Starring: Christian Bale, Taye Diggs, Emily Watson
Director: Kurt Wimmer
While it may be true that there were only about eight original stories ever written, and that every story written after is just an alteration of one of those stories, some films show great promise by taking an old story and creating a new world. "Equilibrium" is a great example of such a movie that will unfortunately not receive the recognition it deserves this time of year.
Christian Bale stars in this film, reminiscent of such classic novels as "1984," "Brave New World" or "Fahrenheit 451," as Cleric John Preston, a servant of Libria, a totalitarian government run by one man referred to as "Father." The citizens of Libria live like robots, going about a daily routine that includes taking "Prozium" twice a day, a drug that numbs their ability to feel and, ideally, eliminates the possibility of war. Literature and art are even burned on sight to prevent anyone from feeling, but like any good story, there are rebels who refuse to take their daily drug in resistance of this view. Preston, the highest ranked Cleric in the government, forgets to take his Prozium one day, thrusting him into a new perspective of life that makes him honestly question the ideals of his society.
While many will compare this to the likes of "The Matrix" within the first few minutes, as many films have been ever since its release, "Equilibrium" is a different movie with a different style and a different mission. Bale is, once again, at his best, as he almost always is in his roles. Bale is a talented actor who will spring into popularity over the next few years thanks to his performances in movies like this and "American Psycho." Bale also has great support from Sean Bean and Taye Diggs as two other clerics, showcasing a surplus of young talent in a great low-budget sci-fi film.
Although many won't choose "Equilibrium" during the holiday season, this is the film to see. While some parts tend to crawl, the wait for the movie's ravishing action sequences is completely worth it. Introducing a new fighting concept called Gun-Kata that I couldn't possibly describe in a review, "Equilibrium" has all the right stuff with no positive backing. Well, here's some: This is one damn good film! Go see it, right now.