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A movie directed by Kurt Wimmer

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An Entertaining Adrenaline Ride

  • Jul 27, 2008
  • by
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 War Three ravages the Earth and almost obliterates mankind. The few survivors realise that a fourth world war would mean the end of mankind once and for all. The world is taken over by "The Father" and his Tetragrammaton government. The father believes that the cause for WW3 was human feeling and in order to prevent that it must be eradicated. They have created "prozium" which is a medication that prevents feeling. But they must also locate and destroy every piece of art, music and other such items that would cause a human to feel. John Preston is a high ranking Grammaton Cleric and is on the front line when bringing "sense offenders" to justice. The only problem is that one day when accidentally smashing one of his prozium injections, he starts to feel. Feeling is the only thing that makes us human and Preston seeks to destroy the government that is destroying basic humanity.

The Character: John Preston is played by Christian Bale, and I must say the character is portrayed superbly. John Preston is a man who has no emotion and is dedicated to the cause of the Grammaton. He's so dedicated that he even allowed his wife to be executed for being a "sense offender." Preston also executed his partner and friend for being a "sense offender." This goes to show you the ruthlessness of Preston when he believes in his cause. The interesting part of him, however, is when he goes through the transformation of being completely emotionless to feeling things for the very first time.
He begins to dream of his wife, he begins to seek out art and music in the pursuit of emotional stimulation. Seeing him develop and seeing Bale pull it off is what makes this film tremendous.

The Review: When I first started watching this film I thought it would just bore the life out of me and I almost switched it off about 10 minutes in. This is simply due to it starting off as completely emotionless, sure the action's cool but without character emotion you're not getting much more than the odd gun fight. The film truly comes alive with the transformation of Christian Bales character. His acting ability really shines when he has to display a character experiencing emotions for the very first time.
The film is dark and at times haunting at us being reminded that such a totalitarian government could come to fruition in the near future. Until that time comes we have this film to tide us over. The action scenes are really intense and something this film holds unique to what has become quite a cliché sub genre. The supporting cast also do their job in holding their own with such a talented actor.
It's an enjoyable movie all round and I think everyone will enjoy it. It takes a while to get started but once it does it becomes something very special.

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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 . 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, …
review by . March 02, 2005
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 …
About the reviewer
Steven Stewart ()
Ranked #95
Currently studying Law at University, my main interests revolve around Politics. I read quite a lot and love learning about History. Not just the history of a specific time, place and person, but I'm … more
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About this movie


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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