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2,484 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Delivering awesome high-tech action in the power-packed style of THE MATRIX and MINORITY REPORT, EQUILIBRIUM stars Christian Bale (REIGN OF FIRE) and Taye Diggs (CHICAGO) in a thrilling look at a future where the only crime is being human! In an attempt to end wars and maintain peace, humankind has outlawed the things that trigger emotion -- literature, music, and art. To uphold the law, a special breed of police is assigned to eliminate all transgressors. But when the top enforcer (Bale) misses a dose of an emotion-blocking drug, he begins to realize that things are not as they seem! Also starring Sean Bean (THE LORD OF THE RINGS) and Emily Watson (RED DRAGON).

A broad science fiction thriller in a classic vein, Equilibrium takes a respectable stab at a Fahrenheit 451-like cautionary fable. The story finds Earth's post-World War III humankind in a state of severe emotional repression: If no one feels anything, no one will be inspired by dark passions to attack their neighbors. Writer-director Kurt Wimmer's monochromatic, Metropolis-influenced cityscape provides an excellent backdrop to the heavy-handed mission of John Preston (Christian Bale), a top cop who busts "sense offenders" and crushes sentimental, sensual, and artistic relics from a bygone era. Predictably, Preston becomes intrigued by his victims and that which they die to cherish; he stops taking his mandatory, mood-flattening drug and is even aroused by a doomed prisoner (Emily Watson). Wimmer's wrongheaded martial arts/dueling guns motif is sheer silliness (a battle over a puppy doesn't help), but Equilibrium should be seen for Bale's moving performance as a man shocked back to human feeling. --Tom Keogh

Special Features

  • Finding Equilibrium featurette

Product Details

  • Actors: Christian Bale, Emily Watson, Taye Diggs, Angus Macfadyen, Sean Bean
  • Directors: Kurt Wimmer
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Dimension
  • DVD Release Date: May 13, 2003
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,484 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JLWN
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,821 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Equilibrium" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

418 of 469 people found the following review helpful By SYED-RAFAY AHMED on March 6, 2004
Format: DVD
I can understand the urge to compare "Equilibrium" and "The Matrix". Both films feature dark, foreboding cinematography. Both films are about rebellion against a warped reality. Both films feature a reluctant, messianic protagonist. And, finally, both films rely heavily on stylistic, hyper-kinetic combat scenes that can only be described as, well, reverent. That is where the similarity ends because while "Equilibrium" has a few moments of slow-motion it's action scenes are much more original than those of "The Matrix Trilogy". No Wires, just pure crazy choreography which makes the action feel all the more authentic. The environment is also a great deal more organic in contrast to the cryptic automaton of the Matrix.
"Equilibrium", in short, manages to be entirely its own movie. Where The Matrix relies on "bending" the rules of physics in an imaginary construct of a world, "Equilibrium" goes the other way and hypothesizes the "Gun-Kata", a martial arts ballet that allows it's practitioners to predict and anticipate close quarters gun fighting and hand to hand combat. Then, through a series of precise, dance like movements, a person can take on several combatants, using exacting, fluid actions to eliminate his attackers. Given a decidedly artistic presentation within the course of the film, these rapid-fire rhapsodies are exhilarating and oddly beautiful. They glamorize death as an abstract expression of powder bursts and shrieking projectiles. The film features some of the best choreographed shootouts I have ever seen, and ends up putting anything in The Matrix Trilogy to shame.
"Equilibrium" is a film that explores what it theorizes to be the root of all worldly chaos, human emotion.
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265 of 297 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 10, 2003
Sci-fi flick with stunning visuals, "Equilibrium" deserves much more attention not only from fans of genre, but also from general audiences. Sure, its flaws are too visible, borrowing Orwellian ideas from other films like, say, "Brazil," but it is not that ideas themselves but the way they are put into practice that really counts, and on that score "Equiliburium" is a winner. (And critics, please let me know, why do you all praise Steven's "Minority Report" which actually borrows ideas from other films of this genre? So, why not give this one a due respect?)
Well, I admit the opening chapter of "Equilibrium" is a bit weak, introducing us to the dystopia world after the WW3, but soon you will forget that. The totalitarian government established after the war decided to eliminate anything that might possibly make humans emotional, forcing the people to inject a certain doze of [chemical substance] to be unemotional every day. Moreover, it decrees there should be no more music (not only hip-hops, but classic music), no more motion pitures, and no more decorated interiors. Those who love them hide underground, becoming rebels while the authroity set up a super-cop troop called "Grammaton Clerics."
Christian Bale ("American Psyco") is John Preston the best of the Clerics, and dedicates himself to the job until he arrests a woman Mary O'Brien who possessd illegal stuffs. But her strong creed and perhaps beauty make their way into the sleeping heart of Preston, who has been long fighting for his cause.
The film's philosophical messages are in themselves not new at all, and director Kurt Wimmer might have kept his idea a little too long. I say so, because today, in the 21st century, it is not this Orwellian society that we are afraid of most.
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73 of 86 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 16, 2003
People who call Equilibrium a Matrix rip off really bother me, not only because Equilibrium is a far better movie but because said people are implying that The Matrix was something new and original and different. Riiiiiight.
I won't say that Equilibrium is the most original movie ever; indeed both Equilibrium and The Matrix are amalgams of various films, books, etc. that had come before. And as previous reviewers have stated, Equilibrium relies more on 1984 and Brave New World for inspiration, NOT The Matrix. The two films really have little in common, other than the anti-utopia and martial arts elements.
Personally, I think the future world presented in Equilibrium is a far more powerful and ironic piece of cinema. The thought of robots enslaving humanity is one of those truths that everyone pretty much accepts: "Worlds governed by artificial intelligence learned a hard lesson: logic doesn't care." Hand things over to the robots, and the human element so necessary in government is gone. We know this. Equilibrium, however, portrays the attempt to end man's inhumanity to man by making everyone inhuman and thereby perpetuating an even GREATER inhumanity. It's the thought of saving humanity by destroying it. In Equilibrium The Man not some soulless robot that can't understand feelings; instead He is another human being enslaving and dehumanizing His fellow man, trying to cure the disease by killing the patient.
The story is one of my personal favorite archetypal plots, that of a man who first serves an evil system, then realizes everything he has thought for so long is wrong and turns against said system and fights for its destruction. Christian Bale is incredible, and his character (John Preston of the elite Grammaton Cleric) is brilliantly dynamic.
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Equilibrium Ending Confusion - SPOILER ALERT!***********...
There are two director/producer audio tracks that go with the dvd. On one of them the director explains that Bale came up with the idea of the wounds for the final shots of him in the movie. He felt that the character had to have sustained some kind of injury after fighting so many people. So in... Read More
Sep 23, 2008 by C. Naismith |  See all 2 posts
Will Equilibrium be in Blu Ray
It's come and gone, now the Blu Ray copy is 'discontinued' and as far as I can tell, only available on or ebay for roughly $30 (not bad though).

Sucks because I wanted to find one only to find out it was D/C'd
Jun 3, 2009 by Steven A. Lockwood |  See all 9 posts
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