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->''"So we have created a new arm of the law: the Grammaton Cleric, whose sole task it is to seek out and eradicate the true source of man's inhumanity to man: his ability to feel."''
-->-- '''Father'''

The ultraviolent (although [[BloodlessCarnage surprisingly bloodless)]] science fiction action film ''Equilibrium'' either rips off or brilliantly homages every great work of dystopian fiction (particularly ''Literature/NineteenEightyFour'', ''Literature/{{We}}'', ''Literature/TheGiver'', ''Literature/BraveNewWorld'', and ''Film/TheMatrix'') that appears to have inspired it. Although the film lacks originality, fans liked it for [[RuleOfCool being totally shiny]].

After a Third World War devastates the Earth, the totalitarian state left in its wake (Libria) comes to consider human emotion as the root cause of all conflict. Libria subsequently bans all emotionally stimulating material (e.g. art, books and music); any "[[{{Thoughtcrime}} sense offenders]]" caught by the police end up sentenced to death by incineration. The government also requires citizens to take daily injections of an emotion-suppressing drug in order to prevent "sense offense".

The governing body of Libria -- the Tetragrammaton Council -- uses the police to maintain conformity; the high-ranking Grammaton Clerics, trained in the martial art of "gun kata", frequently carry out raids where they destroy both "sense offenders" and any offending materials found with them. A pre-[[Film/TheDarkKnightSaga Batman]] Creator/ChristianBale plays the role of John Preston, a highly-regarded Cleric who accidentally fails to take a dose of his emotion-supressing drugs and ends up feeling emotions -- which attracts the attention of the Clerics and the Council's leader, the all-powerful "Father"...

The film gained notoriety amongst action film fans for John Preston's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2P2oeQlAM5s&feature=player_embedded on-screen body count]] -- one of the highest of any character in film history -- the infamous [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLXUn_s8nM4 "puppy shootout" scene]] and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CeHrq_Fs1vk its climactic one-on-one gun battle]].

This film has a [[Characters/{{Equilibrium}} character sheet]].


!! ''Equilibrium'' serves as both TropeMaker and TropeNamer for the following trope:

* GunKata


!! ''Equilibrium'' contains examples of the following tropes:

* AbsurdlySharpBlade: The katana used in the final confrontation.
* TheAce: John Preston is considered this amongst clerics.
* {{Aesoptinum}}: The drug Prozium subdues emotions to prevent such things as violence and war. This is helped along by the banning of anything with an Emotional Content rating of ten, which can include anything even remotely artistic, and anyone caught with such contraband is burned alive (or shot repeatedly if they try to make things difficult). Naturally, there's an underground resistance [[spoiler: that the main character eventually champions after he stops taking his meds]].
* AfterTheEnd: The setting takes place after World War III and a nuclear exchange that devastated most of the nations of Earth. One of the surviving states is Libria, ruled by the Tetragammaton Council that blames the freedom of human emotion as the cause of this war.
* AloneInACrowd: John Preston after he goes off his emotion-supressing meds. Probably many of the sense offenders as well, but the movie doesn't focus on them.
* {{Animesque}}: Equilibrium is very shiny, futuristic and borrows heavily from Asian themes such as martial arts, dystopian settings and the Confucian anti-emotion culture common in traditional Asiatic societies. Librian Clerics even make use of {{Katanas|AreJustBetter}}.
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: [[spoiler:After depending entirely on his bodyguards previously, [=DuPont=] demonstrates in his fight scene with Preston that he's an extremely proficient GunKata fighter. This is foreshadowed by [=DuPont=] delivering the exposition about GunKata in the first third of the film, and later by [=DuPont=] talking about the rumour that "one of us, the Cleric" had turned.]]
* AwesomeByAnalysis: GunKata's shtick is that those trained in it can switch targets as fast as possible while avoiding the opponent's shots.
* BadassLongcoat: Preston himself, and the Clerics in general.
** The Sweepers themselves are somewhat-less-badass longcoats. Although one of them does [[BadassBiker motorbike through a Resistance stronghold while firing an MP5K one-handed]].
* BatmanGambit: [[spoiler: Preston stops taking Prozium and infiltrates the resistance. Just as [=DuPont=] planned.]]
* BehindTheBlack: In the climax, John Preston walks into a small circular room with numerous pillars. After a brief conversation with the bad guy on the opposite side of the room, they cut to a shot standing in front of the door, while bad guys step out from behind the pillars. The problem, is that they were on the same side of the pillars as Preston. Some even walk all the way around the pillar just to make for a better reveal, rather than just moving straight for their target. Of course, it's possible he actually saw them, he just didn't care.
