Friday, December 06, 2002


After seeing The Matrix, I realized that I had found my ultimate movie; stylish, noirish cinematography packed with action that plays out with the balanced power and choreography of a musical, laced with enough story to keep me interested and captivated between fight scenes. For the longest time I feared that no film maker ever dare to mimic that film making style again, for fear of the "copycat" repercussions.

Equilibrium seems to have artfully answered the call: Charcoal tinted cinematography paired with an Orwellian retelling of a Farenheit 451 story packed with action that has been described by others as "Gun-Kata" and myself as "Gun-Fu." Hell, even the movie poster looks like a Matrix sequel. I'm going to go see it tonight, come hell or highwater, and if the preview is any indication, I might just be sleeping there overnight so I'm in my seat when the early show on Saturday starts.

I'm in action movie heaven.

[Edit:] Well, I guess I wouldn't call it heaven, exactly. As it turns out, I was duped by a well edited trailer. That's not to say that the movie was bad, but it wasn't great, either. It certainly didn't hold a candle to Matrix, even though it desperately wanted to at times. From watching the credits, it would seem that it was filmed almost entirely by Italians (I can only assume in Italy), bringing rise to the new term Spaghetti Action. Some people went so far as to love it so much they were heard exclaiming just two seats away from me, "omigodIcan'tfreakinbelievethatdidyouseethat!!!!" to others being so disgusted that they got up and left the theater. I'm probably a few shades on the "omigodetc" side of the fence (I do love me some action), but I do have to criticize it for having low-budget quality special effects and at times sets that resembled a bad Junior High play. And honestly, the whole cops in cheap motorcycle helmets and patent leather trench coats thing looks, well, cheap.

But the Gun Kata (term actually used in the movie) thing was pretty cool. If you like action movies, that is. Liz was audibly rolling her eyes whenever our hero would strike a martial arts action pose with the guns, while I was practically frothing with glee. I honestly wish they would have taken the Gun Kata bit even further, as at times it seemed more like he was just striking the same poses interchangeably, rather than going through an actual kata. It would have been fun to watch them explore it even further.

The funny thing was that I was actually happy that the trailer duped me at the end. I won't give away the ending in case anyone here is actually going to go see this (and if you are, you'd better hurry because I doubt it'll be in theaters more than a week), but let's just say that the trailer gives the impression of something that doesn't quite happen the way it's depicted. Granted, the ending is transparent; it ends in the same manner as you'd guess, but it just doesn't quite get there in the way you expected from the trailer. It's nice to be surprised like that every once in awhile. If anything, this is what trailers should do: get you to go see the movie, without actually giving anything away that's pertinent to plot or intrinsic to the enjoyment of key moments in the film.

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