EQUILIBRIUM (2002)

TMG Scale 7.0
Starring Christian Bale, William Fichtner

TMG’s  history of commentary is not overly kind to sci-fi fantasy films, but this one had great acting and lots of levels to it.

In the not too distant future WWIII concludes. Some think that the solution to avoid WWIV is a drug for the masses called ” Prozium.” Daily injections (called “intervals”) eliminate feeling, emotion, competition, hate and war.  Everything has its benefits and side effects though.   On balance,  if being drugged saves us from our physical demise, is it a noble undertaking?    We are now devoid of emotion and culture but we survive. Is this the equilibrium we eventually find necessary? Is mankind’s survival without bona fide emotion worth it?

Christian Bale plays John Preston, a super cop in black leather (called a “cleric” but looks like a Nazi SS thug) who roots out the underground resitence to the new world order. Those who fail to take their  daily “interval” are exterminated in a blast furnace. Preston develops his doubts. Is it the lack of the drug or the power of love that gets to him?

The premise of this film is outrageous, terrifying and fascinating. Basically a mass poisoning of all mankind to make everyone compliant with a new world order?  Far fetched?  Think again.    Its pretty much exactly what Adolf Hitler did. Hitler’s poison was a form of mass induced adrenaline of superiority and perfection.  It did not take a physical injection.  It was mind control though.

Pick up the daily news. Conspiracy theorists suggest this day has already arrived…or has never left us. If government can quietly fluoridate the water system or put salt peter in a soldier’s potatoes, or force mandatory “inoculations” against a bogus disease like the swine flu, this movie is a provocative warning. Someone at the top has to run the show…a leader…a king….a president or a “Father.” Read your history.  As in any communistic society devoid of religion and real culture, the leader or “father” has his picture everywhere. Propoganda and indoctrination is ever-present. The father knows best. He regulates what you eat. He owns the schools. He has central control of education. He takes away your guns and means of resistance. You are begotten to him for you central healthcare. The father provides you shelter. In turn you owe him your vote and your allegiance.  Freedom no longer matters—only the good of the collective. It takes a village to raise a child…not loving parents.  Sounds pretty much like the Democratic National party platform if you ask me.

The only real “flaw” this movie had was perhaps intentional. Even those who were absolute loyalists to Prozium and lack of emotion still showed a great deal of emotion.  They expressed pleasure and anger all the while speaking as though such was held in contempt. It is the inherent irony of any totalitarian regime and perhaps a recognition that no mind control can totally overcome the things that make humans who they truly are.  Love and hate, whether for good or evil, is impossible to fully tame. Some will eventually rise up for freedom.  It has already happened before. It can happen again. Be warned.

 

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