* BigBrotherIsEmployingYou: John Preston is the top Grammaton Cleric, responsible for tracking down and bringing to justice "sense offenders," the opponents of the Tetragrammaton Council, the government of Libria.
* BloodlessCarnage: Much like ''Film/{{Ultraviolet}}'' after it. The film uses [[FacelessMooks shattering glass]] to signify a mook is dead.
* BloodstainedGlassWindows: [[PlayingWithATrope Played with]], since only one shot is fired in a church.
* BodyguardingABadass: In the final fight, Brandt guards [=DuPont=] even though, after [[spoiler:Preston cuts off Brandt's face]], it becomes clear that [=DuPont=] is a master at GunKata.
* BookBurning: The dystopian society does this to pretty much any piece of art or literature considered inductive of emotion. They also like to [[KickTheDog kill dogs]] for much the same reason.
* BoomerangBigot: [[spoiler:[=DuPont=] wants to destroy all sense-offenders, despite the fact that he is one himself.]]
* BottomlessMagazines: Dealt with by having the main character have a mechanism under his sleeves that loads his pistols with new magazines. This does not explain how exactly the mechanism works however, or how many magazines it holds. He also has sort of elaborate decoy magazines, magazines on round bottoms that he tosses to the floor, runs out and shoots down several guards before dropping to the floor and slotting the magazines into his gun. Careful counting of shots along the hallway scene in which both the sleeve reload and the weighted weeble clips are used reveals at least 30 rounds per magazine are being fired all the way along. At best count, about 40 are fired before the first reload, possibly more.
* BrainwashingForTheGreaterGood: If you count "removing human emotion, positive and negative" as brainwashing, then yes this qualifies for the trope. However, it is only a justification that {{Humans Are Bastards}}.
* BrokenFaceplate: When a mook's visor is shattered they invariably collapse and die; it's due to being shot in the face, or a pistol lethally slamming into the Sweeper's skull after passing through the faceplate.
* BulletProofHumanShield: At one point, Brandt machine-guns a sense offender who is grappling with Preston without killing him too.
* CatapultNightmare: Happens to Preston, after he stops taking his Prozium.
* ChekhovsGun: Where Preston [[spoiler: literally hands his gun to Brandt]] for later exploitation.
* ChemicalMessiah: The drug Prozium makes people emotionless. The top brass sell it as a solution to man's tendency to war and strife. It isn't addictive, though going off of it can be difficult for people because it's almost like going on a drug, with a flood of emotions that are hard to control or hide.
* CheshireCatGrin: [[TheDragon Cleric Brandt]] has a smile which first inspires FridgeLogic when you realise that he's not supposed to have any emotion, then FridgeBrilliance when you realise that he ''doesn't'' have any emotion; his huge smile has nothing to do with real happiness or real satisfaction. Knowing this makes it pretty creepy.
* ChurchMilitant: Despite serving a secular state, the Grammaton Clerics use the trappings of this trope.
** Some of the quasi-religious vibes are a bit more subtle: Though it also sort of resembles the Nazi swastika, the symbol of the Librian regime is most similar to the type of cross seen on the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Jerusalem coat of arms of the medieval Kingdom of Jerusalem]], or the "decapitated cross" of ''Literature/BraveNewWorld''. Moreover, "Tetragrammaton"[[note]]loosely translated as "the four-letter word", referring to the Hebrew appellation Yod-He-Vau-He, YHVH[[/note]] is an euphemism used to refer to the name of {{God}}.
* CleanCut: [[spoiler: He cuts a dude's fucking ''face'' off!]]
* TheCobblersChildrenHaveNoShoes: The Tetragrammaton Clerics are tasked with rooting out and apprehending or killing Sense Offenders. Preston, stated as being one of the best Clerics, fails to realize that [[spoiler: his entire family, both partners, and his boss are all Sense Offenders]]. It's clear that his reputation is based on A) his combat skills, and B) his contraband-sniffing skills, rather than his ability to '''actually find the people he's supposed to be hunting'''. Though it could also be that he is better at spotting sense offending in strangers.
* ComputerEqualsMonitor: Preston shoots out a bank of monitors, causing all of Father's propaganda though the city to fizzle out.
%%* CoolGun: See [[http://www.imfdb.org/index.php?title=Equilibrium here]] for a list.
* ContractOnTheHitman: Preston is a highly-trained police officer/executioner for the Fascist theocratic government of Libria. Once he [[HitmanWithAHeart recovers his own emotions]] and realizes what monstrous society has been created in the name of peace and tranquility, he [[HeelFaceTurn becomes a rebel himself]] and turns the tables on his former employers, [[spoiler:killing the people send out to kill him and executing the head of the State Church.]]
* CreepyChild: [[spoiler: Preston's son plays at being one until he's certain Preston has undergone a HeelFaceTurn. Justified. See DullSurprise]]
* CreepyCoolCrosses: The Tetragrammaton logo is a so called ''Krückenkreuz'', or ''Cross potent''.
* CruelAndUnusualDeath: Is being ''roasted alive'' really the most efficient way of disposing of undesirables? Firing squads make sense, '''chambers of literal fire''' do not.
* CulturedBadass: The BigBad, being a hypocrite, keeps an art collection and reads poetry, quoting Yeats right before the climactic fight. He is also a GunKata [[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking master]].
* CulturePolice: The Grammaton Clerics are an elite police force tasked with destroying all art and killing anyone who possesses art. This was because the {{dystopia}}n government was attempting to stabilize society by completely eliminating human emotion (why the government needs an elite, GunKata trained task force to carry this out is [[RuleOfCool never really explained]]).
** It's likely it has to do with the division of power, so that neither the Clerics nor the Sweepers are singularly responsible for enforcement of the law. Having them separate allows the head man to play them off of each other. Same pattern as in the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, the archetypal evil empires.
* CuriosityCausesConversion: Though the curiosity only happened because Preston ran out of curiosity-suppressing drugs.
* CurbStompBattle: [[spoiler:Preston's final fight against Brandt.]]
** RealLifeWritesThePlot: [[spoiler: According to the DVD commentary, the whole film was shot on a tight schedule, and the final confrontation scenes in particular were made in a rush. They actually ''had'' planned for a legitimate fight scene between Preston and Brandt, but they simply couldn't get Taye Diggs available in time to do the scene, so they did a pragmatic move and turned the whole thing into a SingleStrokeBattle, with a body double standing in for Diggs.]]
* DeathByCameo: Sean Bean shows up for [[ChronicallyKilledActor his usual death scene]].
* DecoyProtagonist: At first it seems like Partridge would be the hero of the story.
* DiagonalCut: There's a perfect diagonal cut/slide apart in live action as part of its climactic fight sequence, and the victim is even courteous enough to turn his head to the side so the audience can see his face sliding off. It looks exactly as awesome/stupid as it sounds.
* DramaticDeadpan: When Preston prepares for the climactic battle: "No." and "''[[TranquilFury Not without incident]].''"
* DramaticGunCock:
** Partridge induces Preston to kill him by cocking the gun in his lap.
** Just before massacring a whole squadron of Helmet Mooks, Preston pumps [[GunsAkimbo two shotguns]] simultaneously by jerking them back so fast that the shotguns pump themselves.
* DullSurprise: Possibly the ONLY film in existence that not only justifies its existence, but makes it a plot driven requirement!
* {{Dystopia}}: Libria is basically ''1984'' [[JustForFun/XMeetsY with Gun Fu]]. Emotion is {{Thoughtcrime}}, all citizens are required to take psychiatric medication to suppress it, and if people resist then the State employs elite supersoldiers to annihilate all the thought-criminals.
* DystopianEdict: "No emotions at all!"
* EmotionSuppression: Everyone uses a drug called Prozium to suppress their emotions. Refusal to administer it is [[{{Dystopia}} punishable by death]].
* EmotionsVsStoicism: Prozium is designed to block out emotions so that there will be [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans no more violent conflict]].
* TheEvilsOfFreeWill: Father's dogma. Emotions are seen as an enabler and the cause of all of humankind's problems - hate, fear, jealousy, violence, - and thus Prozium to suppress those as well.
* FaceDeathWithDignity: Partridge is aware that he's been sense offending, carrying a Yeats book of poetry. [[DissonantSerenity He's cool, calm, composed. Constantly, even when faced with death. When Preston becomes suspicious and finds him in the church, he doesn't look up, doesn't bat an eyelid, totally aware that Preston is armed.]] He even goes so far as to ''read'' from one of Yeats famous poems, 'The Cloths Of Heaven'. He looks up, questioning everything the system stands for, hoping to get Preston to at least understand what's going on before he dies. [[spoiler: We find out later from Mary that he was her lover and he secretly fought for the Resistance]]. The way he says the line below describes how resilient he is, because he doesn't do anything to prevent his own oncoming death despite knowing what was coming for him. He's going to die fighting for a cause and he wants it to stay that way. If it means dying for your beliefs, he's in no denial.
--> '''Partridge''': You always knew.
* FacelessGoons: The Sweepers, who wear either riot gear or storm-coats, but almost always wear closed helmets.
* FirstTimeFeeling: Hits Preston ''hard'', not least because, at the time, he's found and is listening to an old vinyl album of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, one of the most tremendously moving pieces of music ever produced by the human species. Even the ''script'' describes this introduction to human emotion as 'unfair'. (But it does a lot to explain his subsequent actions.)
* FlatWhat: The reaction of the Nethers captain to [[spoiler:seeing two of his men killed with their own shotguns]]. Justified because like everyone else, he would have been on Prozium and not felt fear at the result.
* FlockOfWolves: [[spoiler:It's implied Preston is one of the few Clerics who still is taking Prozium when the movie starts.]]
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Several instances:
** When Preston and Brandt are sparring with batons midway through, Preston gets a quick strike to Brandt's face, [[spoiler: setting up his fate at the end of the film.]]
** In the beginning of the film, Brandt comments that he needs to stop by an Equilibrium center [[spoiler: to have his dose adjusted, meaning he's either under-medicated or over-medicated.]]
** [[spoiler: John's daughter playing with her cereal near the beginning of the film foreshadows that she is no longer on Prozium, as does the fact that his son gets annoyed with her hint that he isn't on it either.]]
** [[spoiler: [=DuPont=] is teaching the GunKata class early on because he himself is a master practitioner. Also he refers to the traitor as being "one of us, the Cleric".]]
** [[spoiler: Jurgen]] is seen early on at a public broadcast about the dangers of sense offending, letting you know that [[spoiler: he actually takes prozium]] to maintain his cover.
** [[spoiler:[=DuPont=]]] is seen angrily slapping a table during a conversation with Preston, suggesting that [[spoiler:he's not on Prozium]].
* FreezeFrameBonus: Preston's Beretta shot flares look like the Tetragrammaton cross logo. The producer himself has stated that it was mostly a wasted effect, as few viewers noticed it.
* GasMaskMooks: The incinerator personnel at the Hall of Justice. In scary black Soviet PBF gas masks.
* GoodColorsEvilColors: Although all of the main characters, both evil and good, wear black for the majority of the film, the climactic final battle sees the protagonist in a stunningly-white ceremonial uniform, while every one of the antagonists he fights -- from the motorcycle-helmeted goons to the Big Bad himself -- is dressed entirely in black.
* GoodCostumeSwitch: Preston dons an all white suit before the FinalBattle, presumably his parade uniform since he's going to see Father. He even has his sword with him in a white scabbard. Then again, why a society with no emotions would need a parade uniform is unclear.
** They probably did occasional MookMarches, to the remind the populus (resistence or otherwise) what they were up against for sense offence.
* GoryDiscretionShot: The "translucent screen" variation, in the firing squad scene.
* GovernmentDrugEnforcement: Prozium is this all over.
* GunKata: XanatosSpeedChess with [[MoreDakka guns]]. However, Preston and [[spoiler: [=DuPont=]]] are the only ones we see doing any actual GunKata: Partridge is deliberately letting Preston do all the work, Brandt's only on-screen shooting is with an assault rifle, and none of the other Clerics bother.
* GunsAkimbo: All Clerics use double Berettas as part of their "gun kata".
* GoneHorriblyRight: [[spoiler:Father deciding to use an UnwittingPawn to track down the resistance. It works. It works perfectly.]]
* GrandInquisitorScene: The movie finishes on one of these, with the added bonus that the official also doesn't believe it either.
* GunFu: They combine both this and GunKata in the Grammaton Clerics' signature fighting style.
* GunKata: The TropeNamer is the style of gunplay used by the Grammaton Clerics in this film. The style was choreographed by a Karate expert, and you can see the Clerics often adopt very Karate-like stances while practicing or fighting.
* GunsAkimbo: John Preston wields dual pistols and is quite literally untouchable by mooks. In an early scene, he jumps into a crossfire and stands calmly (then again, with emotions held under check he can't quite panic or anything) in one place while the opposition fires away with automatic weaponry and fails to hit him. The film [[JustifiedTrope attempts to explain this]] by inventing a fighting style known as GunKata, which teaches its practitioners to seek out locations in a fight where there is minimum probability of getting shot at and it's not "behind cover"). In a later fight, Preston reloads by a mechanism that inserts fresh magazines into the guns from his sleeves.
* TheGunslinger: Grammaton Clerics, the foremost and most elite soldier of the Liberian regime.
* HeroicBloodshed: Following a lawman's struggle between loyalty to his regime and the righteous outlaws... and lots and lots of bullets.
* HeroicBSOD: John suffers quite a few times: in a flashback, after his wife's immolation, despite being on Prozium, reliving the memories after withdrwaing from Prozium, and then [[spoiler:after Mary's execution.]]
* HeroicSecondWind: Noticeably averted, with the hero killing the Big Bad without breaking a sweat, and the only concession to show that the Big Bad is a credible threat is that he doesn't die instantly, unlike everyone else that came before. In the commentary the director even mentions this trope, and states he thinks it's stupid and unnecessary for the hero to lose to the Big Bad in round 1 because the audience already knows the hero is going to win anyway.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: [[spoiler: The Tetragrammaton planned to use Preston as bait for the Resistance leaders.]]
* HopeSpot
** [[spoiler: Preston rushes to the execution chamber to prevent Mary's death, but arrives seconds too late.]]
** [[spoiler: Preston's revolution was a trap of the authority.]]
* HugeHolographicHead: Messages from the leader of the totalitarianist regime, "Father", does this with massive screens throughout the city. Subverted in that [[spoiler:the real Father died years before. [=DuPont=] has been impersonating him since then]].
* HumansAreFlawed: The entire reason for the plot was because human emotions were a flaw and the cause of 'man's inhumanity to man.' The ending, while portrayed positively, never exactly comes clear on whether restoring human emotion is a good thing.
* {{Hypocrite}}: Vice-Council Dupond rules the totalitarian Liberia by forcing everyone to suppress their emotions with a drug called Prozium. [[spoiler: When Preston raids his office in the climax, it is decorated with fine art that wasn't incinerated and Dupond outright states that he is a Sense Offender himself in a last-ditch appeal to stop Preston from shooting. However, since the original Father died years ago, it's unknown if he was a hypocrite or not.]]
* IdiotBall. [[spoiler:The BigBad lets Preston, the highly trained Cleric who has killed multiple FacelessGoons and proven himself a serious threat, walk into the main headquarters without even bothering to search him for weaponry. He then tells Preston the master plan and as soon as his villainous monologue ends, Preston pulls out some firearms and fights his way to the boss's room. In a deleted scene, it would've shown earlier that the metal detectors are at the ''next'' door Preston walks through after taking the lie-detector, which raises the question of why they put the anti-gun security measure ''there'' instead of ''before'' the room they planned to spring their trap in.]]
** [[spoiler: In addition to just shooting Preston after they captured the resistance, they also could have shot him up with more Prozium to remove his emotions again.]]
* ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy: Averted. At first, it seems this is the only reason why Preston wasn't immediately killed when he went through the door at the sense offender hideout in the beginning. However, statistically the first man into a room is one of the safest in the opening seconds of an engagement (the ''second'' man in line is usually the first one to buy it) if his entrance is hard and fast enough. Preston slammed through the door all the way to the middle of the room in about a second; by the time the guys in the room realized he was there, the lights were out and they couldn't really shoot him without killing each other.
* InterestingSituationDuel: The climax features a gun duel. It's awesome by virtue of the range being ''two feet''; the combatants fire at each other with pistols while simultaneously trying to hit the other's gun away.
* InvincibleHero: Preston. [[WordOfGod The director]] finds it boring when the villain "gets a few good licks in" on the hero because he has no intention of implying a [[TheBadGuyWins Bad Guy Wins]] ending, and thus, there's no point in making it seem like the villain has an advantage at all when the result is a foregone conclusion. He ''does'' acknowledge that not everyone likes this approach. And yet, for all his ''physical'' invincibility, he turns out to be incredibly ''emotionally'' vulnerable.
* InYourNatureToDestroyYourselves
--> '''Father''': Intrinsically, humans, as creatures of the Earth were drawn inherently always back to one thing, war. And thus we seek to correct not the symptom, but the disease itself. We have sought to [[IndividualityIsIllegal shrug off individuality]], replacing it with conformity. Replacing it with sameness, with unity, [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans allowing each man, woman, and child in this great society to lead identical lives.]]
* ItIsPronouncedTropay: Preston absolutely murders the pronunciation of Ludwig Van Beethoven.
* {{Irony}}: The culmination of the film [[spoiler:involves Preston, an agent of the Resistance, attaining what the Tetragrammaton has been seeking since its founding -- total emotional mastery -- ''without'' Prozium. Unfortunately for the Tetragrammaton, this control manifests as [[TranquilFury the ability to channel his near-volcanic anger into an awesome display of precision ass-kicking]]]].
* KatanasAreJustBetter: There is [[RuleOfCool no good reason]] for Brandt's personal guards to carry katanas.
* KickTheDog: The Sweepers are shown gunning down fleeing and captured Resistance members, and ''dogs''.
* KnightTemplar: The government of Libria, who believe themselves to be upholding what is good for humanity by destroying all works of art and suppressing all emotions, in exchange to bringing peace and equality to the land.
* JudgeJuryAndExecutioner: The Clerics, who are authorized to carry out neutralizations - or at least lead firing squads - against Sense Offenders, and judging from John's protests after his Prozium withdrawal, are allowed to process offenders in any way they see fit.
* LaResistance: Who else but the aptly named "Resistance"?
* LateArrivalSpoiler: [[spoiler:"Not without incident."]] The trailer doesn't provide enough context for it to be a real spoiler, but you'll know where it's coming in the movie, and it was clearly intended to be unexpected.
* LickedByTheDog: Several minutes after Preston cries at Beethoven, a puppy licks his face and brings out his compassion -- to the point where he ends up killing a dozen men after he decides to keep it.
* LittleNo: "No. [[spoiler:[[PreAsskickingOneLiner Not without incident.]]]]"
* ManInWhite: Preston in the climax.
* MediaWatchdog: What the dystopia is all about.
* MeaningfulEcho:
** Near the end, [[spoiler:[=DuPont=]]] echoes the Yeats poem Partridge was reading near the beginning: "You're treading on my dreams."
** Before shooting Partridge, Preston mentions the anger and hatred felt by sense offenders. Partridge replies, "A heavy cost. I pay it gladly." When [[spoiler:[=DuPont=]]] asks Preston whether killing a feeling human is worth the price, guess how Preston replies?
** When Brandt is sparring with Preston he states that "it's my job to know what you're thinking". [[spoiler: When Preston finds out his son is also feeling and knew that he became a sense offender, the son says "you forget, it's my job to know what you're thinking."]]
** When Preston starts following Partridge's path, he repeats some of his excuses. "They miss things, sometimes..."
* MobstacleCourse: Preston does this at least twice, one time without a real purpose besides just wanting to be alone.
* MonaLisaSmile: Mona Lisa is one of the paintings which is captured and burned in the opening. Adding to the tragedy is that the main character, initially a ruthless enforcer of the totalitarian regime, has no idea about the significance of it.
* {{Mondegreen}}: When Preston doubts the wisdom of overthrowing the government, he says "What about war, the everyday cruelties that are all gone now?" Jurgen's response is, "Replaced by the Tetragrammaton?" Many think he's saying, "Replaced by a touch of grammaton?"
* MortalWoundReveal: [[spoiler:Happens to TheDragon Brandt.]]
* MouthOfSauron: Libria dictator "Father" is all over the television, but almost no one meets him personally. Vice-Council [=DuPont=] is explicitly described as "Father's Voice." Turns out [[spoiler:to be a subversion: the real Father died years before, and [=DuPont=] is actually running things while pretending to be the Mouth of Sauron]].
* MurderByCremation: Any imprisoned "sense offenders" eventually suffer this fate. [[spoiler:Preston witnesses this first-hand when he sees Mary's execution.]]
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: When Preston rewatches the recording of his wife's incineration, this time being able to feel. His face becomes a mask of complete and utter horror when he sees how he had just stood then, uncaring and cold, while she had been sent to a gruesome fiery death.
** Earlier than that, the first time he kills a man after he goes off Prozium.
* NeverTrustATrailer: The trailers make it seem like Preston's wife was arrested recently and his motivation is pure revenge.
* OffhandBackhand: Pretty much any shot Preston makes falls under this trope, since GunKata eliminates the need to actually aim.
* OhCrap:
** The technician administering Preston's polygraph test, when [[spoiler:the machine flatlines]].
** Also the Puppy dog shootout scene:
-->Mook 1: "Oh!"
-->Mook 2: "[[PrecisionFStrike Shit!]]"
-->*BAM* *BAM*
-->Mook 3: "[[FlatWhat What.]]"
-->[[DramaticGunCock *SHICK-SHICK*]]
-->Mook 3: "[[ThisIsGonnaSuck Ah shit, shoot him shoot him shoot him!]]"
** [[spoiler:[=DuPont=] gets progressively more unnerved as he watches Preston [[CurbStompBattle defeat]] each layer of his defenses.]]
* OneManArmy: Preston. He smashes his way through every obstacle put before him and racks up a massive kill count over the course of the film.
* PendulumWar: The minute Preston stops the broadcasts from Father, the previously completely ineffective sense-offenders ZergRush the Sweepers with zero casualties observed.
* PetTheDog: Done literally, as a first
* PistolWhipping: The scene where Preston tries to let the sense-offenders escape. The resulting beatdown leaves several Sweepers dead.
** It plays into the Gun Kata principle that the whole gun is a weapon, and the gun even has retractable spikes on the grip bottom for maximum pain.
