5 March 2006

“Equilibrium”

An experiment in cloning goes awry: director Kurt Wimmer attempts to clone The Matrix and inject it with Brave New World DNA, and ends up with a truly ghastly piece of derivative sci-fi that takes a noble premise and turns it into exploitative cartoon violence. What plot twists exist are telegraphed so far off you’d need to be heavily sedated to miss them.

Like the uneven but popular movie it slavishly copies, it can’t decide whether it wants to be intelligent and philosophical, or to just revel in pointless unrealistic violence; and whereas the original at least had a plot device to explain the unreality, the cheap knock-off has no such excuse. Netflix thought I’d rate it 4/5, but adequate acting and special effects can’t drag it above a 2.

I find myself wondering whether Roger Ebert actually watched it before giving it 3 out of 4 stars, especially as he mentions a memorable scene of the protagonist listening to jazz. In the scene in question, the music played is Beethoven, the guy even mispronounces “Ludvig Van Beet-hoven” before putting the record on.

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