Equilibrium (2002)

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A future society that subdues its populace with an emotion inhibiting drug is enforced by a police force of “clerics” who are charged with executing all those accused of “sense crime”.

Dismissed by most upon its release as just another Matrix clone, there are superficial similarities; stylistically the action choreography and costume design are very similar. There’s a lot more going on under the surface however, as it takes cues from the likes of 1984 and Fahrenheit 451 in its depiction of a totalitarian, book burning society and message of individuality and what it means to be human. But by far the biggest difference is in its star; Christian Bale’s far superior range makes for a performance that’s both emotionally engaging and believable in its depiction of a man suddenly in conflict with everything he had been taught and dealing with emotions with which he has no experience. Equilibrium is a very under-rated film in my opinion and includes all of the ingredients a quality sci-fi movie should have; namely style, action, strong concepts and a message about the human condition.

More V For Vendetta than The Matrix and definitely worth seeking out if you like sci-fi with a political slant.

8/10

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