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4.3 out of 5 stars
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4.3 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-10 of 22 reviews(4 star). Show all reviews
on June 17, 2003
Sometimes movies come out as reactions to fads in popular culture. Equilibrium is that kind of movie. It will always be compared to The Matrix, which is fair assessment. Much of the look of the picture seems to pay homage to that film, but its story plays closer to Fahrenheit 451, 1984, and least to me Conquest of the Planet of the Apes.
Sometime after World War III, the world was in Chaos. A man came foreword to restore order; he is Father (Sean Pertwee, The 51st State). He implements a social program in which the population takes a drug that denies them feelings. For feelings are major human flaw. Those who do not take this drug are called `sense offenders.'
So of course in the opening scene we watch as 30 sense offenders get slaughtered and the Mona Lisa get burned. We meet a Cleric, the highest-ranking police official in this society, named John Preston (Christian Bale). He recently lost his wife, who was also `sense offender.' In his own unfeeling we see a man about to crack under the pressure. One morning he misses a dose of his drug and we watch as he begins to feel again.
I'm not sure yet, but I believe much of this film is tongue in cheek. It seems like it was winking back at the audience, begging them to get the joke. The film takes itself so seriously you begin to doubt how serious the film is. I hate to invent a genre but it's almost a Dramatic Spoof.
There are a series of gun battles that are just amazing. Most seem to be done without wires, without bullet time, without computer effects. This is a film that probably had a smaller budget than The Matrix but look just as good. There's this one scene that I won't tell you about, but WOW. The choreography was perfect.
Christian Bale is electric in his role. There is this moment where he's telling a puppy to run away. He has a stone face but a sad vulnerability behind his eyes. It's amazing.
Taye Diggs seems to be smiling his way through the film as John's new partner Brandt. He plays the part perfectly, subtle but with fireworks hiding behind him.
And Emily Watson is just gorgeous, as Mary O'Brien, she has a small role, but it's powerful. When her and John touch for the first time. You feel for the first time.
All in all it was a shame that this film had such a small release in the theatres. It's fun and well worth the hour and 40 minutes you spend with these characters. In a world of unfeeling films, Equilibrium gives unfeeling characters a sense of feeling.
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on November 22, 2011
It's locked only on region A - because I'm tested this Blu-ray on region B and C players. And it have same old transfer with incorrect aspect ratio 1:1,85 (OAR - 2,35). But sound on this disc is very good - DTS-HD MA 5.1 (English) rocks! Overall - 4 out 5 stars for sound and nice steelbook case.
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on June 7, 2003
Did you like the Matrix but feel it had just too much loopiness in it's plotline?
Did you like the book Brave New World, but felt at times it lacked a modernistic approach to action?
Did you ever wish to see those two stories in one.
Okay this movie has that kind of feel. It's basically saying in the Early years of the 21st Century, WWIII happened. Since then the world joined together(what remained of it) and created a society where emotions were outlawed because it was believed that emotions cause war. These emotional criminals are monitored and eraticated by these Gestapo type policemen called Clerics.

So it's like BNW in that it's a society hellbent on one ideal. (BNW=Youth alone EQ=No Emotion) and then one Cleric learns what it is to feel and tries to work his way through it all. While there's some incredible fight scenes (no CGI or Wires mind you. Just pure crazy choreography) it's also got a great deal of feeling to it without all the crypticism of the Matrix.
Christian Bale provides an amazing portrayal of innocence through naivity. And while Taye Diggs belied his part by smirking far too much for an emotionless Cleric, he did play a natural bad guy 'just doing his job.'
All in all despite a fairly basic plotline, and Taye Diggs minor slip ups, this movie provides all that was lacking in Matrix and more.
Tired of Wire Fighting and CGI taking over the job of great choreography blended with great acting? Look no further than Equilibrium.
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on June 2, 2003
Christian Bale, perhaps one of the most overlooked talents in Hollywood today, delivers his best performance yet. As John Preston, the most esteemed "Cleric," a police-like figure whose responsibility it is to hunt down and kill those reisistance fighters who still cling to human emotion and collect relics of human culture in post-World War 3 civilization, Preston belongs to a government which firmly believes that it is our own emitions which threaten to destroy mankind. The logical conclusion is to shut these emotions out, which is acomplished through the administration of a special drug.

I don't want to summarize the plot for you, but being an employee at a major video rental chain, I see a lot of crap. And this movie had the potential to join that crap in the stinking, steaming pile of garbage movies that are produced each year without fail. But something about this picture is different. Anyone who dismisses the blending of martial arts and gunfighting as ridiculous is obviously not a true fan of the genre, since they accept such equally preposterous concepts such as harnessing the powers of three psychic siblings to tell the future of crime before it is comitted in other similar films (not naming any names).
What we have here is a mix of Orwell's 1984 and Bradbury's Farenheit 451, with some Blade Runner and yes, I'm proud to admit, some Matrix-esque slickness thrown in for good measure. The result is pure energy, a film which oozes cool without overtly trying to do so. Hell, even Taye Diggs manages a convincing performance. For that alone this film deserves my rating.
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on June 6, 2003
The Gun-kata in this movie is unbelievable. A very creative piece of imagination I must admit. Bale as Preston character does a good job, and also pulls off the action sequences really well. It could have been so much better if they could have used Sean Bean more in the movie. The costumes and the environments also give the audience a good feel of the cold atmosphere surrounding the new world.
One last word must go to the ending sequence. The ending sequence of this movie was unbelievable. I would say that one would easily be among the best action sequences together with Blade's opening sequence, and The Matrix's scene where Neo and Trinity take on the entire swat team in a hall. I wish it would have been longer.
For sci-fi and action fans, I strongly recommend this movie.
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on June 3, 2003
Don't "Forget the Matrix" as the cover says, but don't miss Equilibrium either. The last comparable B Sci-Fi movie was "Imposter".
Plot: In the future, there is no war and everyone takes a drug to quell their feelings, so everyone lives in a nice orderly society. Stopping your dosage or possessing banned items warrants execution. There is an underground that fights, occasionally blowing up a pharmacuetical facility and our main character gets involved with taking on the society's high cabal. So it's kind of a cross between the movie "1984" and a B version of the Matrix (it is loosely comparable). There could have been more done with Equilibrium than this, but it's a good movie. The fight scenes are cool and at times the acting was very well done, especially on Bale's part. The same rigidity that flowed for the character of "American Psycho" comes back with this non-feeling enforcer who finds humanity and realizes he is a mass-murderer. The story is somewhat empty in that, it's difficult to believe that a whole society could be so brainwashed as to be totally drugged, obedient and willing in the first place to implement such measures, but on the otherhand if I look around these days...
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on June 6, 2003
Forget The Matrix, the action scenes in this movie (done with no wires, bullet time or slow motion) absolutely blows everything else away.
This movie demonstrates how to blend martial arts and gun fighting perfectly.
The story is good, but its the fight scenes (which unfortunately only take up maybe 15 mins of the whole movie) that makes it so great.
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on June 24, 2003
the movie itself have a very powerful and deep meaning to it. It was meant for the audience to think about their feelings that they take for granted. To persude the audience to think in an odd way. to proclaim to that world is not based on what you see or do, but on what you feel.
I have not seen Far...heit 451, so i have no right to make any comparsion, but I have seen the Matrix, and the Matrix Reload. Compared between the two movie, each has it ups and downs. The Matix is very deep and complix, its fights are based on the speed of the character. Because the Neo (the main character) is supernaturally faster than the nake eye can see. the movie gives u a slow motion point of view. On the other hand, John Preston (the main character of Equilibrium) is not superfast,but he is fast. Not too fast, that you need a slow motion point of view, but fast. His accuarties is very...
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on June 19, 2003
to compare this movie to the overhyped matrix, is a injustice.
despitr it'swellian influences, equilibrium stands on it's own as an action sci-fi flick. no cheesy dialogue, but more like comic book noir. the fight scences were the best since the BLADE films. the pacing of the story was slow and a bit dull but so was the matrix.
at least you can identify with bale's character, the ending although predictable. completed the story, thus no need for a sequel. it's the best sci-fi b-movie since the terminator or escape from new york. skip senseless [stuff] like XXX or the borne identitiy and buy this movie.
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on June 7, 2003
To a fan of dystopia literature, this movie is immediately familiar. It's a (rather well done) blend of Kirosawa, The Matrix, and Ira Levin's novel, This Perfect Day. The Levin novel, unfortunately out of print, is wonderful, but doesn't anticipate the gunslinger hero of the late nineties/early naughts.
If you liked this movie, stick around, there'll be more. Check out the early William Gibson novels (especially the original Neuromancer/Count Zero/Mona Lisa Overdrive trilogy and the collection Burning Chrome). For a slightly lighter movie, try Split Second.
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