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Headscratchers: Equilibrium
  • At the very beginning. With the Mona Lisa. These items are being destroyed for their emotional response. Which, in almost all cases, is the exact same from a copy of a painting as it is from the original, or at least from a copy in the same medium. So WHY do they need to check before burning that it's the original? It can't be for the satisfaction of a great victory 'cos, y'know... Prozium. Out-of-universe, it gives shock factor to the audience at the destruction of such a famous piece, but in-universe, well... that.
    • It might not matter to most of the proziacs (their leadership most certainly cares), but it would most certainly affect the resistance trying to protect said artwork. What better way to convince them to forsake emotion than to prove they can't protect these blasphemous relics and plunge them into despair? At the least, it's an important blow against their morale.
    • Ironically, that can't be the original Mona Lisa, which is smaller and painted on wood, not canvas (probably the filmmakers skimped on research). Still, the scan doesn't say that it's the original, only that it's "verified" — I interpreted that as "verified to be EC-10 material".
      • ...They need a scanner to tell them that what they're looking at is a painting?
      • Presumably they are not allowed to look at it 'properly'.
      • Maybe the "scanner" is a recorder, and they're documenting the raid, "verifying" the presence of EC-10 material for the record. Librian society seems to prize rules, documentation, and making sure things are done "by the book".
      • Maybe they just went with the version that would be most recognizable to the general public.
      • That's actually true. According to the Commentary, they were going to use a slightly less well-known painting, but decided to go with one they knew everybody would recognize.
      • Equilibrium actually takes place in the same universe as Ever After, far in the future. The Mona Lisa being painted on canvas is one of the ways in which that universe differs from ours.
      • Also, the reason they're removing the material is because it risks evoking an emotional response. Someone on Prozium has their emotional responses negated or at least heavily dampened. Accordingly a scanner is required to determine if this item would produce an emotional response and would therefore amount to infringing material, since the Big Bad can't risk his mooks making an assessment for themselves whether any emotional response takes place.
      • Which begs the question: how can a scanner determine whether non-Proziacs would find a painting purdy? Does it have an AI simulation of a human mind in there? Considering that this film is set Twenty Minutes into the Future, that means we have some incredible technological breakthroughs scheduled for this afternoon at half past three.
      • It's a painting, which can be analyzed by components used in the paint, age of the materials, whether or not brush strokes are detectable, or maybe even if it is missing an official government watermark. Heck maybe they are just checking to see if it's older than, say, 100 years Before Prozium since artifacts from that era would be likely candidates for destruction.
  • OK, so between Sean Bean, Christian Bale, and his kids... I have to ask. Is anyone in this dystopia actually on their meds?
    • Presumably the Mooks are, but the scenes in which they yell "Shit!" at the realization that they will get their heads blown off kinda calls that into question. I can't think of a single named character who isn't really off the meds except Preston (and then only at the beginning).
      • I always figured the society was like the dictatorship of San Lorenzo in Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle. Bokonism is outlawed, the government kills people for practicing Bokonism, but EVREYONE on the island is a Bokonist.
      • Prozium is an emotional supressor, not Vulcan mind-melding. The situation prompted such a strong response that the drug couldn't stop it.
      • Of course its not if it where Vulcan mind-melding everyone would be psychically connected.
      • The majority of the citizens in Libria are obviously on their meds, as evidenced by their overly stiff and conformist behavior (they always walk in perfectly straight lines, turn at right angles, and walk with deliberate focused precision). As for the expletive-shouting guards, as the above troper points out Prozium only suppresses emotions. If it totally destroyed a person's ability to feel emotions then there would be no need to outlaw and destroy objects of emotional value. If you're completely incapable of feeling anything then there's no danger in looking at the Mona Lisa, reading a book of poetry, or listening to Mozart.
      • Additionally, it's implied that people sometimes need their Prozium dosage adjusted. If someone is undermedicated and doesn't realize it, emotionally provocative media would increase the risk of sense offense.
    • This troper almost refused to watch the rest of the film after realizing, "Why aren't these meds in the food?"
      • Poor reaction with it? Some meds you aren't supposed to take with food. And because the imagery of using a medical capsule shaped like a bullet in an injector with a trigger to kill your emotions is so potent.
      • Could lead to overdose?
      • Could easily be explained away as chemical makeup of the drug itself. Synthetic Insulin won't enter the blood stream if ingested. That's why most diabetics have to get shots when their blood sugar is off.
