Equilibrium | Chicago Reader


Christian Bale stars as a jackbooted gestapo agent in a postapocalyptic world where emotion is illegal, citizens are neutralized with psychotropic drugs, and works of art are summarily burned a la Fahrenheit 451. A chance encounter with a few verses of Yeats does bad things to his head, however, and soon he's pocketing copies of Mother Goose and cuddling a contraband puppy. Written and directed by Kurt Wimmer and shot partly in Berlin, this operates at the intellectual level of the old Star Trek in its limp last season, and the professed humanism is belied by the extreme violence and Nazi-chic production design (not to mention a voice-over that traces the outlawing of emotion to “the revolutionary precept of the hate crime”). Emily Watson turns up as one of the rebels massing outside the fortified city, and Taye Diggs is Bale's ambitious partner, who winds up getting his face sliced off. The plot is full of holes, but if your local video outlet doesn't have Triumph of the Will this ought to do. 105 min.

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