Equilibrium (2002)

54 mistakes

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Factual error: When they first pick up the Mona Lisa, they show the back. There you can see a canvas sheet over a wooden framework. However, the Mona Lisa is painted directly onto wood, no canvas at all. The scan they run even says it's painted onto wood, despite visual evidence to the contrary.


Equilibrium mistake picture

Continuity mistake: The photo of Cleric Partridge with Mary O'Brien is crumpled and folded when we first see it in the morgue and when Cleric Preston shows it to O'Brien. However, when Preston is sitting at his desk and looking at the photo by himself, closeups of the photo show it as smooth without the signs of wear and tear seen previously.

01:01:25 - 01:03:20

Phil C.

Continuity mistake: With the dog in the trunk, Christian Bale reaches with his left hand to pet the dog, then cuts to the close-up of his right hand petting the dog, and then cuts back to his left hand doing the petting.


Continuity mistake: The cover of the book Sean Bean is reading reads 'The Poetry of William Butler Yeats'. However, while he's turning over the pages, the poems 'The Detective' and 'The Courage of Shutting-Up' by Sylvia Plath can be seen.

00:07:50 - 00:15:10

Equilibrium mistake picture

Visible crew/equipment: When Preston's apartment is being searched, he walks into his bathroom to find his hidden Prozium capsules. He shuts the door in the camera's face and when you see the interior of the bathroom (with the camera behind Preston) you can very briefly see the cameraman's head.


Equilibrium mistake picture

Continuity mistake: In the final rampage through the corridor, Preston shoots through the door, killing the guards on his side but also those in the room - we see them falling to one side. But when the corridor guards fall through the doors, in shots from Preston's point of view the guards are visible standing just inside the door before being knocked down.


Jon Sandys Premium member

Continuity mistake: In the scene where John Preston finds the room with the snow-globe and the record player, he is shown removing and dropping his gloves as he walks the hall touching the wall, prior to discovering the room. As he is shown entering the room, he is also shown removing the gloves that he had just moments ago discarded.


Factual error: The real Mona Lisa is much smaller than the 'authenticated' painting shown in the film.


Equilibrium mistake picture

Continuity mistake: In the opening action sequence, one of the sense-offenders slams wide the front doors of the hideout and begins firing at the police. The camera cuts to the police, who immediately open fire; when we cut back to the sense-offender being riddled by bullets, the hideout doors are securely closed behind him.


Phil C.

Continuity mistake: At the beginning of the film when the police arrive at the Resistance hideout we see the police pull up then take cover behind their cars, G36 rifles at the ready. A lone guy comes out and is immediately put down, as this happens you can see the windshields of the police cars are already shot up and cracked even though at this point the Resistance people have yet to return fire.


Equilibrium mistake picture

Revealing mistake: There is a shot right after the first time the clerics are entering the city from the nethers that you see an APC patrolling the wall road above the entrance. In that shot two shadows are being cast on the road. As the CGI APC passes through them they simply don't cast a shadow on it as they should.


Visible crew/equipment: When Preston returns to the Equilibrium after he has uncovered his window, there is a shot where the camera slowly moves from the front of the crowd to the back of the crowd. If you look at the backs of the people to the right you can see a shadow moving from someone in the film crew.


Mortug Premium member

Continuity mistake: When "Father" and Preston are fighting, Preston manages to take the gun away. You can see that both hands are empty, but during the next shot, "Father" still has a gun in his right hand. Then, when they cut to the full shot of father straightening up, his hand is empty again.


Continuity mistake: When you see cleric Preston's wife walking to the incinerator, if you look very closely, you see that they are not the same person, one is a look-alike. [Director Kurt Wimmer reveals the reason for this during one of the commentary tracks (still a mistake, but here's why). The incinerator scene was shot first. When it came to shooting the house arrest scene (which occurs earlier in the film, but was shot later) the actress was nowhere to be found, hence the use of a lookalike.]