      • The potent image can easily be an in-universe explanation, too. It helps with the image the government projects, and it also requires people to follow a strict routine, enforcing discipline the same way a Marine Sergeant Major might bitch out Marines for having their shirts untucked when they're ostensibly doing more important things to prepare for an invasion.
    • Everybody else seems to be on prozium all the time.
      • Perhaps most poignantly, the Leader of La Résistance is on Prozium so he can make sure he isn't discovered. You can practically hear the actor inflecting every one of his lines with "I know I should be sad because I'm on this drug and can't feel, but I don't feel sad. And I know that should make me feel sad."
  • Why, if they're just going to shoot all the prisoners they nab, does the police force use a water cannon on their tank/jeep/thing? Why not just shoot them then? And for that matter, why does no-one think to just toss a grenade at the other side?
    • Because they still interrogate people where possible.
      • I think the original confusion comes from that they don't interrogate people anymore, since Father recently ordered that all sense offenders would be shot on sight. But that's a very recent development, and the firetruck was a tool in common use because they were in the business of taking prisoners until less than a week beforehand.
    • Of course, this is all assuming it's water in the water cannon.
  • When the other cleric is arrested it is implied that it was his gun used to kill the sweeper team in the puppy scene. But Preston doesn't switch their guns until the raid a day later...
    • Earlier, there's a scene where their guns are on the hood of a car - Prestion hands a gun back to Brandt.
      • Exactly. Someone screwed up and edited the wrong part in.
      • It's not the wrong part; the scene that's shown in flashback is deliberately crafted to put an emphasis on which hand Preston uses to both take a gun from Brandt, and which hand he uses to hand one back; they're not the same hand. He switched them during the scene on the car, expecting that he would end up breaking the law at some point, and then gave Brandt's gun back to him so he wouldn't have it when the trace was run. There's another problem with it, though; he switches one gun with Brandt, but when he killed the sweepers to save the dog, he used two guns. Can't they tell that more than one gun was out there on that night?
  • Gun Kata. Just...Gun Kata. Gunfights do not work that way.
    • Rule of Cool, verging on Trope Codifier territory.
      • It would fall under Rule of Cool if they hadn't tried to explain it. But the explanation for how Gun Kata is supposed to work is so mind-bogglingly idiotic.
      • So, what you're saying is, you're bothered by an established trope.
      • Just because it's a trope doesn't mean it makes sense. Tropes Are Not Good.
    • No, it's still Rule of Cool. The purpose of the explanation is to also make it a Charles Atlas Superpower; a Cleric's training is so ridiculous that the way gunfights between normal people work is irrelevant to them.
      • No, that still fails. Gunfights. Do. Not. Work. That. Way. You cannot statistically predict the locations of your opponents in a gunfight because gunfights are based around cover, lines of fire, and suppression. That is dictated by the surrounding terrain, which is unpredictable. Hell, even the training sequence shows absolute ignorance of this simple fact, as it shows the Cleric in question fighting opponents in an open, empty room with no cover. Every other gunfight in the entire movie involves the Clerics gunning down opponents standing in the open with no cover. All it would take to down a Cleric in the real world would have been someone with a machinegun hosing the area he's standing in.
      • True, but the number of times people apply such one-dimensional tactical thinking in fiction does not make this particularly noticeable. The thing that is noticeable is that this is the only case where they depict characters who actually devise a method of taking advantage of such oversights.
      • Perhaps the Gun Kata is only designed for specific environments. Notice that even though the Librian government has a robust army of highly trained Grammaton Clerics, they still employ an even bigger army of regular mooks and they (usually) send the mooks in first when they raid sense offender hideouts. If the Gun Kata were so magically invincible, you'd think they would always send the Clerics in first. And notice in one scene (just before Preston pistol whips a bunch of soldiers to death) the first instinct of the mook soldiers is to assemble around Preston, almost as if they're trained to act as human shields for Grammaton Clerics.
      • I think you're still missing the point of Rule of Cool. It's not that because it's cool, it's more believable. It's that because it's cool, the required suspension of disbelief is acceptable. In reality, there are no wizards or trolls, and one cannot cause someone's heart to burst by simply poking them in the chest. Does this interfere with our ability to enjoy Lord of the Rings, or Kill Bill? Equilibrium asks you to believe something no more fantastic than either of those examples, that certain gifted individuals subjected to extreme training can utilize a form of Psychic Ballet Pistol Martial Arts where they magically know where everyone is by doing the math. River Tam, anyone? Complaining about that not being believable is pretty absurd...of course it's not. Is it awesome enough for that not to matter? Most people seem to think so.
