This category will contain movies that flew under the radar or never picked up a mainstream audience, yet weren’t that bad. Therefore, they’re probably in someone’s DVD collection somewhere as undervalued treasures. Get the category name now?
To start it off in honor of The Dark Knight Rises coming to theaters this Friday, I would like to recognize one of Christian Bales pre-Batman movies: Equilibrium. It came out in 2002, in the post-Matrix era where all movies needed Hong Kong stunt teams and over-choreographed fight sequences. For some reason, the silly action in this movie actually worked (unlike say… Charlies Angels… gag) as gun-firing positions are incorporated into martial arts moves.
The plot is about a Distopian society that has banished all emotion with a drug called Elisium. All creativity leads to emotions and therefore war, so things like art and music are illegal. Christian Bale is a member of the Gestapo-esque police force that burns hidden collections of artwork, like the Mona Lisa, in the movie’s opening scene.
Naturally, he misses his daily dose of Elisium one day and starts to grow emotions and realizes the err of his actions. There’s a great scene with a bernese mountain dog puppy that leads to the best action sequence in the film. The tension keeps rising as he tries to hide his growing emotions while trying to figure out his next steps. The last twenty minutes are filled with corny action that rips off the Lobby Shootout scene from the Matrix. But by then, who cares.
Even in a silly, B-movie like this, it’s amazing to see how serious Christian Bale took his acting responsibilities and shows why he was destined for greatness. I became a fan of his after American Psycho, and have started watching some of his earlier movies like Swing Kids. The guy never gives away even a single film frame of film.
So if the epic conclusion of the Dark Knight trilogy leaves you longing for all-things-Christian-Bale, make sure to check this out.