Equilibrium (2002)


After a global war nearly destroyed the entire human race, a totalitarian government is established for the sole purpose of preventing future wars. The fascist regime blames human emotions for all the bloodshed, thus it has outlawed all forms of feelings. Unbeknownst to his bosses, a government official (Christian Bale, The Dark Knight) begins to question the wisdom behind suppressing emotions. 

Reaction & Thoughts:

“We have created a new arm of the law… whose sole task it is to seek out and eradicate the true source of man’s inhumanity to man: his ability to feel.”

Super-stylysh dystopian hybrid of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 and The Matrix (1999) that, despite its lack of originality, is enormously entertaining. Equilibrium has cool-looking visual effects, invigorating action sequences, marvelous sets and a splendid performance by star Christian Bale.

Equilibrium makes up in panache what it lacks in creativity. While filmmaker Kurt Wimmer, who wrote Sphere (1998) as well as John McTiernan’s The Thomas Crown Affair (1999), offers nothing we haven’t seen before, he has an undeniable knack for visual flair. We get the occasional social critique, but it is the striking imagery that makes this high-octane post-apocalyptic production worth seeing.

Production designer Wolf Kroeger’s (Ladyhawke) sets are stunning, and Dion Beebe’s (Chicago) noirish camerawork is outstanding as well. And, as an animal lover, I was happy to see that it is the protagonist’s compassion towards a puppy, not the love for his wife nor his concern for the safety of his kids, what makes him finally say “enough is enough.” A pitiful mongrel saves humanity… how cool is that!

One complaint: Bale’s anti-hero is practically indestructible, and that makes the story more fantasy than science fiction. But it is tons of fun to watch Bale do some crazy Jedi-like tricks. The actor also has a great sword fight near the end of the movie, which, unfortunately, doesn’t last long. All in all, a great physical performance.

There are other familiar faces in the cast. Emily Watson (Breaking the Waves) has a couple of poignant scenes in the small but pivotal role of an ill-fated rebel. Taye Diggs (How Stella Got Her Groove Back) is creepy as the main villain. Angus Macfadyen (Braveheart) is a sinister high ranking official. Sean Bean (GoldenEye) plays Bale’s best friend. Veteran actor David Hemmings (Blow-Up) has a cameo.

Conclusions & Final Thoughts:

As I said before, Equilibrium doesn’t add anything new to the dystopian formula. But it has many jaw-dropping fight sequences that I’m sure will satisfy action junkies. And, despite this being a case of “style over substance,” you care what happens to the characters. Christian Bale’s excellent deadpan performance is the icing on the cake. It’s a derivative but highly enjoyable movie. Color, 107 minutes, Rated R.

This is my contribution to The Futurethon Blogathon, hosted by Realweegiemidget Reviews and Cinematic Catharsis.

Theatrical Trailer:


14 responses to “Equilibrium (2002)

  1. Pingback: NEWS… It’s the 4th and Final Day for the Futurethon – Realweegiemidget Reviews Films TV Books and more·

  2. I’ve heard of equilibrium, but I have not experienced it! I do love the idea of a puppy saving humanity, so I will keep an eye out for it! Good review!

    Liked by 2 people

      • Like many dystopian future classics, it may not be too far from contemporary reality in the sense of how many ruling powers have learned to banish feelings for the sake of an absolute justice system, and seemingly doing more harm than good in the process. The non-sci-fi legal dramas of today may quite often have such drama. Hence the appeal of seeing our heroes find their best strength through their emotions.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. This sounds like a futuristic John Wick. I’ve never had a problem with style over substance, so I may just check this one out!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Nice review, Eric! I agree with you that it’s a mashup of other films, but it certainly has some nice moments (including the dog scene that you mentioned). Thanks for joining the Futurethon!

    Liked by 2 people

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