Here's a true story: This evening, I went to see a movie called "Equilibrium." Now normally, I save every movie ticket and throw them in a shoebox filled with precious mementos. On my trip through the parking lot, I pulled out my Zippo and proceeded to burn it. Then proceeded to speed home, so I could take an extremely violent crap. I don't know what was worse; how painful the bowel movement was, or how painful the movie was.
Roger Ebert gave this movie 3 stars out of 4. As soon as I'm done writing this review, I'm going to track him down and force-feed him his review. Laced with Strychnine. I realize you're probably thinking, "Shouldn't the punishment fit the crime?" But frankly, I'm a busy man, and I don't have time for 6 months of chakra torture.
I suppose you're expecting some sort of review of the movie, so I guess I should make an attempt. Then again, if I put as much effort into this review as writer/director Kurt Wimmer put into his screenplay, I could call it a day right now.
"Equilibrium" gives us a society, Libria, which is opiated by a drug known as Librium, a necessity after World War III. The survivors in power decided that it was man's emotion that led to war, and in order to prevent any such future occurrences, they constructed a society based on emotionless. This is aided by the destruction of all art, music, and cultural relics, not to mention 3 doses a day of the aforementioned Librium injection.
Those who forsake the drug are known as "Sense Offenders," and these criminals are tended to by an elite class of soldiers known as Clericks. And by "tended to," I mean "Terminated with extreme prejudice."
Within the first 20 minutes of the film, we've encountered Clerick John Preston, watched him kill his partner for being a sense offender, and discovered his wife was executed for Sense offenses 4 years earlier. But thanks to his Librium doses, he doesn't seem to mind much. Watching this movie, I suddenly wished they made a drug which made horrible movies good.
All is well and good in emotionless Libria, until Preston accidentally knocks a vial of his Librium off the bathroom sink, and doesn't have time to pick up another dose. Suddenly, he is overwhelmed with emotion, and continues to abstain from his medication, leading him to question authority and rebel. And by "rebel," I mean "Terminate with extreme prejudice."
I suppose you're expecting me to say something along the lines of, "At this point, the movie degenerates into a Matrix-wannabe." Unfortunately, the movie was that from the moment Preston and his partner show up to tend to the first lot of sense offenders. Christian Bale was dripping with Keanuosity, from the slicked-back black hair, black garb, and generally emotionless acting ability.
Although one would be hesitant to mention the dullness of his performance, given the fact he was on the drug, he was only on the drug for the first 20 minutes. After that, I would've expected him to suddenly become warm and likeable. Instead, he merely dives into his best Keanu Reeves impersonation and begins dealing with ludicrous amounts of heavily armed soldiers in his attempt to overthrow Libria's regime. And by "dealing with," I mean, "Terminating with extreme prejudice."
During the course of the movie, we are subjected to no less than 6 major gunfight scenes, not a single one of them memorable. The Clericks display incredible superhuman agility and strength, which would be fine if this was the Matrix, but this isn't. It's set in the future, in the real world, and yet we're supposed to digest the idea that humans can jump 20 feet into the air and dodge the bullets of 20 close-range gunman using "statistical probability."
I suppose by now you're thinking to yourself, "This movie sounds awful. I should go see it just for the cheese factor." This is where I warn you that I saw the Transporter and the One, and I enjoyed both on a cheesy action movie level. I feel confident saying this movie makes abysmal blush. Gut-wrenchingly-awful could stand next to this movie and therefore look attractive in comparison. After seeing this movie, ritual seppuku seemed like a fun way to pass the time.
This movie will be the low marks on the resumes of actors and actresses like Christian Bale, Taye Diggs, Sean Bean, and Emily Watson. Kurt Wimmer, whose visuals were forgettable and his screenplay full of clichés and attempts to rip off many other successful movies and books, will hopefully never write a screenplay again. And I sincerely hope the entire special effects team returns to throwing together low-budget effects for advertising, because Terminator 2 had more believable special effects.
In short: Do not see this movie. Ever. If you see it on movie store shelves, run in the opposite direction screaming. If not for yourself, then at least for the children. Do it for the children.
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