Films that center themselves around an Orwellian plot line are almost doomed. Most can be overly pretentious by making it's audience sit through 2+ hours of preachy nonsense that everyone should already know (V for Vendetta). Others can be stifled in silly action and poor special effects. Still the concept alone is something that strikes a chord in me. The idea of resistance to a totalitarian regime brings out the romantic in me.
'Equilibrium' is one of the two films submitted for review that I've never heard of. I watched the trailer and figured I'd give it a look. It also helps that Joe, the one who asked me to review it, lent me his copy. The film takes place after the fictional third world war where the standing government uses a drug to suppress human emotion therefore wiping out war, greed, etc. Instead of 1984's thought crimes they implement 'sense crimes'. Get it? Yeah. Anyways being a futuristic sci-fi film the powers that be use draconian measures to keep the populace in line.
The premise alone is flawed because almost nothing would get done without emotion. Even the characters that are supposed to be without it display them numerous times. Fear, anger, and laughter are all present amongst them. The action is clearly influenced by 'The Matrix' and various Hong Kong films and you get the feeling you've watched this film before.
Still somehow this movie got it right for me. While most people will look at it and scream that the action looks too much like the already mentioned 'The Matrix' I actually enjoyed the sequences better in Equilibrium. For one I can buy Christian Bale kicking ass far more than I can believe Keanu beating up anyone. The acting is far and above better than the script should allot thanks to a great cast. For all it's flaws the film has style and rises just above being pure corn and for those who like the genre it's worth a rental. What it lacks in originality it makes up for in style.
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"Giggling at the absurdities and inconsistencies is part of the fun. But the talented cast alone will keep you watching, as will the fight scenes." - Eric Harrison