DVD Rating: **

Reviewed by: David Stanners

Read Jennie Kermode's film review of Equilibrium

As a general rule, if you like the film, you'll probably like the extras. Unfortunately, even if you really loved Equilibrium, the extra features aren't particularly meaty. Yes, there's detailed audio commentary from writer/director Kurt Wimmer and producer Lucas Foster, but who wants to sit through the whole movie again to find out what's what and who's where?

We learn of Wimmer's fascination for the power and design of the German guns used in the film and that he specifically chose East Germany for its splendid neo classical/fascist architectural styles. This is interesting enough, but should have been incorporated into the Finding Equilibrium featurette, which is barely four minutes long and merely scratches the surface, with its mini interviews with Christian Bale, Emily Watson and Taye Diggs, who verbally massage the egos of the Wimmer and Lucas.

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Unsurprisingly, the audio commentary homes in on the technical detail and look of the film. Beneath this veneer, there is not a lot of substance. Wimmer talks at length about his intentions to recreate a visual, futuristic Orwellian dystopia through carefully selecting locations in Rome and East Germany, notably the Berlin Stadium for its neo classical fa├žade and the grey dilapidated buildings of the former Communist state.

Wimmer also pats himself on the back by mentioning himself in the same breath as Leni Riefenstahl. When he compares computer generated scenes from Equilibrium with the thousands of perfectly symmetrical bands of Nazi supporters at the Nuremberg rally, depicted in Triumph Of The Will, he seems to have overlooked the fact that Riefenstahl's film was shot long before the benefits, or liabilities, of CG, and was still far more striking.

With the same producers as Minority Report, the film boasts a similar look. The colours are deliberately muted with a lot of grey tones, which compliment the futuristic setting perfectly. This is especially effective on DVD, where the soft colours provide a silkier finish.

Other bog standard features include photographic stills, individual scene access, and trailers. The main criticism here is the lack of depth in the featurette. Had Wimmer and Lucas thrown their tuppence in with live scenes from the set, the watchability factor would be further up the scale. Then again, if you didn't like the film, there's probably more than enough here.

Reviewed on: 03 Dec 2003
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Equilibrium packshot
Brave New World by any other name, with Christian Bale as a cop who sees the light.
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Product Code: MP240D

Region: 2

Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen

Sound: Dolby Digital 5:1

Extras: Audio commentary by director Kurt Wimmer; Audio commentary by director Kurt Wimmer and producer Lucas Foster; Finding Equilibrium featurette; TV spots; Trailer; Interactive menu; Scene access; Photographic stills.

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