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Equilibrium: A Review

Updated on August 23, 2017

Available in DVD. This is one of those movies that would work well into a marathon weekend of movies on a particular theme.


Vulcan in Dystopia?

Looking for a movie with high energy, nifty garb and soul searching that leads to a self awakening? No? Then how about keen martial arts choreography, cute kiddos and a pseudo fascist society with a Vulcan-esque penchant for suppressing emotion. Not that either, huh? Then how about a darn good movie? Gotcha!

When I first decided to watch this movie, I thought for sure it would be an iffy viewing. For some reason the "blurb" didn't rock me. Looking for distraction from my current reading pleasure, I figured it would be better than nothing. I settled in with the requisite popcorn, the bottle of water and my Nook. Yes, ereaders aren't only for reading anymore. I stream vids like a madwoman. At first, in the beginning I figured I'd selected a groaner and that I'd regret time wasted. As the story unfolded on the screen it drew me in and I knew I was wrong. Oh, well, it's happened a time or two before.

John Preston (Christian Bale) enforces the law of no emotion in the country of Libria. The Librian government has found a cure for violence -- chemical restraint of emotion. John, has a certain sixth sense which allows him to intuit unsuppressed emotion in his fellow citizens. Rather contradictory in an occupation in which he enforces the law against feeling, doncha think? Due to an accidental omission of his dose (emotion deadening chemical), he begins the journey of self awareness.

Sharing the cast with Christian Bale are: Dominic Purcell (Seamus), Sean Bean (Partridge), Taye Diggs (Brandt) and Sean Pertwee (Father). The story runs along a dystopian rail with a trainload of pluses to include excellent pyrotechnical effects, excellent martial arts choreography and superb cinematography. The icing on top of the cake are the performances each actor contributes. For piece de resistance -- the cherry in a bed of whipped cream - the costuming rocks like ... oh well. I won't mention the feel of a low budget film here, since it didn't detract from the enjoyment of the movie.

Movie Selection Priority - What would entice you to watch this movie?

Image photo-manipulated by hub author. Original image from Morguefile.
Image photo-manipulated by hub author. Original image from Morguefile. | Source

If it's not the lure of the Librian way of life, what would be your reason for watching this movie?

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Get a quick nibble of the movie with one of these trailers. Or, just jump right in and enjoy the movie.

Equilibrium [Blu-ray]
Equilibrium [Blu-ray]

Also available on Blu-Ray. Even without greater quality viewing (Blue Ray) this is a must watch movie.

Equilibrium [VHS]
Equilibrium [VHS]

Even VHS format is available. No matter your format viewing preference, you can't go wrong with this movie.


The Movie - Get It on Amazon

Own your own copy for the pleasure of watching the movie again and again. Blue Ray, DVD and VHS Tapes are available options for the movie.

Martial Arts In Dystopia - Can the Men in Black Really Kick Bootée?

Martial arts movies have evolved beyond the Asian stereotype. Now the setting can be as exotic or alien as one can imagine. Equilibrium is just such a martial arts movie in a dystopian, science-fiction setting. Not your typical movie of the fighting kind.

Bale's brand of martial arts in the movie marks him for the number one boy of, Father, figurehead of distopia. After all, not too many can walk into a room briefly lit by light from the doorway and then take out all the hidden breakers-of-the-law hidden in the room, can they?

Now, in comes a new partner after, John, ever dutifully dispatched his previous sidekick. This partner is the perfect compliment to the head-boy style of law enforcement. Not only is he a compliment, but also a contender for the roll of chief cook and bottle washer, John's job. He's not that ambitious, of course. I have been wrong on occasion, but then I've mentioned that above, so I won’t bore you with a rehash.

For me, it's man's best friend. That's the point of the story when we see that Bale has neared the end of his spiritual journey. The purpose for the journey is even more intriguing. Ever have your words, tools or weapons used against you? No spoilers here. You'll just have to watch the movie.

One thing I want to point your attention to in the movie is the things people stash away as they indulge in the vice of experiencing emotion. What would you stash away?

Do you prefer traditional martial arts movies presented in an asian setting? Or, do you like the genre in whatever backdrop it is set?

A word about the distopian genre.

When I first encountered the concept of dystopia, I had to look it up. I figured it was a genre reflecting the typical bad day or something. You've heard of Utopia? Dystopia is Utopia but with a bad hangover. Both explore social and political practices, structures and elements. But the dystopic theme puts an "it's not gonna work" spin on the story. This is a world, country or city with its darker underbelly hanging out over its tuxedo'd beltline for all to see except themselves. If I were to point to another fave in this vein of writing, it would be "Blade Runner." Since I enjoy stretching the point a bit, you could say Serenity, and by extension Firefly, are also brothers under the skin of this genre. And in all of them, there's a hero who is instrumental in exposing that underbelly to the light of reality. I suppose a hub on dystopic heroes/heroines would be a good topic for a hub.

Would you watch this movie?

Do you think you'd like this movie?

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At Home In Dystopia - Other Movies Like Equilibrium

Here are a few more movies similar to Equilibrium:


The Matrix Reloaded (2003)

The Matrix Revolutions (2003)

The Matrix Revisited (2001)

Batman Begins

Batman & Robin (1997)

Blade: Trinity

RoboCop (1987)

RoboCop 2 (1990)

Robocop 3 (1992)

RoboCop (2014)

Judge Dredd (1995)

Dredd (2012)

Elysium (2013)

The Transporter (2002)

Serenity (2005)

Hitman (2007)

Inception (2010)

Logan's Run (1976)

THX 1138 (1971)

Children of Men (2006)

Ultraviolet (2006)

Blade Runner (1982)

Aeon Flux (2005)

The Island (2005)

Elektra (2005)

Some of these may be more dystopian than similar or a stretch for either. I've employed a little known principle known as hubmaker's choice. This is heavily influenced by the practice of lensmaker's preference. Got one you think should be on the list. Sure, there's room for a few more. Tell us about it in a comment below.

© 2014 Tanya Jones

Thank you for visiting our little corner in Dystopia. - Feel free to comment on the lens, dystopian books and movies, or any other related topic.

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    • Arachnea profile imageAUTHOR

      Tanya Jones 

      4 years ago from Texas USA

      @MarleMac: Hi, MarleMac. Thanks for stopping in and commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed the review. I find any more when trying to determine if a movie or book fits in a particular genre, it's best to use the actual definition/characteristics of the genre and compare it to my experience with the media. I enjoyed Aeon Flux. You're from South Africa? How cool. I enjoy meeting like-minded people, but also appreciate the differences I find in others. I look forward to reading your resulting lenses.

    • MarleMac profile image


      4 years ago from South Africa

      I also instantly fell in love with Spock when I first saw him because even though he supposedly didn't show emotion, he had a depth and quirkiness about him I absolutely loved! Snap!

      Also didn't know this was known as "Dystopia", mostly all my favourite movies (like just about all of them on your list LOL!) seem to be set in this type of world, which is where this type of character would fit and thrive it seems, hey?

      I also loved Aeon Flux with its feminine roundedness and feel and Charlize Theron is great in it! (Especially as seeing she's South African, like me!)

      I love your analysis and style and your taste is very similar to mine, so...hi., glad you shared and thanks for that. Great to meet likeminded people. You've also given me some food for thought on what I could make some lenses of too, that I wouldn't have thought to that's going on the backburner for when I have extra time, thanks!


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