Wednesday, December 11, 2002
I just got back from an evening out with Siobhan... I got to see the movie "Equilibrium", starring Christian Bale and Taye Diggs. Normally, Tuesdays are kendo nights, but being that my grinch-itude was putting a big damper on my spirit, I needed to see something fun and "Equilibrium" turned out to be it.
You may ask why I chose to see a movie that got pretty bad critical reviews... normally, I'm a film critic of sorts, but there's definitely one genre of movies I rarely trust most film critics to judge right: action movies like "XXX" and "Blade 2". Perfect examples of action movies that got crappy reviews, but were plenty of fun to see. Plus, a fellow action junkie I know said it was better than "The Matrix"! Pretty high recommendation if you ask me.
The movie has been compared to "Fahrenheit 451" and other movies set in 1984-ish, totalitarian futures, but that's an unfair comparison considering that "Fahrenheit 451" is more drama than action. The story in "Equilibrium" is similar though - in the future, there's a third world war and survivors create a city where all emotion and feelings are outlawed, along with any artifacts that can stimulate them - paintings, music, poetry. The entire population of human beings has been reduced to conformity, helped along by daily, mandatory doses of "Prozium", a drug that suppresses emotions and conscience.
Christian Bale's character is a "cleric", a member of the elite enforcers who beat, shoot, and burn any underground rebels who dare to defy the new world order. They're also charged with destroying any artifacts they find, be it the Mona Lisa, copies of Yeats, or recordings of Beethoven. But when Christian Bale's "cleric" accidentally misses his daily dose of Prozium, he begins to have a change of heart and starts to see the world in a different light... mayhem ensues.
Anyways, the movie has some pretty awesome action sequences, easily on par with the best of "Blade 2" and "The Matrix". The art of pistol use has been elevated to a mythical status - one of the cooler parts of the movie, is the explanation of the "Gun Kata" - a scientifically designed martial art taught to each of the "clerics" where the weapon is double-fisted pistols and sweeping arm motions that remind me of tai chi or wushu. After watching this movie, everyone and their mother is gonna want spring-loaded pistol holsters for their trenchcoats... heh.
So yeah... the movie didn't grow any wrinkles on my brain... but I was thoroughly entertained nonetheless. Even Shiv dug it. ;)
Time to dig out the Desert Eagles and practice some gun kata...
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