I doubt many of my readers need to be told about Equilibrium, but it deserves its own spotlight here. On the off chance that you haven’t heard of the movie, it’s a small film that got very little publicity back in 2002. However, it is an excellent film, and well worth the watching if you haven’t seen it, yet. Starring Christian Bale, Equilibrium has been called (fairly), “A Brave New Fahrenheit 1984.” It’s The Matrix meets Ray Bradbury, with a touch of poetry and more than a little awesome.
The basic premise of the movie is that, in the future, we have created a drug called Equilibrium, which removes all extremes of emotion. No longer are we plagued by fear, hate, or violence, but neither are we permitted love, imagination, or creativity. Of course, there are those who refuse to take this drug, and they are hunted down by the monomaniacal State. These execution squads are led by the Tetragrammaton Clerics, half priest, half ninja, all emotionless. The story follows one such cleric, as he comes to understand the truth about his order, and must make difficult decisions about his family, his faith, and his world.
The story is not terribly original, but Bale’s performance in the lead role is positively exquisite. Like Neo from the Matrix Trilogy, he seems cold, aloof, and emotionless throughout the performance, even when the climax draws him out of his shell. Unlike Neo, Preston should be emotionless. His whole life, he’s been taking a drug that chemically neuters his emotions. He has a reason to be emotionally stunted. Neo just comes off as whiny, while Preston seems like a sociopath… making him all the more terrifying to the people on the other end of his gun-fu.
(Also, this movie has gun-fu. Why aren’t you watching it yet?)
All in all, the most Exalted things about this film are the stunts, and they will provide you with all manner of fodder for your stunts in-game. The themes of stunted emotion, brutal oppression, and potential redemption could play out well in an Underworld game, with the Abyssals playing the part of Clerics. Mostly, however, you’re just going to enjoy watching it. It’s got some seriously spectacular visuals, and Taye Diggs turns in one of his best roles ever. Especially watch him for the effects of Equilibrium.