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In a fascist future where all forms of feeling are illegal, a man in
charge of enforcing the law rises to overthrow the system.
Most of the filming used locations in Berlin, due to its unique mixture of fascist and modern architecture. According to the visual effects supervisor Tim McGovern, who worked alongside Kurt Wimmer, the fascist architecture was chosen "to make the individual feel small and insignificant so the government seems more powerful".
I think the architecture and everything is spot on, but something still seems off. The film's aesthetic is alright, sort of like a fascist "Dark City", but the message remains unclear. What are they considering a "feeling"? People still obviously get angry here...
Equilibrium is one of those movies that is undeniably flawed; a film that replicates the storyline of the book 1984, a film that replicates the action scenes from The Matrix, a film that sometimes tries too hard to be dramatic and a film that commonly feels downright cheesy. But Equilibrium is also one of those movies that is undeniably entertaining; a film that holds a slick atmosphere, a film that holds characters developing throughout, a film that displays brilliantly exciting visuals and a film that proudly boasts a fitting soundtrack. Although the flaws were there, I found that the redeeming, quality values of this film stood out a lot more than the flaws of this film which were, although obvious, not too difficult to cope with if you don't pay too much attention to the flaws. Equilibrium is one of those movies where you have to switch off your cynical side (although that's the worst nightmare for us film critics!) and instead listen to your positive side in order to enjoy it, and if you listen to your positive side you will find that there is a lot of enjoyable moments in this film to appreciate. Although there are some dramatic moments that try too hard, there are also a lot of dramatic moments that actually work in this film which captivate your attention and toy around with your emotions. The dramatic moments that work in this movie aren't as good as the scenes you'll watch in Citizen Kane, Schindler's List or Taxi Driver but they are a good effort nonetheless if you take into account the work Kurt Wimmer put into this film. Along with the other redeeming values is a bit of a misunderstood quality to this film called editing: a nice flow is created in this film because of the editing. Overall I found this film to be entertaining and if you adjust your expectations to the right level I think you may even be enthralled.
This is one of the unforgettable movies out there. Good acting, martial arts and story concept. Maybe they did not have enough budget to promote this movie especially during the Matrix series. But nevertheless, this movie has good action. I tried looking for a real gun martial arts out there. Rofl. The martial arts concept is very interesting and believable.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Let's make this quick because I already waste enough time on it.
Forget the old fashion "one-man-fighting-against-dystopia" plot and the silly martial arts. Twists every minute but super predictable.
This movie is weird from the most fundamental level because it never properly defines what is emotion. Those two directly forbidden were angry and love. But what about people's general reaction? The what's-his-name colleague is full of facial expressions, to begin with. Well, then it's my false to think that emotionless means completely indifferent.
What a sorry state of affairs we have when perhaps younger viewers don't know enough about the classics of their genre. This makes it easy for pretentious writers and movie makers to churn out cheap copies of prestigious works by Orwell, Bradury, etc and 'almost' get away with it! Thankfully the box office returns reveal the truth in the final count. The great intelligent stories by acclaimed writers that this moronic near 'parody' tries to rip off deserve respect - but Equilibrium simply offers up a mix of serious plagiarizing and childish special effects. Those who like comics will enjoy this tosh, others will be totally let down. Surprising how IMDb seemed to get this one so wrong - I don't often agree with Rotten Tomatoes but this time they got it right - sign of the times? - the future goes backwards...
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.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
So many movies that depict different versions of what the future may
hold. This one depicts what fascism and oppression truly is, even
better than most documentaries do! I have always enjoyed films and TV
where a hero emerges to free oppressed people and this one did exactly
that. This movie turned me into a fan of Christian Bale. I had never
really had an opinion on him before, neither positive nor negative. But
he was superb in this. This film should have been a blockbuster. Why it
was not is beyond me.
After a World War 3, all forms of emotion, entertainment, and religion are banned and people are executed if they allow themselves to feel. Even pets are illegal since they make people happy. A drug is used every few hours that suppresses human emotion and leads to complete submission to the will of "Father"-- a dictator in full control. After he executes his own partner for reading a book of poetry, Preston (Bale) eventually succumbs to emotion himself. He realizes how important emotion and liberty are and joins the resistance to free the people. He is pleased to learn that his own children have not been using the emotion-suppressing drugs themselves since losing their mother. He eventually kills the dictator and destroys his tools of indoctrination and the people will now be free.
You want to see a world under control of a fascist would look like? Watch this one.
There are a few disturbing scenes, such as the extermination of some dogs (which one is rescued by Bale). People are mercilessly show down for simply desiring freedom. Preston's wife is arrested in front of the two young children.
The action sequences, especially by Christian Bale, are exciting and thrilling. Though a few scenes are slightly slow, it is altogether a great film. This movie should have outdone many movies I have seen in the past 15 years.
What are you waiting for? See it now.
Wow, what a movie. I just saw it on Netflix, after user reviews here caught my curiosity. I don't regret it at all. Quite simply, it is one of the best sci-fi flicks I have had the pleasure of watching, and probably the most underrated in general. The cinematography, the soundtrack, the writing, the action scenes, the performances (albeit not great, but still very good), etc. all fit together perfectly to form what in my opinion is a more-than-excellent film that should have gotten WAY more attention by audiences all over the world. I just regret having watched vastly under-appreciated movies like this and Gattaca so many years after they were released, I'm sure then I would have been blown away by them even more than now. For a movie which has so many characters devoid of feelings, this movie certainly makes me feel a lot of emotions of all kinds! I would recommend it to anyone.
It's difficult to label this a good movie as the screenplay is simplistic, the movie is of adolescent emotionality and the whole story feels simply unrealistic and short-through-the-curve in every manner. It's not that there aren't any good movies in the genre. V for Vendetta is a good example, and closer to the fibre of Equilibrium there's the better movie Gattaca. Of course Sean Bean and Christian Bale act great, as does Emily Watson. Stylization is also sharp and well done. But despite all that, this is in essence a dressed up C-movie in the same league as, for instance, Jupiter Ascending. The movie mainly feels geared to be somewhat of a decrepit action movie which might make adolescent viewers feel tough. For people above thirty and of even minor intelligence, though, three quarters of what is said and done is simply trash. Not my cup of T.
I don't get people sometimes. This film got panned for having the
'silly' gun kata and the boards are flooded with negative posts about
just how daft it all is.
All I can say is that if you are so uptight and so boring that you can't accept a little silliness in not just your life, but in a movie then there is something wrong with you.
Equilibrium is a tremendous film. Stylish, gripping and with a concept that not only borrows of of George Orwell's 1984 but does completely it's own thing with it. The cast is great, the action is super slick and the visuals are sumptuous.
If the film had one flaw I'd say that it was maybe a little too familiar with The Matrix which was an extremely hot property back in 2002 and the obvious comparisons were probably drawn which led to it's poor critical reception.
Don't be fooled though, this is FAR better then both Matrix sequels and is a rip roaring standalone film in it's own right which is both interesting and highly entertaining.
Thoroughly entertaining and thought provoking film!
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