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Equilibrium - Review

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Buy the DVD Equilibrium

Reviewed by: Max - SimplyScripts Reviewer

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Director: Kurt Wimmer
Writer: Kurt Wimmer
Starring: Christian Bale as John
Emily Watson as O'Brien
Taye Diggs as Brandt

Grade: A

"Equilibrium" is a perfect sci-fi picture. It has enough of everything to satisfy you! An awesome plot, good 3-dimensional characters, cool futuristic eye-candy, and most of all...action! There's very few movies that can pull it off when they stuff so much in there. But this film does an amazing job. You never feel as if they have overstuffed it. It's a film you could watch over and over.

"Equilibrium" takes place in the 21st century. The Third World War has happened. People theorize that the war happened because citizens feel too much. People overreact too much and go crazy. So all of mankind is put on a drug called Prozium. It takes away all of your feelings. Enforcers called Clerics are supposed to execute the people who don't take the drug (called Sense Offenders).

Christian Bale plays a Cleric named John Preston. At the beginning of the film John is at an old home that is housing tons of Sense Offenders. So after they kill all the Offenders they discover a large pile of original paintings under the floor. The only one I recognized was the Mona Lisa. They believe paintings bring feeling so they burn each and every work of art.

One day John accidentally breaks the vile to his morning dose of Prozium. He then skips the rest of his doses for the day. And then the next morning John experiences feeling for the first time. He wakes up and can actually see and feel the sun and the beautiful city. It's hard to understand explain. You have to see it. But it's one of the most beautiful and most touching things I have ever seen on film. Christian Bale, I think, is one of the best actors in Hollywood. He is not used nearly enough in movies today. I wish I could see more of him.

Emily Watson plays Mary O'Brien. She is another Sense Offender John meets. A nice relationship forms between the two. This is probably my favorite subplot. Really affected me. Taye Diggs is also very good as John's partner Brandt. You never actually know where he stood and it made him a real intriguing character. But I think he did smile a little too much for someone who was not supposed to feel anything. And Bale gives his best performance yet. He's really believable and I felt sorry for him. As I said before, he's one of the best actors in Hollywood and he is not used enough.

The action scenes are the best I've seen in a long time. It's like "The Matrix" meets "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon." Really good stuff. The whole film isn't centered around violence like some films. But the action scenes are even more affective since you care so much about the character and have been totally submerged into the story. Just like "The Matrix." It's really fair to compare this film to "The Matrix." Since they both deal with sort of the same thing and the main characters are so captivating.

Overall, "Equilibrium" is a fun and exhilarating thrill ride that doesn't let up until the credits begin to roll. It also is a real touching film too. You really get to see what it would be like when your freedom and feelings are taken. A great sci-fi flick with enough and more to satisfy you.

DVD REVIEW:

Grade: B+

Not a bad DVD. We get scene selections, captions, previews to new films coming out later this year, commentaries, and a very short documentary. The two audio commentary tracks are amazing. The first one, with director Kurt Whimmer, is one of the best commentaries I've ever heard. This dude doesn't shut up. I bet he took like one breath the whole time. He talks about scenes cut from the shooting script, things he would have done better, and why he made it. The second one, with the director and producer is also great. They go deeper into it and I learned some surprising things about the film.

The 4-minute documentary is ok. It has some interviews with the cast and tells you about the film. That's about it. Oh, and when they interviewed Christian Bale, I didn't know he had an English accent. I also loved the preview to the film "Kill Bill" directed by Quentin Tarantino. A great DVD for an magnificent movie.

copyright (c) 2003 Max Colston, used with permission

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