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Equilibrium Review

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In the future, citizens are compelled to take emotion-destroying drugs purportedly to guard against war. Christian Bale's supercop rebels against a totalitarian, emotion-free future state in this sci-fi parable.

★★★★★

Matrix knock-offs have been oddly sparse considering the gargantuan success of the original, probably something to do with the mind-bending expense of flo-mo. Still, it was inevitable they'd turn up eventually, and Equilibrium has enough daft energy and bargain-basement spectacle to make up for the obviousness of its source of inspiration.

All the usual B-movie sci-fi elements are satisfyingly present and correct, including a fascistic ruling elite who like nothing more than gunning down puppies (they'll be the bad guys, then).

Christian Bale hones the unexpected talent for action heroics he demonstrated in Reign Of Fire, as well as delivering his apparently contractually demanded sweaty torso shot. Meanwhile, the dippy contrivance of gun-based martial art 'gun-kata' provides pleasingly nerve-shattering firefights (a gun massacre illuminated only by the flash of the muzzle flare is an atmospheric standout).

Enjoyable hogwash, boasting some inventive carnage, as well as the truly terrifying notion of an entire planet ruled by Sean Pertwee's head.