Movies You’ve Never Heard Of: Equilibrium

April 8, 2010

I found out about Equilibrium after reading Jouka no Monshou, a fanfiction in Visual Novel form. There are many familiar faces in Equilibrium, but they aren’t people whose names I can remember (since I’m pretty bad with actors’ names).

The setting is the same: after a Third World War, some of the remaining humans build Libria, a society where it is necessary to suppress emotions through the use of a drug called Prozium. Leading the society is a Big Brother-like figure known only as Father, though he isn’t constantly watching you.

The protagonist this time around is John Preston, the highest ranked Grammaton Cleric in the current Order (a.k.a Batman). His job is to aid in eradicating rebel groups of those who have neglected to take the drug, and destroy anything that could possibly inspire human emotions. These emotion-inspiring materials are things such as movies, books and paintings. Preston does show up in Jouka no Monshou for a brief moment, in which the protagonist (Bernard) asks him for advice. Like Bernard, Preston eventually misses his dose. Unlike Bernard, though, it is only thanks to a string of unlucky events.

Many people tend to compare Equilibrium to The Matrix, Fahrenheit 451 and 1984. It’s true that there are many similarities, but even so Equilibrium has its own charm. Yes, the plot may look like a bunch of other things mashed together, but that’s a case in modern literature and movies as well (Twilight, Eragon, and Avatar to name a few). The action scenes are on almost on par with The Matrix, but they make use of little to no slow motion. This is unfortunate, because at times you can’t actually see what’s going on.

There were a couple of scenes that had me curious as to how they took place, since people were supposedly emotionless. I wasn’t very fond of the first gunfight, as the way Preston moves and the sound effects made me laugh and want to turn it off. There’s also the 1 vs 1 fight at the end that struck me as odd, though in Jouka no Monshou a similar fight takes place and I enjoyed it a lot. Perhaps it just looks better in writing.

Watch this film if you get the opportunity, chances are you won’t be too disappointed. While you’re at it, download Jouka no Monshou (it’s free).


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