PG-13 | 1h 41min | Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi
Review - Matt Mungle
*In select theaters July 22nd 2016*
Synopsis: In an emotionless utopia, two people fall in love when they regain their feelings from a mysterious disease, causing tensions between them and their society.
Review: Do not be sucked in by the poster for EQUALS. This is not a steamy romance about two lovers torn apart by twisted dystopian chaos. Director Drake Doremus may have an eye for framing but the subdued plot and extended sequences of forlorn gawking will bore the most patient of film goers.
Nia (Kristen Stewart) and Silas (Nicholas Hoult) live in a perfect world where dirt and disease seem non existent. But neither is there any emotion. People walk around in a polite daze speaking in monotone, clipped sentences. They non-react to things around them with a blank stare and a heartless response. Their only concern is contracting SOS (Switched on Syndrome) which causes their emotions to suddenly engage. Even though wives everywhere might wish this upon their husbands, in the film it is not a good thing to get. SOS carriers are banished to The Den (again like may husbands) where supposedly they die horrible deaths. Nia and Silas both contract SOS but must hide their love for each other or be banished from this horribly boring world.
I understand the point the writers are trying to make. But it is never fully birthed in the film. The lifestyle and community is stereotypical of all the future world movies. It offers nothing in the way of cleverness or intrigue. You never care about the main characters so whether they end up together or not is irrelevant. You keep watching and hoping that a sudden twist will happen that springboards the story into something worthwhile. But it never comes. The ending tries to be intense but by then you just don't care.
Doremus allows his actors to nearly fall asleep on screen as if this dullness will amplify your awareness of the world they live in. But it has the reverse effect. You fall asleep with them; and the dream is not a good one. The cast is willing but the script is weak.
Equals is rated PG-13 for thematic content, sensuality, partial nudity and disturbing images. None of those elements help to make this intriguing. In fact most are so glossed over that you won't even recall them. I give it 1 out of 5 swan dives. SOS is more a sad old snoozefest.