* PlotHole: Supposedly, [[spoiler:Preston swapped his government-issued (and personalized) gun with Brandt's to frame him for killing the Sweeper patrol. The swapping scene clearly happens ''after'' the killing scene, and in any case he used two guns in the fight and only swapped one. Some people think this hole is obvious and unforgivable. Others [[WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief forgive it]] in order to enjoy the rest of the film. Still others come up with bizarre, elaborate justifications for why it makes sense if you think about it hard enough, usually fueled by an earlier scene where Preston picks up and hands Brandt his gun.]] The [[WordOfGod actual explanation]] is that the narrative was shuffled in editing to improve the pacing, and the director decided to let the plot hole slide.
* PoseOfSupplication: Preston collapses after [[spoiler:seeing Mary burned alive... and it's how he's caught.]]
* PreAssKickingOneLiner: See the OhCrap entry.
* PraetorianGuard: The dictator of Libria is protected by a special cadre of katana-wielding soldiers when Preston breaks down the door to his office. They're completely ineffectual against [[InvincibleHero Preston]], however.
* PreciousPuppy: Preston rescues one after his withdrawal from Prozium.
* PuttingOnTheReich: Liberia, whose Hitler Youth-esque candidates for Cleric training wear very fascist-inspired outfits, as well as the basic soldier consisting of either [[PoliceBrutality riot police]] or helmeted goons in Gestapo-esque trenchcoats.
* RageWithinTheMachine: At first, Patridge, Preston's partner... and then Preston himself, at first trying to get the regime to soften its heavy-handed execution of all Sense Offenders, and eventually openly rebelling.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Mary gives one (with a dose of WhatTheHellHero) to Preston during her interrogation.
* ReverseGrip: Preston sparring with Brandt and, later, [[spoiler:fighting the guards surrounding Father in the finale.]]
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: [[spoiler:Preston carries this out -- minus the "[[TranquilFury roaring]]" part, of course.]]
%%* RuleOfCool: The gunfights in general, but check out the [[http://www.imfdb.org/index.php?title=Image:Equilibriumflash.jpg Tetragrammaton muzzle flashes]].
* RuleOfSymbolism: Probably the only reason the drug ampules looks like bullets and the drug is injected with an apparatus that looks like a gun.
** Viviana's execution robe is blood red, the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary,_Queen_of_Scots#Execution color of martyrs]].
** Father extolls Prozium as the "opiate of the masses", a frequent variation on Karl Marx's view of religion as the "opium of the people".
* SameStoryDifferentNames: Writer-director Kurt Wimmer's follow-up project ''Film/{{Ultraviolet}}'' rehashed most of the basic elements of this film. William Fichtner even appears in both.
* ScrewTheRulesIMakeThem: [[spoiler: Apparently, once you are far enough up the ranks taking Prozium is not required.]]
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: [[spoiler:The Librian TV operators' response to Preston's DeathGlare.]]
* ShadowDictator: Inspired by ''1984'', "Father" is the mysterious and omnipresent dictator of Libria. Though we do see broadcasts featuring him, [[spoiler:they are faked, since the original Father died, and Du Pont was chosen to replace him]].
* SheathStrike: Preston does this near the end of the film, impaling two mooks at the same time with a katana and its saya. It helps that during the fight, the saya had been sliced to a point by another mook's katana.
%%* ShirtlessScene
%%* ShootOutTheLock: [[PlayingWithATrope Played with]], in an almost-realistic portrayal.
%% NOTE: Shooting a dog doesn't automatically fit the Shoot The Dog trope, which is something a protagonist might do. Mentioned above as Kick The Dog.
* ShoutOut: Fifteen seconds before the end of the movie features an explosion amidst the city reflected in [[spoiler:Preston]]'s eye. [[Film/BladeRunner Sound familiar?]]
* ShowyInvincibleHero: Preston all the way. We have no doubt he's going to win every battle he's in, and the story follows his journey to understand his own emotions.
* SingleStrokeBattle: Preston's fight with [[spoiler:Brandt]].
* TheSmurfettePrinciple: Mary is the only female in the main cast.
* SociopathicHero: The film both [[JustifiedTrope justifies]] and [[DeconstructedTrope deconstructs]] this trope via Preston.
* SteelEardrums: Guns go off right next to characters' heads repeatedly. This never leads to any real consequences.
* StockLateralThinkingPuzzle:
--> '''Polygraph Operator''': "How would you say would be the easiest way to take a weapon away from a Grammaton Cleric?"
--> [[spoiler:'''Brandt''': "You ask him for it."]]
