HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Batman: The Long Halloween Part One
Salaam Bombay!
Boss Level
My Heart Can't Beat Unless You Tell It To
Edge of the World
PTU
Superdeep
Insignificance
Treasure City
Piccadilly
Parallel
Invasión
Shiva Baby
Flowers of Shanghai
War and Peace
Agony
Merrily We Go to Hell
Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt)
Amusement Park, The
Lemebel
Hands of Orlac, The
Cats
Death has Blue Eyes
Caveat
Kala Azar
Duplicate
Flashback
Gunda
After Love
Earwig and the Witch
Zebra Girl
Skull: The Mask
Vanquish
Bank Job
Drunk Bus
Homewrecker
State Funeral
Army of the Dead
Initiation
Redoubt
   
 
Newest Articles
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
   
 
  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 5465 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: