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A movie directed by Kurt Wimmer

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Bale Shines

  • Mar 2, 2005
  • by
Up until I saw this film, I knew very little about Christian Bale. My wife told me that he was in a version of "Little Women" sometime ago. I've also seen him with smaller parts in other films.

In "Equilibrium," Bale takes center stage as John Preston, a top cleric in Libria who hunts down "sense offenders." These "sense offenders" range from people who read poetry and novels, study art, or enjoy the occasional musical piece. In other words, anyone who shows any sort of emotion is dealt with swiftly and deadly. Also, if you skip your dosage of Prozium, an emotion dulling drug, you risk facing death.

All of this emotion control is done in hopes to render any ideas of revolution moot. After the third World War, balance is brought about by removing art, music, etc. so that no one gets any crazy ideas. Of course, there are some folks who want to feel. These people, including one fellow cleric, manage to get under the skin of Bale. Bale slowly begins to lose his emotionless nature and begins to cherish things such as rainbows and puppies. He begins to care for human life and worries for the safety of his children. Eventually, he is recruited by the revolutionaries to lead their revolt on "Father," a Big Brother-type who controls what is considered good and what is considered bad.

Bale goes from emotionless puppet to a vengeful, angry man. Though some may find his love of a puppy and the lengths he goes to in order to save its life a tad silly, you have to see the situation through his character's eyes. The best example I can give is when you see a deaf person "hear" for the first time using a hearing aid. They usually begin to cry tears of joy and pain all at the same time. Something very similar occurs to Bale when he hears music for the first time.

Taye Diggs provides a smarty-pants foe to Bale's Preston. Angus McFadyen plays "Father" with sinister flair. Both Emily Watson and Sean Bean have small but significant roles and they put their whole hearts into their respective characters. The rest of the cast is very good, though most of them are simply "sweepers" and revolutionaries who fight violently and often.

The story moves at a steady pace and really picks up when Bale begins to show a little too much emotion around Diggs. The action is brilliant, especially the gun-kata. Others have compared this film to "The Matrix," but I see nothing in "Equilibrium" that wasn't copied by "The Matrix" and vice versa. Let's be honest folks, the whole "Matrix" story and things not being as they seem has been thrown around for centuries. It's all been done before in countless books, plays and films. What it all boils down to is good versus evil and in the end, good prevails. Stop with the comparisons already!

Anyway, watch this film if you really enjoy action-packed sci-fi that is a little bit more intelligent than most of the shoot-em-up sci-fi we are treated to these days. The acting is way better than a lot of other flicks out there these days. The action is fun to watch, and you will actually pull for the good guys in this one.

Highly recommended.

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More Equilibrium (2002) reviews
Quick Tip by . May 31, 2013
posted in Movie Hype
Even though I already posted a review for this extremely overrated shitfest of a movie, I feel like talking about it more.      Equilibrium is one of the worst sci-fi/action movies ever made.  It's an extremely uninspired amalgamation of The Matrix, 1984, and THX 1138.       Plagued with horrendously ridiculous action scenes with ZERO tension in them, painfully corny dialogue and acting, plotholes galore, Lifetime movie-level sentimentality, …
review by . July 04, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
I decided to re-write this review of Equilibrium since I thought my original wasn't that good, so here's a better review.      I'm extremely puzzled as to why this atrocious Kurt Wimmer film has now become a sacrosanct moving picture, to where any criticism on it is met with some of the most vicious down-voting and imbecilic commentary that's only rivaled by really snotty anime fans.  Don't let this movie's jejune fanbase fool you, Equilibrium is …
review by . December 01, 2009
After World War 3, the world decided the only way for humanity to survive is to ban art and emotion. Inhabitants must take their daily "dose" of drugs that prohibit emotions. When John Preston (Christian Bale) drops his "dose," he begins to feel for the first time.      Equilibrium was not a box office hit, however that has not stopped this top ten futuristic action movie from being a cult favorite. That's because in addition to Matrix style fight sequences, …
review by . July 27, 2008
OK, we've seen this type of movie before. The oppressive future governments ruling with violence and without remorse fighting against rebels wanting to be free. Equilibrium does this style of movie so much better. How? I hear you ask. With the help of Christian Bale. My review will be in three different stages. They are the story, the characters (or character) and the review which is just my opinion on the whole thing.    The Story: In the beginning of the 21st century, World …
review by . August 31, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
When action leaped up in mid air and dance like fighting sequences splattered on my screen, the first question I asked myself was "How come I have never heard of this movie before?" It came and went into the movie theaters like a hushed shadow, yet hundreds of outstanding five star reviews prove it was well received and it did not slip by silently.    One can easily assume that Equilibrium is just another action movie, but this hybrid of marital art styles, refined weaponry and …
review by . August 28, 2005
posted in Movie Hype
After telling a friend about Ray Bradbury's FARENHEIT 451, my friend told me about the movie EQUILIBRIUM and suggested that I see it. Upon this recommendation, I watched the movie and was not disappointed.    EQUILIBRIUM is a movie that takes place in the not-so-distant future. After years of war that have wracked and scarred the planet, a new government has taken control and from all appearances things seem at peace. The new government keeps order because all forms of Art: paintings, …
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Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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A broad science fiction thriller in a classic vein,Equilibriumtakes a respectable stab at aFahrenheit 451-like cautionary fable. The story finds Earth's post-World War III humankind in a state of severe emotional repression: If no one feels anything, no one will be inspired by dark passions to attack their neighbors. Writer-director Kurt Wimmer's monochromatic,Metropolis-influenced cityscape provides an excellent backdrop to the heavy-handed mission of John Preston (Christian Bale), a top cop who busts "sense offenders" and crushes sentimental, sensual, and artistic relics from a bygone era. Predictably, Preston becomes intrigued by his victims and that which they die to cherish; he stops taking his mandatory, mood-flattening drug and is even aroused by a doomed prisoner (Emily Watson). Wimmer's wrongheaded martial arts/dueling guns motif is sheer silliness (a battle over a puppy doesn't help), butEquilibriumshould be seen for Bale's moving performance as a man shocked back to human feeling.--Tom Keogh
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