Jul 3, 2007

Wiwille's movie reviews part 5.

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.

Want to see your favorite film reviewed here? Send me an email or drop a comment.

"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


Miss Ash said...

Hmmm I have too many films on my list thus far and this one sounds kinda "meh" if you ask me. I shant be renting it.

Mattbear said...

Bear with me; you really set me off here.

Oh good lord, I hated this movie. Yes, the action scenes were good...especially the kick-down-the-door-gunkata-strobe-effect scene early on. Yes, the actors were far superior to the writing.

But the writing was the problem. The script was the most inane thing I saw that year. I don't see how it rose above being an almost straight 1984 rip-off (sense crimes instead of thought crimes, Father instead of Big Brother) and Matrix-wannabe (even though, like you, I thought it did some things better than the Matrix). And what was up with the Bale vs. Diggs fight scene? It should have been epic, not 5 seconds long.

This movie is what made me suspect that Ultraviolet was going to suck (same writer/director). And I was right about that, let me tell you what. Although clearly I liked "V for Vendetta" more than you did.

Big Ben said...

That trailer didn't excite me too much. I'll put it on the "watch a bit when its on TV" pile.

patrick said...

gotta respect the originality of Equilibrium's gun-fu... plus there's some admirable underlying meaning to the whole thing

scituate said...

Nice review. I agree, this is fun despite being very derivative. Have you seen The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. My fave film from 2007.