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By Eric Allen Hatch | Posted

The aftermath of a third world war has paved the way for a dystopian society which outlaws art, emotion, and individuality and enforces obedience through mandatory doses of the emotion-suppressing drug Prozium and trained killers called clericks. One day Clerick John Preston (Christian Bale) misses a dose of Prozium, an eyeopening experience that makes him sympathetic to the rebellious Mary O'Brian (Emily Watson) and creates an imbalance that ultimately threatens the future of this fascistic über-state. For sheer entertainment value, Equilibrium delivers triumphantly; writer/director Kurt Wimmer often holds attention through long stretches without action sequences, and when the screen does explode with firearms and swordplay, the resultant spectacle rivals The Matrix for fun, inventive sci-fi combat. It won't win any awards for originality, however, copping dozens of ideas from Fahrenheit 451, RoboCop, and more. Still, Equilibrium merits a hearty recommendation to two large audiences: action fans hungry for large body counts, and political progressives ready to cheer a film in which countless hordes of fascists face the eternal justice of an invincible peace warrior.

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