innocent_man: (mentak)
[personal profile] innocent_man
Equilibrium an action psuedo-thinker starring Christan Bale, Taye Diggs, and (briefly) Sean Bean.

In the future, after World War III, emotion is forbidden. It's enforced with multiple daily doses of a drug called Prozium, which suppresses the human emotional response. Naturally, a not-inconsiderable segment of the population says "fuck that for a bag of dicks" and goes rogue. It's up to John Preston (Bale) and his fellow Grammaton Clerics to sort them out.

By "sort them out," here, we mean "gun them down using awesome gun-fu skills." The single best part of this movie is the idea of "gun-kata," a series of gun-fighting stances based on mathematical predictions of where the gunfire is coming from, how to avoid it, and how to shoot fuckers. He's also a master of sword-, hand-, and spiked-gun-butt-fighting. Again, action sequences in the movie are awesome.

The plot...well. It's a compelling idea, but the execution is a little clumsy. Like, the opening raid has the clerics killing people who are hoarding art. One of the things they pull out of the floor is the Mona fucking Lisa. It's just kind of heavy-handed, is all. I'm sure there was a painting that art buffs would have recognized but that wasn't quite so, like, ARRRRRT!

Anyway, Bale misses one dose of the drug, and starts feeling. In fairness, he strongly contemplates shooting up again (after he, like, straight-up murders a bunch of other soldiers to save a puppy - hey, it's a really cute puppy!), but can't bring himself to do it. He's enjoying (reveling in, really) feeling too much. He eventually winds up betraying the state of Libria to assassinate the leader, whereupon the rebels (who up to this point have been completely incompetent, and suddenly get badass) take over, blow up the drug factories. Victory!

A couple of plot holes. You only need to miss a dose before it wears off? And why does the emotionless state of Libria fucking burn people who offend? Surely they must know that feeling isn't something you can help, it's the natural human condition. So why execute people at all? Why not put them back on the drug? Or, if you must kill them, why not humanely shoot them in the head rather than burning them alive? It feels religious (and indeed, there is some talk about "faith" being a virtue, which of course it isn't, but never mind that).

Anyway, the movie is watchable and the action scenes are spiffy, and Sean Bean is compelling as Bale's first partner (Diggs is his replacement, 'cause you know Bean doesn't survive long). I just wish that the script were a little tighter.

My grade: B+
Rewatch value:

Next up: Avengers, muthafucka!

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January 2013

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