      • The issue here is not whether or not it was cool, the issue here is that the explanation given for Gun Kata is so mind-bendingly wrong that it absolutely breaks suspension of disbelief. Math does not let you predict the positions of shooters in a gunfight, especially when gunfights don't work like the models shown in the movie. Explaining it as magic, as a sixth sense, as some other form of exceptional training would work just fine. But positing that gunfights can be predicted with such mathematical accuracy is complete nonsense when gunfights are violent, chaotic, and dependent entirely on cover, lines of sight, and concealment, which cannot be predicted. It does not help that, at any given moment, if a shooter simply sprayed the general area where Preston was standing with a machinegun, the random, unpredictable spray of bullets would have hit him. Any other justification might have worked. Psychic powers, drug-induced bullet-time, magic, or just some other form of really advanced training. But positing that mathematical models can help you win gunfights by predicting the locations of opponents and where they're going to be shooting is simply ridiculous.
      • Consider more or less any team-based multiplayer FPS. After playing a given map a couple of dozen times, you will find yourself doing much better, partly because you know the terrain better, but mostly because you've learned to predict where enemies will be and when, purely from experience. You can sometimes find yourself uncannily predicting where and when another player will pop up, and shooting them before they get the chance to retaliate. Some FPS developers, most notably Bungie, have used statistical analysis of their maps to determine which places are deadliest, to whom, and for what reasons. The fact is, despite an apparently very large volume of space to work with, the vast majority of people can consistently be found in a relatively small percentage of that space, narrowing down the possibilities dramatically. Grammaton Clerics function the same way, except instead of having to learn each new location they visit from experience, they have been taught to infer the disposition of enemy forces from a relatively small input by breaking down the complexities of battle into a series of known movements, kind of like chess or kung fu. They know that for any given space and number of opponents, there is only a limited number of sensible locations for those opponents. The reason that opponents in non-sensible locations don't fudge up the math is that those locations are suicidal.
      • The explanation is an example of Rule of Cool. Use maths to dodge bullets! the viewer can either go with it or not, but it's the context of the the film that's how Gun Kata works.
      • Maybe the Prozium doesn't allow them to think of varied tactics such as going for cover. Nearly all the people Preston kills are soldiers, perhaps they were trained to fight that way. The only times he does fight people with the imagination enough to use cover, he is in cramped buildings, and he essentially guns them down on sight without them having the chance to return fire anyways.
      • Also, any sensible person would tell you that Gun Kata and similar Gun Fu strategies don't really have much use because......well, GUNS.
      • When surrounded by four targets, why is it better to shoot the back right target with your right gun and the back left target with your left gun, then cross your arms and shoot the front right target with your left gun, and the front left target with your right gun? Surely it would be quicker to move a gun 90 degrees than 180? Rule of cool? Rule of retarded...
      • Okay, to that situation, try pointing your right arm at something directly behind it. It's much harder than crossing your left arm over to point at the same thing.
      • This is not a headscratcher, it's the perfect working of a trope. No, gunfights don't work that way in real life, but if you wanted real life you wouldn't be watching a movie.
      • The issues doesn't seem to be "Gunfights don't work like this in Real Life," but "The pseudo-logic of the explanation they give doesn't work in Real Life Physics, which are presumably the ones in the movie." That said, we're probably just supposed to handwave it, or just ignore the explanation and go with "Because."
    • Instead of saying "Gun Kata allows you to predict every single gunfight ever", think of it more along the lines of "Gun Kata allows you to quickly analyze any situation you find yourself in before dealing out maximum mathematical murder." In just about every gunfight, Preston takes a couple of seconds to actually start shooting; this might be him figuring out the statistical probability of which person is going to go hide where or shoot at what, and things like that (ex. There is a giant rock ten feet to my right. Statistically, people will want to hide behind a giant rock, so I will prepare to shoot someone running for that giant rock). It's memorization of buttloads of formulas that allow Gun Kata to kill with math, not actual prediction of every fight without even seeing the battleground.
    • Another problem I had with the Gun Kata was that while it's being stated that it allows one to being able to dodge attacks, however when we see Preston use Gun Kata he barely moves around, mostly just staying in one place...
