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Equilibrium

Another one you've got to be careful of when it's marketed as 'in the tradition of...'.

This one is a cheap ripoff of every one-note 1984 -inspired idea with an aesthetic lifted straight from The Matrix, all guns, black coats, sunglasses and balletic action.

Christian Bale plays the oft-repeated agent of opression who sees the error of his ways, goes on the run and rebels, in a world where you're not allowed to feel (exchange for read/think/draw/have sex/be intelligent etc for other cheap, one-note Brave New World rip offs).

It has the capacity to rise above the rest of the ranks (inhabited by the likes of Fahrenheit 451 and Harrison Bergeron, where a single idea isn't strong enough to sustain a 90 minute movie) by including the Matrix-inspired action element, but sadly neither the story nor the action are strong enough to hold it up.

The shtick of running through a crowd and maximising kills by swinging your guns around at just the right angles is faintly silly, but to be fair there are some good scenes and set pieces even if the movie as a whole was a let down. What's more unfortunate is that Christian Bale has the presence of a square-jawed action hero, if only they'd give him the right script.

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