This movie's high rating made me set up an account to review this title. It is cheap, a blatant matrix clone sprinkled with ideas from dystopian novels/movies and poorly acted; Brent Spiner's portrayal of Data in ST:TNG puts everyone into place here. A society without feelings yet everyone displays feelings from the very get go? A score which is an obvious rip-off of The Matrix? Fight scenes which look like a college student's attempt to recreate said title? Countless plot holes, etc. Don't get me wrong, if you're here for the action, able to switch off and just enjoy another b-movie sci-fi flic with a-listed actors then you can't go wrong here. As a standalone attempt though, this soon should be forgotten.
A stupid sci-fi ripoff of "The Matrix" (as the long black coats amply give away). It deserves its lousy 38% rating on RottenTomatoes and, perhaps, deserves less.Just how stupid is this movie? Well . . . :* Consider that the Clerics in the film cannot seem to remember what their title is: Are they "Tetragrammaton Clerics" or "Grammaton Clerics." Bale's character calls himself both. (Is there some difference?)* The whole premise of the film is that having emotions has become illegal and is punishable by death. Hence, everyone must take a drug, Proseum?/Prozium?, in order to stifle any emotions. Yet, EVERYBODY seems to be emoting. People smile, cry, get angry, get excited, show admiration, show surprise, and so forth. None of this apparently counts. Yet, get caught with a bottle of perfume and you are summarily whisked off to "processing"!* In the opening scene, the Clerics arrive to purge an underground cell of emoters. After killing everybody, they discover, hidden under the floor, various paintings, books, and so forth. On top of everything is the Mona Lisa. No, I am not kidding. The. Mona. Lisa. It is real, too (doncha know), because one of the techies checks it out with some fancy device. Question: Does it even matter? Everything is burned, of course. (Too bad it was not a Jackson Pollock!)* Oh, by the way: As Bale and Sean Bean, his Cleric partner are driving away, they talk about leaving -- or, in Bean's case: not leaving -- things for the "evidentiary team". Yet, they burn up anything and everything they find! So, what is the "evidentiary team" supposed to catalogue? Ashes? It makes aboslutely no sense whatsoever.* Of course, being the Future, they have all of these high-tech, futuristic devices. When it came to checking the authenticity of the Mona Lisa above, some guy just pulled out a little device, scanned the painting, and within half a second could tell Cleric Bale that it was real. It is another scenario, however, when Bale wants to check up on whether Cleric Bean has actually checked a book into evidence as he was supposed to. In that case, Bale has to look at a mammoth-sized book in which people have had to scrawl their names in pen and ink.And, then there is:* Bale's acting, which is awful.* Emily Watson, whose right lip keeps twitching upwards when she talks, so that you would think that you were watching Elvis in a wig.* Taye Digges is clearly about five inches shorter than Bale. When he and Bale first meet, he is hunkered down in the driver's seat of their car. He looks like he could barely see over the steering wheel. And, the smiling! I wonder why he was never arrested for a "sense offense" (ugh)?* Whenever the matter of some of the negative consequences of emotion and feeling is brought up (for example, war, murder, rape, hate, racism, etc.), the argument from the "pro-feeling" crowd goes something like: "Well, there are trade-offs." Really?! Even the leader of the Underground admits to Bale's character that there are some who have to sublimate their emotions in order to control and give guidance to those who experience them. In other words, he admits that the anti-emotion crowd has a point, namely, that emotions are dangerous and must be controlled. So, . . . how is he any different from "Father"?And so on and so on . . . There is some compelling camerawork. The fight scenes can be interestingly done, albeit sometimes pretentiously and with unnecessary showiness. The C. G. I. is substandard when compared to something like "The Matrix" which came before.
As in with the book "1984" the city of Libria, a Utopian, totalitarian, structured society / city-state just my be the future of the USA. As we all would hope this civil structure will never come to light, it just may be the future that awaits us all in this great country.For it is the artistic thought, free-will and free press that ignites the hatred and violence that plagues our society today. If the past is any indication for the future of our great society then "Equilibrium" just may be the outcome of our indulgence in the self-absorption and petty differences that we all are slaves to..
Ana Silva (Anaslair)
By now, dystopian societies where people are not allowed to feel for the greater good is no longer a new concept. This movie came out 14 years ago though, so I can only assume it was pretty new back then.Still, having that in mind, it was not very entertaining. Some plot twists made no sense while others were predictable, and there were situations where the main character put himself that there is absolutely no chance he could not get caught in such a society. He was allowed to do those things for much too long, for the sake of the narrative evolving to where it did. Even the new sort of martial art of fighting/shooting was quite beautiful and yet there is no way trained soldiers would just wait in line to be shot like that.Equilibrium presents itself as a blend of Fahrenheit 451 and The Matrix and if you are big on action movies you will probably enjoy it. As I mentioned, some scenes really are capable of dazzling you. However, I do felt the plot could have been polished much, much more and in the end it was just another cool sci-fi, action movie. Extra points for the newness of the concept at the time and Bale's performance, but that's about it.