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I think what killed this movie...

...is that there was too much gunplay and not enough martial arts (don't give me that gun-kata crap, either), too much Big Brother and not enough sexy women in PVC*. Plus, Sean Bean gets whacked early in the flick, which is never good. Of course, I'm talking about Equilibrium, starring Christan Bale and Taye Diggs, which came out the year before The Matrix Reloaded. It's a pretty good dystopian movie, reminding me a lot of Ira Levin's similar novel This Perfect Day, which also features a world full of drugged sheeple, but Equilibrium has its own uniquely English Fascist twists.

Christian Bale plays John Preston, a Grammaton Cleric whose job is to enforce the law regarding "sense crimes" in Libria, a post-apocalyptic city-state where the citizens are all required to take Prodium to suppress their emotions, since emotions lead to hate and violence, which leads to war, etc. In practice, anything that stimulates emotion is bad, and one of the things the Clerics do is lead sweeps into the "Hinters" outside the city to seek out and destroy those who reject Father's doped utopia, burning their artworks, souvenirs, music, and even shooting their dogs. The Grammaton Clerics also serve as a KGB for the regime, turning in even their own comrades for sense crimes, which leads to problems for Preston as he becomes increasingly subject to emotion the longer he stays off the Prodium.
There is an Underground, but it's pretty ineffectual and can only manage occasional bombings of the Prodium distribution points...until Preston, whose descent into rebellion begins with an accidental failure to take his morning shot of Prodium, finds them and becomes their greatest weapon.

The movie has a pretty sizable cult following, and certainly deserves to be considered in the same class as The Matrix, Gattaca, and other dystopian flicks. Recommended.

*Yes, Emily Watson is cute, but she doesn't get nearly enough screen time and never dresses in PVC. That's what the servants of the regime get to wear, and neither they nor it are sexy.



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 5th, 2006 03:08 pm (UTC)
*adds to watch list*
Mar. 6th, 2006 05:00 pm (UTC)
You know, I was with this film right up until the end. I dug the idea of the gun-katas and the way it loked was excellent, but when it came to the ending they flinched and went Hollywood. I'd be willing the lay money that wasn't the original ending to the script. It doesn't feel true to the rest of the film.
Mar. 7th, 2006 02:39 am (UTC)
You mean all the swordfighting? Kinda lame, yes. Or do you mean the Resistance blowing all the guards away? I was also hoping to see Taye Diggs' character roped into the Resistance somehow...he was acting way too lively for a Grammaton Cleric.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )



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