All of the gorgeous aesthetics in the world can’t make a boring story compelling. And in Equals, the story is one that feels dully familiar.
In the futuristic society of this film’s world, humans are devoid of emotion, instead going about their days with little variation. But a disease exists where emotions begin to surface, and when Silas (Nicholas Hoult) and Nia (Kristen Stewart) both find themselves connecting to their emotions, they also begin to connect with each other.
There are plenty of films that tell familiar stories that still manage to work, because they’re able to engage their audiences. There are also plenty of original science fiction stories out there. Equals is neither of these. A futuristic society where people act like robots? Forbidden love? Emotions as disease? I feel like I’ve seen this movie in various forms several times in the past few years alone, and it’s been presented in more compelling ways for years. THX 1138 comes to mind as a more interesting take on similar subject matter, and that film is over four decades old. Some solid visual effects and cinematography, along with a solid cast, can’t compensate for a boring story.