    • That's not too unbelievable. According to the Vice-Counsel, Gun Kata also teaches you to stay clear of the "statistically likely trajectories of return fire." A martial arts expert can get very good at predicting how a less experienced opponent is going to attack. Same deal with Clerics. They've been trained to dodge you before you fire because they know where you're going to shoot at. Also they're not just trained in GK. Cleric training obviously involves a lot of physical training. So you take somebody who already has extensive physical training and add Gun Kata on top of that.
  • Towards the ending, when Preston is getting interrogated or whatever, the man watching him has enough time to say "Oh Shit," but the people with guns don't have time to pull the trigger? I know they were pretty bad shots but not shooting him when they had the chance...that's just stupidity at its best.
    • Or maybe it's Prozium at its best?
    • Presumably, the interrogator is the only one in the room who's trained to use a lie detector machine, and so he's the only one who knows what the flatline means for Preston's state of mind, and thus the only one who can guess what's about to happen.
      • Could be that the guards hesitated because they were both so doped on Prozium, and/or so out of practice at interpreting voices' emotional content, that they didn't immediately realize the interrogator was scared.
    • More importantly, no one used a metal detector to find and confiscate his guns. When leading a man who is known to be highly skilled with guns into a trap, and you confiscate his weapons ahead of time, you should make sure you confiscate his guns too.
      • The director goes over this very mistake in the commentary; if you look closely during some camera angles, you can see that the metal detectors are on the door that Preston walks through after the lie detector. And earlier scene would ahve shown DuPont walking through these doors with the metal detector making some noise and lighting up, clearing him to go through. This scene was removed to pace the movie better. In the plot, the guard who takes Preston sword is now making an oversight in not checking Preston for guns; this is unclear simply because it wasn't the original intent of the shot.
      • Okay, so instead of not using a metal detector to find his weapons, the guards are just complete incompetents who can't find a pair of oversized handguns hidden up a man's sleeves when they pat him down.
  • <Thump table> "ARE YOU PLAYING WITH ME, CLERIC?!?" Isn't that a dead giveaway that the big bad wasn't on his meds? Why didn't the guards arrest him after that outburst?
    • Because the guards are his subordinates. The presentation is deliberately crafted to play into our expectations of a dictatorship; most people who don't live under tyranny assume that the most blatant flaw of dictatorship is that the dictator is, without fail, a hypocrite who practices what he outlaws. Rather than try to fool us when we would never believe this isn't what's happening, the movie plays into our expectations instead of trying to make this a Reveal, because it would end up as a Shocking Swerve. It also serves a plot purpose, further reducing the uncertainty Preston feels at the idea of rebellion; it's pretty obvious he sees what's wrong in this scene, if the look on his face and his forced tone of voice mean anything.
      • To this troper it made sense even without the knowledge or suspicion that Dupont would turn out to be the Big Bad. Many real life dictatorships combined two seemingly incompatible features: very strict laws and a lack of the rule of law. Hence people in the positions of power could get away with a lot more than the commoners, and Dupont is still officially a Vice-Counsel, which sounds high-ranking enough. The guards' inaction could also be explained by a healthy dose of Doublethink on their part.
      • I think the big twist puts a new layer in the above theory. Dupont (and Brandt) are acting obviously like they aren't on meds to intentionally reduce Preston's uncertainty about the rebellion and to make him seek to join it which would speed up their masterplan!
    • Perhaps it's an acceptable practice for officials to imitate emotion in an attempt to provoke it in a potential sense-offender; raise the voice, act threateningly, and if no emotional response is revealed, return to normal.
  • why in the super-advanced future dystopia land, Christian Bale doesn't have central locking for his car and has to physically put the key in the lock to open it. Petty yes, but also very annoying.
    • because in the future having your car go "chirp-chirp" when you locked it would be silly, and we can't have silly; silly is an emotional response.
      • Silly is not an emotional response; thinking something is silly isn't an emotional response, either. Libria seems to run on practicality, so it'd be a matter of which method is more efficient, over-all, for unlocking your car.
  • Everyone in Libria (who is on their meds) seems so calm and relaxed all the time. But surely emotion is not the only thing that ever gets people moving beyond minimum speed. There would be naturally energetic people with or without prozium. Think of people with ADHD. And being calm and relaxed is not obviously the most rational and efficient choice that people automatically choose if they have no emotions, either; if you need to get to point B anyway, running will take less time and will have long term health benefits to boot. If you have enough energy for it, there's no real reason to be a conformist zombie about your walking speed. Do more energetic people get ritalin in their prozium or something? Why would the Tetragrammaton decide to do that?
    • Canon: "Nonconformity in your desk arrangement, Cleric? Why don't you put it back before someone thinks you're... Getting Ideas." Extrapolation: "We've got a runner! Aim to kill!"
    • If you have the technology to create all of Equilibrium, you have the technology to get every citizen's brainscan on file, and the technology to mix-n-match drugs according to medical needs on an individual basis, on an industrial scale. It's shown that you have to go to a medical facility to get Prozium, I always thought it would be a small wait while they actually made the drug for you. You don't just buy this shit at the 7-11.
    • Like any meds, it's not just the meds, it's a butt load of other stuff to go with. Likely, the meds help but it's more the constant reinforcement of the norms of society that pressure people to act a certain way. Do you question why you have to wear a tie to work? Not really, most of the time. It's just something you do.
  • Did Taye Diggs have to smile so damn much?
    • Yes; it was a large part of why he got the role. Incidentally, it's also not random; much like Dupont's angry outburst detailed above, its an indication that he's not on his meds. He even says he needs to have his meds "adjusted" early on, suggesting he's at least under-medicated.
  • This troper is a vegetarian who believes strongly in animal rights, but if presented with a choice between a cute little puppy's life and that of a human's, it would be the human(s). How in the hell is Preston in any way considered a hero or even an anti-villain after that?
    • THIS troper understands that humans can, by their very nature, look out for themselves, particularly fully trained adult humans carrying automatic weapons and wearing battle armor. A domesticated animal, on the other hand, requires human protection to survive. Me, I wipe out the humans just like Preston, only I probably wouldn't look anywhere near as cool doing it. Oh, and this scene is about raising emotions in the VIEWER.
    • He was struggling with his new found emotions. Puppies look cute and helpless and brought forth a lifetime of suppressed nurturing and protection while the officer investigating was just another drone. A person incomplete, lacking that which made him human and instead he was simply a machine. Killing him was a relief from his pointless life; not that any rational decision was made you understand, it was just an overwhelming need to save the defenceless.
    • I think it was a little deeper than Puppy vs. Cop. Remember how hard Preston tried to bluff to avoid revealing the puppy? Just the fact that Preston had a dog would have been interpreted as him keeping a pet, and thus had emotions, so he was a traitor to Libria. So killing the squad was regrettable, but simply self defense.
      • Exactly. Note that on seeing the puppy the Sweepers all point their guns at Preston's head. It's pretty clearly him or them.
    • That same cop has probably taken innumerable human lives prior to the puppy. There's a certain threshold in a person's existence where their life does, in fact, become less valuable than that of an animal.
    • Apart from the fact that Preston's life would be forfeit once the puppy was discovered, the movie obviously treats the helmeted mooks as morally valueless. Even though they are all (presumably) on Prozium and just doing their job, they are shown, almost without exception, to basically be unthinking killing machines for a Dystopian government. You could make the argument that it's not really their fault, but you could make it for Preston, too.
      • When Preston is about to kill him, Du Pont pointedly says that he is alive and "feeling", as if he expects that to change Preston's mind. Suggests that he sees those who are on Prozium as lesser, and is hoping that Preston will feel the same. We, it seems, are expected to agree with this as far as the mooks are concerned.
  • Why, in a society free of emotions, do people still live in family groups? And for that matter, how do they wind up with those kids? Are sexual impulses curbed with the Prozium, or not—I'd think it would be kind of hard to get it up without any kind of desire, since Prozium seems to control all brain chemicals. While it's not exactly necessary in-story, it would still be nice to know, from a Willing Suspension of Disbelief standpoint.
    • "It is your patriotic duty to raise cold, emotionless children to serve Libria" type propaganda. It's not uncommon for countries today to say things like "It's your patriotic duty to have only 1 child (China)" or "It's your patriotic duty to have a dozen kids! (Nazi Germany)". It's possible they might derive intellectual/civic satisfaction over raising a child, who, lets face it, would be far easier to raise without those pesky emotions making them hyper and loving. (o.o) Likewise: "It is your duty to report your parents/children if they show affection towards you." 1984, anyone?
    • Wimmer said that Libria was supposed to be in a transitional period, where not all characteristics of the old times have yet been squashed. Family is one of them. He also notes that this is why important people wear suits and ties, and that, had the Tetragrammaton continued for a few more decades, these things would've been phased out.
      • That still raises the question of how two people, who both have the emotional capacity of a brick wall, can muster up enough emotional power to get married, much less have children (although a bigger question would be how they would be able to have the latter in Libria- it's called "making love" for a reason.)
      • Artificial insemination.
      • It may be called 'making love' but that's just a name, love certainly isn't required for procreation. It's a biological imperative that your body will impose on you pretty effectively no matter how much your emotions are inhibited.
    • It doesn't remove emotions, just dulls them down. You might start a family with a girl you might only 'take a mild fancy to' so to speak, when you are in school. Then you'd get married, and have kids, you'd still be 'happy' with your life, and happy together.
  • Irony. Even though the movie spends a lot of time making it clear that the villains' philosophy if wrong, the hyper aggressive rage Preston displays in the climax of the movie is likely exactly the kind of thing that Prozium was made to prevent.
  • Why, in a society free of emotions, do people still do anything at all? Why go to work when there's no desire to get paid (because such a desire could cause crime)? Why obey the command to take prozium law when there's no fear? Why try to get ahead if there's no ambition? It just bugs me how retarded the whole thing is, really.
    • This. It would just end up like Miranda from Serenity, though not as extreme; people would either just slow down and do as little as possible work just to get paid enough to survive, or alternatively do random shit due to the lack of fear.
    • Fanwank: Prozium suppresses some emotions more intensely than others. Emotions like pride and ambition are somewhat left alone so that people still have motivation to work and contribute, while emotions like rage, envy, despair and duplicity are suppressed to much higher degrees. Consider why Prozium was adopted in the first place: as a means for reducing violence and conflict. The greatest precursors to conflict tend to be the craving for someone else's possessions (envy), an overdose of passion (rage), or the realization that you have nothing to lose (despair).
      • Well, the introduction says it suppresses the dizzying highs and abysmal lows. This would likely leave the more general emotions that every uses through their normal days, whilst removing the intense, less common ones.
    • Boredom would also be an emotion, sorta. So while they have no reason to do something, they also have no reason not to do something. It's as much rote as anything else and it's possible the government simply gives them things to do so they don't idle around and potentially trying to find things out for themselves. Keep them just busy enough and they start to go through the motions out of habit. It becomes routine.
    • Pain, hunger, thirst, and other basic physiological needs would still act as a goad to encourage action, even if there's no associated emotional payoff for meeting those needs.
    • The simplest answer is logic and propaganda. People don't go to work because they want to get paid, they go to work because they've been told, time and time again, that everyone must contribute to their society for their mutual survival. For example, a person is assigned the job of cleaning toilets, with the explanation that a hygienic environment is essential for everyone to remain healthy. Unfettered by emotional responses like disgust, the task makes complete logical sense, and selfish impulses such as "Why do I have to clean these toilets?" are probably suppressed also.
  • Fridge Logic: Librian architectural design apparently makes room for hollows between apartment buildings, conveniently large enough to act as well-decorated warehouses for contraband (complete with electricity!)
    • Preston walks in to the final room to confront the Big Bad, he looks around at a seemingly empty circular room before dropping his gun and walking in. And then a bunch Faceless Goons appear from behind the pillars to apprehend him. Of course, this becomes a bit stupid when you realize that 2 of the goons were hiding on the side of the pillars that were facing the entrance that Preston just walked through. This means he should have clearly seen two of guards that were lying in wait for him and realized it was a trap.
      • Who says he didn't know, and just chose to walk in anyway? Preston is entirely confident of his ability to destroy the goons when they step out to surround him, and that confidence proves justified.
    • The gun-switch with Brandt makes no sense as it plays out in the film, Preston murdering the sweepers, then swapping a gun with Brandt afterward. For the sequence to work, we have to assume that Preston makes a first switch while the two are standing by the car before Preston kills the sweepers, and the obvious switch later on is actually the second. This explains why Brandt's gun is the murder weapon, as DuPont says later. The problem is that the sequence violates conservation of detail; this does not outwardly appear to be a solution because the scene is not constructed to make them as such, as the actual gun-swap is. The scene at the car is an explanation because Brandt and Preston are working on their guns and handing them off, but the direction makes no implication that a deliberate switch happens, or that Preston is planning ahead because he knows he will eventually have to kill someone to maintain his cover. This happens because the scene at the car wasn't meant to explain the problem; scenes were shuffled around in editing to better pace the movie, but not re-shot to make these explanations obvious.
      • This actually causes a second problem; when Preston goes to meet Father, planning to kill him, the guards tell him to relinquish his weapons and take his sword, but they don't think to check him for guns. There is actually a metal detector in front of the door that leads to the next room after this, but the scene that showed it exists was entirely cut. According to the director, the guard is simply making an oversight.
  • So... art is banned and even posession of it is seen as sense-offence. Does anyone not realise that DUPONT HAS PAINTINGS IN HIS OFFICE?!
    • Read George Orwell's Animal Farm. Same thing happens. It's a point about how the people on top can flaunt things they'd prevent their subordinates from having. Every dystopian story has this.
    • Everyone in the room is most likely some kind of special guard that's in on it. Special responsibilities = special privileges. The guards outside the door? I don't know, maybe they don't usually need to be there but are there since everyone knows who's coming.
  • This is a minor thing, but in the scene where Preston pistol whips those soldiers...what is with the little prongs that come out of his guns? I don't understand...
    • Studs. To, y'know, make headsmashing more effective.
    • A real feature back in the days of single-shot flintlocks. Of course, in that case, the nails were always sticking out, rather than popping out all cool like.
  • What's up with Preston's itty bitty square-shaped bed? I know Libria is a mostly utilitarian society, but I doubt making people sleep in fetal positions is good for their spines.
    • Rule of Symbolism, I'd imagine. Utilitarian = Comformity = Ect. Practically, though, it does seem ridiculous. You'd wind up with a populace suffering from some serious back problems within a generation of enforcing The Tiny Square Bed Act of Glorious Libria.
    • Large beds were deemed too luxurious and emotion-provoking, as were excessively comfortable items like pillows, blankets and thicker mattresses. Back problems are a non-issue as the physical discomfort doesn't provoke annoyance or fear, and is likewise treated by their medical system with the same clinical detachment.
  • I get the feeling that there's some deleted scenes between DuPont's death and Preston walking in the TV room and shooting it up. When he kills DuPont he doesn't have a scratch; when he walks in the room he has a bleeding gash on his neck, replete with blood staining his white suit's collar. Are we supposed to believe that after essentially single-handedly wiping out a dictatorship without getting so much as a splinter, eliminating those two guards at the door of the TV room has somehow earned him that wound?
    • Wasn't it just blood on his neck? I thought it was probably blood from killing other people, not him.
    • According to the commentary on the DVD, the movie was supposed to make clear that Preston was grazed by a bullet during the fight in the office. Unfortunately, that clarification didn't make the final cut.
  • Fridge Logic: For someone who is stated as being one of the best Tetragrammaton Clerics, Preston is a remarkably bad judge of character when it comes to rooting out sense offenders. Let's go down the list, shall we?
    • His partner, Partridge.
    • His wife.
    • Both of his kids.
    • His new partner, Brandt.
    • His boss, DuPont.
    • This gets to the point where one might suspect that Preston was the only Librian still taking his meds, and simply could not tell the difference. Of course, given his Crazy Awesome close-quarters combat skills, it seems that he made his entire reputation on his ass-kicking abilities alone.
    • Perhaps the fact that basically all of his superiors are off the meds was why they chose to a) promote someone incredibly bad at detecting offenders, and b) talk them up as being awesome at it.
  • How and why did La Résistance bother smuggling the original Mona Lisa closer to the City? I get that it would probably take the Clerics a while to sack the Louvre during the initial governmental transition, giving the Resistance time to steal it first, but why would subsequent Resistance members move what amounts to a Holy Grail closer and closer to their enemies?
    • Nowhere was it said that it was the original (in fact, the original looks different), only that it was "verified".
  • Preston often has to try to pretend to have no emotions even when he does. In fact, it almost makes you wonder why he doesn't just take the Prozium whenever he needs to keep a low profile (Particularly during the third act).
    • It's pretty well established after he wakes up from a nightmare and rushes to take some Prozium to make the fear go away, that he's even more afraid of feeling nothing. Despite knowing how critical it is he maintain his cover, his emotions are still getting the better of him.

EnoughHeadscratchers/FilmErnest Saves Christmas

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