Equilibrium’s Dark Vision of the Future Will Make the 2020s Seem like a Fun Time

How does it hold up after twenty years?

You may not have even heard of this dark dystopian action movie starring a pre-Batman Christian Bale from twenty years ago.

It’s a pretty good sci-fi movie with some great martial arts and ‘Gun Fu’ and if you like John Wick then it’s definitely well worth a watch. It is like a mashup of The Matrix and Farenheit451.

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What’s it all about?

In the year 2072 John Preston (Christian Bale) is a kick-ass enforcement officer in a future in which feelings and artistic expression are outlawed and citizens take daily injections of powerful psychoactive drugs to suppress their emotions. We thought that times in the early 2020s were bad enough!

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After Preston accidentally misses a dose, he begins to experience emotions, which make him question his morality and moderate his actions while attempting to remain undetected by the suspicious society in which he lives.

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The story is set in Libria, a totalitarian city-state established by survivors of World War III, who blame human emotion as the cause of the war. Any activity or object that stimulates emotion is strictly forbidden. Those in violation are labeled “Sense Offenders” and sentenced to death. The population is forced to take a daily injection of “Prozium II” to suppress emotion. Libria is governed by the Tetragrammaton Council, led by “Father”, who communicates propaganda through giant video screens throughout the city. At the pinnacle of law enforcement are the Grammaton Clerics, trained in the martial art of gun kata. Clerics frequently raid homes to search for and destroy illegal materials – art, literature, and music – executing violators on the spot. A resistance movement, known as the “Underground”, emerges to topple Father and the Tetragrammaton Council.

Who’s in it

Christian Bale (John Preston), Taye Diggs (Andrew Brandt), Sean Bean (Errol Partridge), Angus Macfadyen (Vice Counsel DuPont), Emily Watson (Mary O’Brien), William Fichtner (Jurgen) and Sean Pertwee (Father)

What we made of it

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It’s been a while since I had watched this film but there are a few things I was wondering about. First of all…

Getting all the people to take medication is impossible

Before 2020 I would not have questioned this as much but we can’t even get some morons to wear face masks or get vaccinated to help save humanity in a global pandemic never mind getting them to take a daily vaccine to suppress their feelings! People want their ‘freedom’ goddamit!

Do they really need to execute everyone who doesn’t obey?

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It seems that the Grammaton Clerics assassinate any living being including animals who get in their way or execute people by incineration if they are guilty of ‘sense offending.’ The clerics and other enforcement officers are the people who commit the most heinous of crimes in this vision of the future.

John Preston’s character kills 118 characters in the film which ranked him third in movie history of most deaths in a movie by one character.

Partridge – Sean Bean’s Character Gets Killed (as usual)

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It’s become quite a cliche now in TV and movies that Sean Bean’s character must be killed off.  Bean plays Errol Partridge who obviously gets killed and he does quite early in the movie as well even though he is the supporting character at the start.

Are blimps going to be making a comeback in the future?

They seem to be scattered around this bleak vision of the future, let’s hope they do make a comeback as a way of travel.

DuPont shows emotion

Not only is he named after a real-life evil corporation (look it up or watch the movie Dark Waters) but Vice Counsel DuPont shows anger quite a lot when speaking to Preston which surely means he is feeling, but nobody questions this.

In a world of no emotion, we have these further questions…

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  • Do people reproduce naturally or is it all done in a lab?
  • What do people do all day apart from work, eat and sleep?
  • Lastly… Is it even worth living if we are some emotionless robot? What would we get out of life, but then again Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos seem to get along fine!

Preston is too suspicious when he starts to feel

They seem to know where Preston is all the time but when he is clearly showing his emotions when he frequently visits an incarcerated Mary and gets all teary in the streets nobody bats an eyelid. Surely a city in such a totalitarian state would have CCTV literally everywhere? Even Preston’s kids are much better at concealing their feelings than their dad.

Brandt’s disappointing death

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We are expecting the show-off between Brandt and Preston to be quite an epic one as they are both highly trained in gun kata martial arts but he gets his face chopped off by Preston as soon as he goes to draw his sword. After doing some research we found out that the scene was cut down as Taye Diggs schedule wouldn’t let him spend too much time on set.


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We found out that evil overlord “Father” has been dead for years and they’ve been using a hologram in his place, kind of like what they did with Donald Trump. Preston then fights DuPont in a battle of pure Gun Fu and obviously wins and the revolution happens and everybody can go about feeling again, yay!

Anyway, go check out this movie it’s pretty damn good, and see that the current decade may not be so bad after all!

Written by Jay

A caffeine-based life form with a love of the 80s and pop culture.

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