Equilibrium

"Weak"

Equilibrium Review


I'll be the first to admit that dismissing any film as a Matrix clone feels like a cop-out. The pioneering thriller powered through theaters three years ago, yet films continue to beg, borrow, and steal their stunt techniques and sleek visual styling from the Wachowski brothers' remarkably innovative work.

While not quite a Matrix replica, writer/director Kurt Wimmer's Equilibrium duplicates too many elements from its sci-fi predecessor to ignore the comparison. The film inhabits a Huxley-inspired fascist future society where emotions are chemically suppressed. World leaders believe it helps prevent global warfare. If love and happiness are sacrificed in the process, so be it.

With gun in hand, Cleric John Preston (Christian Bale) and his team of highly-trained, heavily-armed government soldiers police our society's ability to feel. His partner, Cleric Brandt (Taye Diggs), eventually comes to suspect Preston of skipping his mandatory dosage of the mood-suppressant drug Prozium after an encounter with a "sense offender" (Emily Watson) opens his mind to a world filled with feeling. Such offense is punishable by death, but they have to catch Preston first - a task that proves easier said than done.

Wimmer's flashy gadgets and whirling fight sequences may look cool, but they can't distract from the flawed support structure holding Equilibrium up. Who can live from minute to minute, day to day without feeling at least one emotion? To feel absolutely nothing is to cease to exist. Even the Clerics - the ones policing the populace in the film - experience a range of emotions on screen, from fear to hatred to pride to envy. Wimmer never properly defines "sense offense" or gives us a reason to overlook this error.

Ignore this obvious (yet crucial) blunder and you'll find a few things to appreciate. Using precise, razor-sharp choreography, Wimmer injects a brutally inventive style into this bland, sterile environment. The director lays the symbolism on thick, as people are shot at point blank range through the books that condemn them. Appropriately enough for a movie about suppressing one's senses, there's a ton of senseless violence, punctuated by a bombastic score of Gregorian chants and operatic swishes lifted from The Omen soundtrack.

Then there's Bale, an interesting choice to play Preston. As an actor, he's been emotionless before (American Psycho), and it's safe to assume he'll be emotionless again. He does possess the physical prowess to pull off the daunting action sequences, which have a distinct frenetic quality. His drone of a character just calls to mind Matrix star Keanu Reeves, and the presence of the icy Diggs only makes us think of stony Laurence Fishburne in (you guessed it) The Matrix. Sense a trend? Still, when it comes time for Bale to express emotions convincingly - a key turn in Equilibrium - he's physically incapable to stretch that far as a performer. Perhaps the star is doped up on Prozium in real life. Now that'd be a movie.

You can hear Wimmer give his take on the DVD's commentary track... then hear it again in a joint commentary track with producer Lucas Foster (yeah, we're dying to hear his perspective). Why two commentary tracks from the same person about a film like Equilibrium? Better to ask: Why one?

Nothing's equal in the future.



Equilibrium

Facts and Figures

Run time: 107 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 26th February 2003

Box Office USA: $1.1M

Box Office Worldwide: $5.4M

Budget: $20M

Distributed by: Miramax Films

Production compaines: Blue Tulip Productions, Dimension Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 38%
Fresh: 32 Rotten: 52

IMDB: 7.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as John Preston, as Brandt, as Mary O'Brien, as Dupont, as Errol Partridge, as Seamus, Christian Kahrmann as Officer in Charge, as Father, as Jürgen, John Keogh as Chemist, David Barrash as Evidentiary Storage Officer, Dirk Martens as Gate Guard, Matthew Harbour as Robbie Preston, Maria Pia Calzone as Preston's Wife, Emily Siewert as Lisa Preston

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.