Criminally underrated sci fi/action gem ‘Equilibrium’

Greetings folkses. Supreme Mango Overlord Julien here with Back in Times Thursdays (BITT) where we look at some older movies that are worth a first, second or fiftieth viewing.

For this edition we are look at dystopian sci fi action film Equilibrium (2002). Have you ever seen a movie and wondered “this is pretty good. Why have I never heard about this before?” Well that was my experience when I stumbled upon Equilibrium. 

Repeat after me – I love Big Brother

We have a pre-Batman Christian Bale as John Preston. He is a Grammaton Cleric, an enforcement officer in the city state of Libria where emotions and artistic expression is a capital offence. Citizens suppress their emotions via a drug called Prozium II.

I recall a friend of mine dismissed this movie as a Matrix rip-off and it has also been described by a movie critic as a “mish mash” of other sci fi movies. Firstly the only relation between Equilibrium and Matrix is that they both feature stylised action and there is a lot of black clothing. That’s it.

Kill everybody and done

The action set pieces in this film are superb. Preston utilizes a style called the “gun kata” which  maximises evasion and termination. Is it a transcendent beautiful ballet of bullets.

On the “mish mash” description, while Equilibrium has echoes of Fahrenheit 451 and 1984 it forges its own compelling and intriguing story. Bale is stellar performance as a man torn between duty and encroaching emotions, Emily Watson as a “sense offender” is riveting and Sean Bean gives a poignant, if brief, appearance.

Clean up on aisle 4

It is criminal that more people have not seen this movie. Go find it and watch it!

For my previous BITT on the Guyver movies you can click here. And for more nostalgic movie reviews click the follow link to the right. l8rs.


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