Between The Matrix and V for Vendetta, there was Equilibrium. The 2002 sci-fi movie, directed by Kurt Wimmer and starring a young Christian Bale, is not as smart or as good as either of those movies. In fact, it’s powerfully stupid. On Hulu until the end of the month, it is a modern cult classic with some genuine charm that will make you wistful for the times when fast-paced electronic soundtracks and minimalist clothing were all that was needed for a revolution.
The good news: It’s streaming now on Hulu. The bad news: It leaves on August 31. Here’s why you need to watch this cult classic while you still can. (Warning: Spoilers ahead.)
Equilibrium takes place in an indeterminate future after the early years of the 21st century have been marred by World War III. Determined to prevent future conflict, society turns to a drug, Prozium II, which is injected into the neck and eliminates any emotion. To cancel out the resistance to this emotionless future, law enforcement known as Grammaton Clerics enforce the law with a special type martial art known as gunkata.
Leading all of these Grammaton Clerics is John Preston, played by a pre-Batman Christian Bale. On the surface, Bale would be perfect for this role — he had mastered the art of the unfeeling monster just a few years earlier as Patrick Bateman in American Pyscho. Yet Wimmer, who also wrote the script, painted his main character into a corner: how do you create a protagonist who doesn’t just not show emotion, but has never experienced one?