Imagine a movie would be released that has no emotions whatsoever. A movie where laughter is forbidden. Where no person is allowed to cry. A world where no one screams of joy or utter pain. A movie where every single person is about as stiff as an ironing board.
Well, no need to search any further. Just watch Equilibrium and you’ll get the picture.
Equilibrium (the Latin word for balance) is not a good movie at all.
It’s a dark, fascistic take on what could happen if the human race decided to get rid of hatred, war and violence. This may seem like a joyous occasion, but it’s actually quite the opposite. Equilibrium is the sort of science-fiction movie that’s dead-serious, presenting a world full of grey boring buildings and people alike. The movie suggests that by taking away human emotions a clear path will become visible towards global peace and freedom.
‘Global’ in such simplistic American productions such as these means: ‘in America and no where else’. There’s never any mentioning of other countries.
First off, there is – as the plot of the movie clearly identifies – a shrieking lack of human emotions in this movie.
The disheartening cruelty in a world where it’s OK to kill innocent little dogs, and where humans are toasted like beefsteaks on a barbecue is enough to make even the biggest lottery winner overcome with sadness …
There’s a tiny bit of positivity in that the camera positions in the movie are actually well done at times. The reloading of a gun or the fast zoom-in onto the pupil of someone’s eye are some of the very best things of this otherwise very dull movie. The fighting sequences themselves are okay too, but they proceed so fast across the screen you essentially miss the fun of the action.
Excruciatingly overzealous is the use of grey, white and black (with a casual use of a red ribbon or a red overcoat). By using so much boredom in colors, the movie quickly becomes very bleak and quite boring.
The ending is gravely disappointing as it shows a close-up shot of Christian Bale whose faint smile should give the viewer some satisfaction as he too has connected with a human emotion, but in truth it’s a smile closer to our inner happiness that this godawful movie has come to an end!
Truth is, I would rather read a book than having to watch Equilibrium again …
Acting performances are – surprise, surprise! – generally very stale and lifeless.
The few characters that do pertain in human emotions are bound to speeching stupid commentary, as if the whole thing was written by a first-time writer.
Everyone else walks around like a zombie from point A to point B without saying anything interesting – and if these fleshy robots open their mouths – they sound just as interesting as the beeping sound of a credit card terminal.
Christian Bale plays the single most boring part of his career – he literally has nothing else to do than look in front of him and spout his lines.
His rival, played by Taye Diggs (who?) may appear as the tough counterpart, yet his appearance gives the film no further significance.
Sean Bean (who around the same time engaged one last time in the masterful The Lord of the Rings) is brilliant as usual seeing as how he’s one of the very few characters possessing real human emotions, but his role is – pity! – very limited.
Finally, actress Emily Watson has to undo all the negativity of the movie by providing some human aspect in this otherwise very cold, heartless world. But no matter how hard she tries, she finds it impossible – on an acting level that is – to unbalance the darkness within Equilibrium.
Equilibrium may be beautifully filmed at times, but it still remains one of the dullest movies ever produced … they should have included more color, that’s all!
did you know?
Despite popular belief, absolutely no wires were used in the film at all. All of the gravity-defying stunts were done through conventional means. For example, the backflip off of the motorcycle was done with a trampoline.
Give it to me short:
Equilibrium looks and feels like a bad copy of The matrix, even more so because main player Christian Bale lacks any personal color or character depth.
The overall atmosphere is bleak and disheartening, and the action sequences are often nothing short of a dead replica of greater blockbusters.
The climax is also quite a letdown. Only the beautiful Emily Watson and a few cool-orchestrated camera positions seem to save this movie from becoming a total disaster.
If you really wanna see something cool, try The matrix … because if you watch Equilibrium you might feel your body being drained of all life’s worth and positive energy …