With The Dark Knight fresh in everyone’s mind, I thought I’d go back to one of Christian Bale’s lesser known works: Equilibrium. The film is pretty much The Matrix set in 1984. Bale plays Keanu Reeves and the Matrix is played by a Fascist regime that seeks to eradicate human emotion with a powerful drug called Prozium. While Equilibrium does have it’s strong points, such as Gun Kata (a fictional close-range, gun-fighting martial art created for the film in which combatants predict bullet trajectories in real time without the help of a computer program), the similarities it shared with other dystopian films and a poor marketing campaign ultimately crushed the film at the box office.
The trailer shows Bale as Grammaton Cleric John Preston, tracking down sense-offenders and members of an underground revolution who traffic outlawed books, music and works of art. Carrying out his orders with two automatic handguns, a samurai sword and a unrelenting devotion to the state, Bale is the most skilled/feared enforcer the system has at its disposal. But, when his wife is arrested for not taking her meds, the Batman decides to change into his best white suit and put his employers out of business.
While the martial arts scenes are impressive, the best sequence in the trailer is when Bale watches as his buddies verify the authenticity of the Mona Lisa, then gives the order to torch it with a couple flame throwers. Equilibrium opened December 6, 2002. Check out the Equilibrium trailer at Zuguide.com.