ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Entertainment and Media»
  • Movies & Movie Reviews

Movie Review: Equilibrium

Updated on December 14, 2012

Great action, questionable plot.

People who enjoy watching action movies aren't usually the same people who are overly concerned with a well developed airtight plot. Equilibrium is the kind of movie that appeals to that person, but even the most forgiving action lover may have difficulty with this flick. There are fantastic action sequences, yet this is countered by a weak plot premise.

The movie centers around the character John Preston (played by Christian Bale), a cleric - in this case, a highly trained government agent - who enforces the wishes of a strict fascist government. Rage, hatred, envy, and other negative emotions are blamed for mankind nearly destroying itself, so the government attempts to prevent future human atrocities by requiring its citizens take a drug that inhibits all emotion - including those that are positive. Preston is charged with the responsibility of seeking out both those resistant to the regime and the items they posses which entice the senses into emotional reaction; these items include visual arts, music, and poetry. An unexpected turn of events causes Preston to miss a dose of his "medication," which then causes him to feel emotions, or as the movie calls them, sense crimes. This forces him to question the government, his actions, and the validity of living in a world of no emotion. Upon realizing everything he believes in is wrong, he begins to work with the revolutionaries as a high ranking double agent.

The premise that a society can function without love, hate, passion, anger, and the rest of the human emotional range is the source of the plot's weakness. The idea, I believe, was to create a society forced into apathy; this is something quite different from the total absence of emotion. This creates several problems in the course of the movie as characters who are supposed to have no emotion are forced into emotionally driven dialogue. The job of the actor is to portray his character not simply through dialogue, but through dialogue that reveals the thoughts and feelings of that character. If all the characters in this movie truly expressed no emotion, all the dialogue would be boring, and the movie just wouldn't work.

To give credit where credit is due, there is an interesting paradox presented in this concept. The clerics and other military factions are extremely violent despite their adherence to the anti-emotional drug regiment. This wonder drug said to stop murder, torture, and cruelty does nothing of the sort; instead, those working to prevent violence use violence to enforce its prevention. Without emotion there is no guilt, no remorse, and no conscience. For this reason, the clerics and their support teams ravage the rebellion without a second thought. While a society with no emotion cannot actually work, this clever aspect shows the fundamental principle on which the government is acting is clearly flawed.

Unfortunately, this is as original as the movie's plot gets. The story is very straightforward; one man sees the error of his ways and joins with a rebellious force to topple a merciless government. It's nothing new, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. The movie does have some emotionally moving scenes, one in particular where Preston's partner, Partridge (played by Sean Bean) recites beautiful poetry that does an excellent job enticing the viewer while also building on the premise of the plot itself. Preston discovering his own emotions also has some stirring moments.

The highlight of this movie is the action. In terms of excitement, there is no question this movie delivers. A martial art involving the use of guns in a series of positions statistically proven to incur incredible damage without taking any in return is the main form of action presented in this movie. While the overall plot fails to be original, this form of action does not. The gunfights are unique, the action scenes are well choreographed and easy to follow. If a martial art based in guns isn't enough for you, all clerics are trained in staves and swords as well, allowing for diversity in how violence and mayhem are dealt. Quality action is what makes this movie worth seeing.

When it comes to action movies, there is a question every viewer should ask themselves: Am I willing to forgive the errors in plot and concept so that I can enjoy the action? If your answer is yes, then you should see this movie. If your answer is no, this is probably not the movie for you.

This review may sound overly harsh; for an action movie, perhaps it is. On a scale of 1 to 10, I give a 6.5. The movie is no great work of art, nor is it as high a caliber as many other action movies in terms theme. It is, however, a real treat for lovers of action. I give a median score because this movie just isn't for everyone, and a lot of people aren't going to like it. If you're willing to forgive the story its faults in light of its amazing action, then not seeing this movie would truly be missing out.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Joseph Muendo profile image

      Joseph Muendo 5 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      It's a Nice classic to watch and will definitely watch it again.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)