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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: Oct 12: Equilibrium


Oct 12: Equilibrium

"In a Fascist future where all forms of feeling are illegal, a man in charge of enforcing the law rises to overthrow the system."
Directed by: Kurt Wimmer, Rated: R, 107 minutes

Dark City, The MatrixEquilibrium- all three of these films are similar in style and theme, and you've probably only heard of one of them. While The Matrix blew us all away with great visuals and an incredibly unique story, it overshadowed two other great films that came out within a few years of one another. Dark City actually came first, using large set pieces later recycled in The Matrix. In 2002, Equilibrium took some of what made The Matrix great, and added its own twist, with a heavy 1984 feeling, where Big Brother reigns supreme. This is the fourth or fifth time I've seen this movie and it just gets better and better. 

His eyes follow you... Wait, that makes sense. 

The film follows John Preston (Christian Bale), a cleric in a futuristic society where emotion is kept at bay in hopes of avoiding war and conflict. A cleric in the society is someone that enforces those rules and makes sure that no one feels anything and that any resistance to the government is immediately struck down. In the society, a drug known as Prozium helps control the feelings and emotions of the people and keeps everything in check, just as much as the clerics. When Preston misses his daily dose, he begins to feel things he hasn't felt before and appreciate the beauty in the smallest things. As the only man on the "inside" who has access to practically everything, Preston proves to be an incredibly valuable asset to the growing underground resistance and he must decide whether to join the rebels or continue the job he's done for years. 

This is exactly how I look when I wake up in the middle of the night. 

Equilibrium is one of the first looks we have at seeing Christian Bale as an action star. He's one of the few actors out there you can not only kick ass but bring some talent to the screen as well. He does a fine job in the role of Preston, and seeing his layers slowly peel away as he feels more and more is even more interesting. However, the best part of Equilibrium is the action. The clerics use a technique known as Gun Kata, a style of fighting that blends marksmanship and Kung Fu. Sure, this sounds a little ridiculous, but once you see it on screen, you're immediately sold. Imagine going against someone, where the gun not only adds weight to your hands, but goes off inches from your face and body, bringing a whole new lethality to hand-to-hand combat. Each action sequence is choreographed with such skill you can't help but marvel in it all. Hell, as dangerous as it is, it also looks very fun. It's also worth mentioning that Equilibrium has one of the largest body counts in a movie I have ever seen and the climactic fight towards the end sees plenty of bodies hitting the floor. It's all sorts of awesome.

Oh yeah, did I mention there's mother f**king swords too!? Seriously, why haven't you seen this movie?

With a supporting cast that includes the likes of Sean Bean, Taye Diggs, William Fichtner, Emily Watson, and Angus Macfadyen, Equilibrium gets even better. It's a film I would highly recommend and if you haven't seen it already, I encourage you to go out and find it. It's a very easily forgotten film, coming out in a time when Bale wasn't as popular as he was today and a marketing campaign that too closely resembled The MatrixEquilibrium is a great film on its own and deserves a look, if anything for the action alone. Post-The Dark Knight Trilogy, revisiting an older Christian Bale movie is just as fun as seeing him take on the cowl, and it's always a nice reminder of where he came from. 

The Good:
a solid script that takes familiar themes into new places
The Better:
Christian Bale, Sean Bean, and Taye Diggs all being their awesome selves, bringing their charisma and badass-ness to their roles
The Best:
action sequences that are so awesome and so unique, you can't help but remember it all- and Gun Kata is so damn cool

Overall: 8.2/10


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At October 13, 2012 at 11:14 AM , Blogger Sati. said...

I liked the movie, but for me the concept was so awesome it deserved much better movie than action-filled flick. Sure it was cool to see Bale with a sword, but there were some aspects of the movie that reminded me of Resident Evil, that's not good. One of them was Taye Diggs who really brought the quality of the movie down with his "acting".

At October 13, 2012 at 1:29 PM , Blogger Mavi@filmscope said...

Loved this simple story great acting and totally rewatchable i have seen it about 10 times great background movie...

At October 13, 2012 at 1:42 PM , Blogger Nick said...

I personally like Taye Diggs. Sure he's not the greatest actor, but he has a lot of charisma that makes the worst stuff he does a least decent.

At October 13, 2012 at 1:43 PM , Blogger Nick said...

It's a very re-watchable movie for sure. I watch it whenever it's on TV, so fun.


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