly. Another great aspect that adds
to the effect is the musical score written by Klaus Badelt [a score that
Klaus re-uses in Pirates of the Caribbean]. About one-third of
the movie is all about Cleric Preston's change from a non-emotional bad
guy to a good guy. There are more than a few occasions where we find Preston
extremely conflicted as he now has emotions he finds hard to control. A
great example of this is when the clerics discover a kennel of puppies [a
sense offense] and begin immediately exterminating them. Preston's reaction
to each gun shot is riveting, and his ultimate response makes you truly
feel for his character. During the extermination, one of the puppies gets
free and runs straight to Preston. Preston first does not know how to feel
about the puppy, but soon finds deep sympathy for it; causing him to make
up excuses on why they should allow some of the puppies to live. Does he
succeed? Watch the movie and find out.
Sean Bean plays a cleric off of the dose.
As Preston gets used to having emotions, he slowly learns that there is
only one solution for society. He must use his training, training that was
meant to enforce the laws, in order to make contact with the 'rebellion'
and lead the fight against the oppressive government.
I personally enjoyed every step to this movie. The characters were well
thought out, each actor [especially Bale] performed beautifully, and the
action scenes were sweet. There are some quick scenes where you can tell
Equilibrium had a smaller budget than the larger blockbusters.
A lot of the cityscapes are done completely with CGI. While the CGI does
not look fake, it could look a tiny bit better. The only other complaint
that I have heard for this film [it is not my own], is the result of one
of the final fight sequences. Even though this scene did not bother me whatsoever,
a few of my friends said it killed the entire movie for them. However, don't
let that frighten you from seeing the film, as the scene has nothing to
do with the overall movie or story.
Final Judgment: Equilibrium is one of those films that I can
watch over and over again. Heck, maybe I'll throw the DVD in tomorrow.
Not only is there tons of cool action scenes, but the story remains full
of depth as it is powered by powerful roles from all participants. The
acting is good, the story is good, the music is good, and Christian Bale
and Sean Bean both star in it. Equilibrium also features its
own fighting style in Gun Kata. What more could I want?
Sources: Images property of Dimension Films
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