Before I get into this review I had a one major initial beef with this film. For the first 10 minutes of the movie I couldn't see past the emotionless acting. It felt stale, deadpan and in general I just couldn't connect to any of the characters. But then it hit me that is EXACTLY what this film was going for.
You see Equilibrium is a portrayal of a not to distant future where man, in an effort to be more humane to their fellow man, have forsaken all feeling. People walk around alive, but they don't truely live. With an emotion sedating substance known as Prozium fascist leaders, known as Tetragrammaton Council, control the populace. Where the drugs fail to control special soldiers known as Clerics completely destroy all resistance using superior fighting skills with extreme efficiency.
The Tetragrammaton Councils top Cleric John Preston (Christian Bale) has always done his job unrepentingly until he accidentally misses one dose and begins to feel. These feelings will turn his world upside down, and in the process maybe humanity will be human again.
I loved Equilbrium, and have now watched it twice. The action scenes are amazing well done, and have a very similar feel to watching The Matrix, but without CGI as a crutch. Everything is done practically; shootouts, swordplay and fisticuffs all happen in a rapid flurry of camera pans and hard cuts that allow you to experience them instead of just admiring them. And the aforementioned Gunkata wasn't a joke! The martial art of firearms has never looked so damn good, and is just exhilarating to watch!
The acting is a little trickier to rate, as the majority of the characters are meant to be emotionless, and in that respect they do an adequate job. But the ones that do feel such as Preston, Cleric Partridge (Sean Bean) and Emotional Content violators (Such as Emily Watson) are a sharp contrast to the sedated majority. It is in Christian Bale's performance that we see true acting chops as he slowly transforms from apathetic drone into a real person who feels, loves, hates and questions his own existence.
Equilibrium has something for everyone in it. Intense action (I feel is superior to The Matrix) that is just fun to watch. Social commentary on what it means to truely be human and the importance of emotions. Hell, there is even some heavy hitting drama, especially revolving around Preston's relationship with his young son. Oh, and there is a cute puppy ... you know, if you are into that thing.
Do yourself a favor, and check out Equilibrium today! And just in case you don't want to take my word on it here is the trailer:
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