HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Anthem
Lion and the Horse, The
Druids
War of the Wizards
Onward
Doctor Faustus
Spite Marriage
Mask, The
Letter to Jane
Quick Millions
Dream Demon
Max Havelaar
Radioactive
Glastonbury Fayre
All Dogs Go to Heaven
Shoot Out
Da 5 Bloods
Sonatine
Kung Fu Monster
Secret Agent Super Dragon
Saint Frances
Boiling Point
Golden Stallion, The
Dragon Force
Anthropocene: The Human Epoch
Luck of Ginger Coffey, The
Junkers Come Here
Ladius
White, White Day, A
Strong Medicine
Bitter Springs
Centipede Horror
Physical Evidence
Fanny Lye Deliver'd
55 Days at Peking
Alive
Man from Snowy River, The
Inmate #1: The Rise of Danny Trejo
Girl with the Bracelet, The
Monster from a Prehistoric Planet
   
 
Newest Articles
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
   
 
  Equilibrium Emotional Rescue
Year: 2002
Director: Kurt Wimmer
Stars: Christian Bale, Emily Watson, Taye Diggs, Angus MacFadyen, Sean Bean, Sean Pertwee, William Fichtner, David Hemmings, Brian Conley
Genre: Action, Martial Arts, Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 3 votes)
Review: In the near future after WWIII the powers that be decide the only way the human race can survive is by the curbing of all emotions thus quelling man's violent warmongering. To this end all citizens are on a mandatory self administered drug intake, and special police known as Clerics enforce the law and seek out those guilty of 'sense crimes' whilst simultaneously burning anything that could provoke an emotional response such as art or literature. This is the premise of Equilibrium, a low budget comic book style action movie that appeared out of nowhere such was the distinct lack of promotional and marketing materials attached to it.

This movie is basically another in a long line of sci-fi films concerned with an individual fighting against the oppressive system. The plot is familiar to anyone with a passing knowledge of dystopian fiction and whilst it doesn't offer much in the way of new ideas there are a couple of moments when the script goes against the expected conventions of the genre. Equilibrium also has a distinctly impressive visual style complemented by some good action and performances. Christian Bale seen previously in another sci-fi B movie, Reign Of Fire, is convincing as John Preston the top Cleric who has a change of heart after not taking his emotion suppressing drugs. His character follows in the footsteps of other protagonists such as those in Logan's Run and Fahrenheit 451, an upholder of the system who suddenly finds himself on the other side of the status quo when his eyes are opened. The rest of the cast are good with small but important roles for Sean Bean and Emily Watson in an underwritten part. The inclusion of Sean Pertwee as the ruler of this oppressive regime reinforces the fact that this is a truly dystopian society.

Director/Writer Kurt Wimmer presents an impressive vision of the future, going for a style most immediately reminiscent of Metropolis with a future cityscape dominated by tall oppressive buildings and zeppelins flying above a city with a clean sterile ambiance. It has a distinctly fascistic thirties look, a retro futuristic feel which is carried over in the set designs and character costumes - all hard edged, metal greys and blacks, purely functional and convincingly depicting the architecture and attire of an emotionless society. This provides a noticeable contrast to the 'outside world', the ruins of a dead city beyond the walls and the contraband of the freedom fighters which has a very nostalgic quality consisting of old paintings, gramophones etc.

What makes this movie different from the likes of 1984 is the action element. The Clerics are exponents of a firearms based martial art known as 'Gunkata'. Explained in a bit of a heavy handed way - indeed it does feel a little like a grafted on addition to a more traditional American action script - it is basically an excuse for Bale and co to look super cool with two handed gunplay and bone crunching action. This action is well handled aiming for a far less FX driven approach, there is no wirework or bullet time here. Recalling some of the style of John Woo movies, like the classic A Better Tomorrow 2 the set pieces are well choreographed and, unlike a lot of martial arts influenced Hollywood movies the fight scenes are expertly edited. Wimmer also brings his own stylish flourishes to the action. An early scene has John Preston entering a room in total darkness, the action shown to us solely by the flash of his gun muzzles. It is additions like this that mark out Equilibrium from the seen it all before syndrome of many of Hollywood's recent kung fu inspired movies.

Overall Kurt Wimmer's film is pretty entertaining and destined to garner a cult following. It won't change the world and is not the most original film ever made echoing many themes from dystopian literature and cinema and this is the main flaw. Equilibrium is rather too reminiscent of previous movies despite having some of its own touches, and because of this it remains a good but not great film. However it is not as many critics claim a rip-off of The Matrix, imagine Fahrenheit 451 as directed by John Woo, or an anime version of 1984 and you'll be closer to the mark.
Reviewer: Jason Cook

 

This review has been viewed 5001 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
  Hannah Prosser
   

 

Last Updated: