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YMMV / Equilibrium

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  • Anticlimax Boss: The epic battle between Preston and Brandt... isn't.
    • DuPont puts up a bit more of a fight. A bit.
  • Anvilicious: The use of emotion-controlling drugs in this Dystopia.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Some people say Brandt is obviously off his meds, because of his pleased smile throughout the movie. Others say he's obviously on a full dose, and his smile is as meaningless and menacing as a shark's.
    • The man who tests Preston for emotion also utters "Oh shit!" before Preston kills the guards in the room, as do many of guards in the Nethers who utter "Oh fuck!" when Preston unleashes on them.
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    • There could also be an interpretation akin to the RPG Paranoia, where none of the characters are on the meds, and some hide it better than others.
    • It's possible even a person taking the meds can feel the smallest amount of emotion, and the emotions being shown by Brandt and the others is just more extreme emotions "leaking out".
  • Complete Monster: Vice Council DuPont and his right-hand man, Grammaton Cleric Andrew Brandt, rule Libria with an iron fist. Presiding over a totalitarian system where all human emotions are forbidden and suppressed with the drug Prozium, DuPont has Brandt snuff out any resistance members to be punished and incinerated. Working together to trick Grammaton Cleric John Preston into joining the resistance, Brandt happily oversees personally cruel missions, like executing women and children as well as the dogs they were hiding; or attempting to force Preston to execute a group of resistance members himself. Implied to not even take Prozium themselves and giddily revealing that "Father", whom they allegedly serve, died long ago and is now merely a convenient face for their regime, the two, when they set up Preston to lure the resistance to them, smugly gloat about their victory, believing they have won to expand their draconian rule over all of humanity.
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  • Critical Dissonance: This film has a 41% (4.9/10) rating given by critics on Rotten Tomatoes, but a 81% (4.0/5) audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a score of 7.4/10 on IMDB.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: This movie apparently made quite an impact on Japanese pop culture (if only we could understand why...), if the numerous references to it in media produced there say anything. Works as diverse as Devil May Cry 3, Blazblue, Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion, Sabagebu!, Namco × Capcom, and Project X Zone are among those that make some kind of Shout-Out to this film.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Batman shot Ned Stark! Which is more hilarious that Batman talked to that kid in the Narrows who ended up being responsible for Ned Stark's death.
    • John Wick makes an entire movie out of the concept of a badass named John massacring a bunch of mooks with his Gun Fu skills over a dog.
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    • Batman works for an authoritarian regime led by Alfred Pennyworth.
  • Hype Backlash: The fandom tends to talk this movie up quite a lot, which can leave new viewers somewhat underwhelmed by the Orwell-lite storytelling and over-the-top gunplay, particularly after far more grounded and realistic action movies had supplanted the exaggeratedly stylized "cool" stuntwork exemplified by this film.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Mary O'Brien, who comes off as overemotional. She is so unstable and violent that the Tetragrammaton Council may have a point about emotions being dangerous.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Hands up, who watched this movie just for the Gun Kata scenes?
  • Magnificent Bastard: John Preston is a brilliant hunter and fighter of the elite Grammaton Clerics who begins to question Libria's draconian state. After having his eyes opened to the plight of the demonized "sense offenders", Preston begins gathering reconnaissance for the resistance, even as he continues leading raids to maintain his facade. When the smug Cleric Andrew Brandt attempts to force him to execute a group of offenders, Preston uses the opportunity to plant his gun on the latter, nearly getting Brandt executed for insubordination. Even when Brandt and his superior, Vice-Counsel DuPont attempt to trick Preston into bringing them the resistance, Preston utterly outguns them with trickery of his own, massacring their guards before dispatching the dictators.
  • Narm: The opening scene when the Mona Lisa is burned. It had to be the best-known painting in the world to make sure even the Lowest Common Denominator would catch the "drama."
  • Small Reference Pools:
    • They're burning a painting? Make it the (original) Mona Lisa! Man stumbles for the first time on music? The Ninth Symphony! Just imagine how the movie would've progressed if he'd found a Philip Glass record instead.
    • Averted with "He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven", the Yeats poem Partridge reads. The common reference for Yeats would be "The Second Coming".
  • Special Effects Failure: The face-cutting scene looks as believable as some early Flash/CGI animation. Worse, if you look closely when Preston leaves the room, you can actually see Brandt's face on the floor; it's clearly a photo printed on a piece of paper. (Also, in the photo, he's smiling).
    • Also, while not a special effect, during the scene where Preston shoots Partridge and kills him, for a few brief frames you can clearly see that it's a body double/stunt double and not Sean Bean.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • Mary O'Brien's execution. And John Preston can't do anything except remorsefully watching the entire cremation.
    • The scene when Brandt orders to the soldiers to exterminate the dogs in the fence is particularly difficult to watch. Especially for the animal lovers.
  • Vindicated by History: Was not especially well-received upon its initial release, garnering generally unfavorable reviews and failing to make a dent at the box office. Years later, especially in the wake of the recent surge in popularity of Dystopian fiction thanks to stories like The Hunger Games, the film is much more popular, with its Gun Kata in particular being imitated by countless shows and video games. It also started getting more recognition from anime fans around ten years after its release after Gen Urobuchi became a big name in the industry as he happens to be a huge fan of this movie, to the point that its influence can be seen in several of his most famous works such as Psycho-Pass and Puella Magi Madoka Magica.