* StockQuotes: The film's chosen poetry snippet is the last few lines of "Aed Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven" by [[Creator/WilliamButlerYeats Yeats]]:
-->''But I, being poor, have only my dreams;\\
I have spread my dreams under your feet;\\
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.''
* TheStoic: After starting as one, Preston quickly turns NotSoStoic as he struggles with having and hiding emotions. He even suffers a HeroicBSOD, but becomes TheStoic again before the final battle.
* StrawHypocrite: [[spoiler:[=DuPont=] and Brandt aren't on Prozium. In the [[WordOfGod commentary]], the director explains that this was done because most people assume that breaking their own laws is one thing all tyrants have in common, and he cast Taye Diggs as Brandt partly because of his giant smile.]]
* StrawVulcan: The ideological mainstream believes that emotion creates "man's inhumanity to man"; any attempt to evoke feelings in oneself or others is punishable by [[SelfFulfillingProphecy summary execution]].
* TakeThat:
** The way items are rated, banned, and destroyed is a dig at the MPAA rating system.
** Somewhat less subtle is Father extolling "the revolutionary precept of the hate crime" -- as in, dubbing the "hate" the important part of the "crime", which makes {{Thoughtcrime}} NotSoCrazyAnymore.
%%* TalkToTheFist: "You're under arrest."
* TearOffYourFace: Preston kills [[spoiler:Brandt]] by slicing his face off with a katana.
* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill: Pretty much the philosophy driving the movie. Aside from the overkill in combat, you really don't need dual flamethrowers to destroy a single painting.
%%* TheseHandsHaveKilled
* {{Thoughtcrime}}: "Sense Offense"
* TinMan: Many of Preston's opponents who are supposedly on Prozium display plenty of emotions, OhCrap being a favorite. [[spoiler:This is foreshadowing the fact that they ''aren't'' on it.]]
* TooDumbToLive: The Sweepers in the Nethers scene. ''Do not'' try to use your Walther [=WA2000=] [[ShortRangeShotgun within three feet]] of a known GunKata expert, never mind that if you ''do'' fire you'll probably [[IJustShotMarvinInTheFace kill your mate standing on his opposite side]].
* TranquilFury: Four words: [[spoiler:"No. Not without incident."]]
** To be precise, the moment the polygraph flatlining. It meant to indicate Preston entering state of 'mushin' (no-mind, common among highly trained martial artist before combat), essentially shutting off unnecessary system and divert all brain processing power to asskicking mode. Yes, he literally that furious his mind become perfectly clear.
* TroubledBackstoryFlashback: The arrest and execution of Preston's wife. Bonus points for her being more colorful than everything else in the memory.
* UnbuiltTrope: The film was released in 2002, about a decade before the teenage dystopia genre took off thanks to works like ''Film/TheHungerGames'', and it can also come across as a subversion of many of the oft-mocked cliches present in those works.
* {{Undercrank}}: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdYSB7z7hok#t=3m49s This gets quite noticeable in some fight scenes.]]
* UnorthodoxReload:
** Preston has some sort of device up his sleeves (literally) that will reload his pistols for him when they run empty.
** During the final shootout, [[spoiler:Preston is confronted by a hallway of machine-gun Mooks. He throws two magazines of ammunition halfway down the hallway, then starts shooting, running out of ammo ''exactly where the two magazines landed'', reloads and continues gunning 'em down. ]]
** And the one guy assuming his Walther [=WA2000=] is a shotgun, racking a nonexistent pump.
* [[spoiler:UnwittingPawn]]: As it turns out, [[spoiler:Preston]] is the first success in trying to locate and destroy the [[spoiler:resistance - [=DuPont=] had been trying for ages to find the source of the resistance by slipping in an inside man... but he found out it would be easier to follow Preston's attempts to contact the resistance.]]
* UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans: The Tetragrammaton Council (and Father) think of the lack of emotion amongst Libria's populace as a fair trade for the near-eradication of all crime.
* ViciousCycle: The downfall of the Tetragrammaton Council and Prozium at the end of the film opens up the high probability of the re-occurrence of all the unrestrained negative emotions, crime, violence, and fears that drove the creation of the regime in the first place.
* VillainProtagonist: Subverted. Preston starts as a servant of the Librian government, but pulls a HeelFaceTurn.
* WindowPain: Done repeatedly with Sweepers' visors. You'd think they'd be made of something that didn't spectacularly shatter at the slightest impact.
* WritingAroundTrademarks: In the finished film, the emotion-deadening drug is called "Prozium"; in at least some drafts of the script, it was instead named "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Librium Librium]]".
* ZeppelinsFromAnotherWorld: In the background, though they're never given any focus.