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Equilibrium (2002)
Rated R

Starring: Christian Bale, Taye Diggs, and Emily Watson

out of

After the Third World War takes place in the early part of the 21st century, it is decided that humanity's worst enemy is emotion. The highs and lows of human emotion are what causes man to make the mistake of waging wars. By suppressing emotion through the use of a drug called Prozium, which is to be administered daily, it is believed that war can be removed from the consciousness of humanity. To eliminate emotion, it is also necessary to remove those items that cause human beings to feel: music, art, books and personal possessions that are dissimilar from everyone else's.

Those that are at the apex of arresting "sense offenders" are the Tetragrammaton Clerics, of which Preston (Christian Bale) is one. The clerics are trained in a martial art known as "Gun Kata", which allows them to statistically approximate where gunfire will occur. In essence, it allows them to take out a room full of heavily armed people by estimating where they're most likely to stand, aim, and shoot their weapons and, therefore, allowing the student of Gun Kata to avoid their bullets. The clerics use this technique against the Resistance, a network of individuals not willing to part with the things that make them feel emotions.

Preston, however, accidentally misses a dose of Prozium. As a result, he finds himself feeling for the first time in his life. This is dangerous, and he realizes it, but he can't help it. He embraces the emotions. Soon, he's finding that it's quite difficult to suppress this desire to feel and is soon siding with the Resistance while attempting to keep his feelings hidden from his partner, Brandt (Taye Diggs).

Equilibrium is in no way an original movie. The plot is stolen, more or less, from Orwell's "1984" and Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451". Still, its unique combination of ideological elements, fairly effective performances from Bale, Diggs and Emily Watson, and the fact that it looks so damn good considering it was made for $20,000,000, make it must-see viewing for any action or science fiction fan. I found it far more entertaining than The Matrix, a film that Equilibrium is often compared to merely because the main characters wear a lot of black and do a lot of martial arts moves. It's less self-important and a lot more fun.

Trivia: In certain scenes, the muzzle flash of the pistols and rifles fired by the Clerics and guards will reveal the Tetragrammatron insignia. (Source: The Internet Movie Database)

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