Equilibrium - Review - Empire

Source: Empire Online

In the future, citizens are compelled to take emotion-destroying drugs purportedly
to guard against war. One forgets to take his medicine and seeks out the underground
resistance.

Matrix knock-offs have been oddly sparse considering the gargantuan success of the
original, probably something to do with the mind-bending expense of flo-mo. Still,
it was inevitable they’d turn up eventually, and Equilibrium has enough daft energy
and bargain-basement spectacle to make up for the obviousness of its source of
inspiration.

All the usual B-movie sci-fi elements are satisfyingly present and correct, including
a fascistic ruling elite who like nothing more than gunning down puppies (they’ll be
the bad guys, then).

Christian Bale hones the unexpected talent for action heroics he demonstrated in
Reign Of Fire, as well as delivering his apparently contractually demanded sweaty
torso shot.

Meanwhile, the dippy contrivance of gun-based martial art ‘gun-kata’ provides
pleasingly nerve-shattering firefights (a gun massacre illuminated only by the
flash of the muzzle flare is an atmospheric standout).

Enjoyable hogwash, boasting some inventive carnage, as well as the truly terrifying
notion of an entire planet ruled by Sean Pertwee’s head.

ADAM SMITH
Issue 166 April 2003

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