Equilibrium mistake picture

Continuity mistake: In the scene after the destruction of the "TV center", Preston is looking out through a window over the city's explosions taking place. In one shot his right hand is shown holding the red piece of fabric he got from Mary O'Brian. In a scene before that, when he destroyed the "TV center", his right hand was bloody. He could have gone to wash it in between, but that seems unlikely, since his neck wound is still not taken care of.

01:34:45 - 01:36:10

Revealing mistake: It's very brief, but during Father and Preston's fight scene, they mirror imaged part of the movie. It's apparent because the sword on the desk has it's handle pointed to the right and you can see the curtain in the background. In every other shot, the handle is facing to left of the room.


Equilibrium mistake picture

Continuity mistake: The book Sean Bean takes is quite narrow when it's in his pocket, but when we see him reading it later (definitely meant to be the same book), it's about 50% thicker. It was also originally a hardback, but when he's reading it he's bending the cover like a paperback. After he drops it, it becomes a hardback again.

00:07:50 - 00:15:55

Jon Sandys Premium member

Revealing mistake: In the final encounter Preston takes on eight Clerics with Samurai swords. Watch him stab the last one and you can see the blade go under the man's arm. The shot changes and the flaw is just as apparent when Preston takes up the sword again, the stabbed Cleric is holding the blade for him.


Continuity mistake: In the pistol whipping scene, we see Preston deploying a set of "studs" from his pistols. However, in a later shot, where we see the pistol butt's closing reflection on a visor, the studs aren't out.


Continuity mistake: In the final showdown, Christian Bale quickly slices up Taye Diggs. Diggs drops his sword before falling to his knees, then it cuts to a wider shot showing the sword still in his hand.


Revealing mistake: When Preston returns to the Nethers he gets out his car and puts the dog down. When he gets back into the car the shot of him getting out is played backwards because the steam/smoke from the engine moves into the car.


Visible crew/equipment: When Brandt picks up Preston from Equilibrium you can see the white screen in the reflection of the front passenger window.


Continuity mistake: When Preston is examining the snow globe it's quite a big one (his hand can barely fit around the wooden base). When he drops the snow globe on the floor it's considerably smaller in size.


Continuity mistake: During the final battle scene, Preston throws the two "weighted" magazines down the corridor, where they stand upright and wait for him. But as he battles his way down the hall, in various shots his guns already have the weighted mags in them, before he drops his regular mags and inserts the new ones from the floor.


Continuity mistake: When Preston is crying over Sean Bean he has a face full of tears. When the guard enters Preston stands and he has a tear-free face.


Audio problem: When Preston is confronted with the dog he says "My name is John Preston". In the following shot his mouth is still moving but it's only at the end of this shot that he starts talking again.


Revealing mistake: At the beginning of the scene where Preston is taking out all the guards near then end, before he enters the room with Father,he throws the two balanced clips that stop perfectly in front of the camera and perfectly side by side. This is because each clip has a string attached to it, that is just barely visible, that stops them at the right spot.


Revealing mistake: When Preston is seeing the body of Sean Bean he opens up his picture holder. When he does this, watch Sean Bean's shoulder and you'll see his muscle twitch by his neck. This happens at the end of this shot before it changes to a close up of the photos.


Continuity mistake: When Preston and Partridge return from the Nethers and shoot themselves up with Prozium, watch Preston's Prozium syringe: even though he inserts a vial of the drug, the syringe is still empty when he puts it to his neck (you can see the tube that the needle's connected to doesn't have any liquid in it). It's only during the close-up that the syringe is suddenly full of the amber-colored Prozium.


Continuity mistake: After the final battle, Christian Bale has blood on his collar, dribbling down it in three or four places. In a few close-up shots though, the collar only has a very small amount of blood, right on the edge.


Jon Sandys Premium member

Character mistake: When Mary is in the execution chamber, about to be incinerated, there is a voice over of the countdown till her death. They count back from 9 seconds and say 8 seconds, 7 seconds, 6 seconds, etc. The count is too slow. Every time they say a second, it's actually two seconds having passed.


Quantom X

Continuity mistake: After the gun fight over the puppy, Preston is in his bathroom and begins pulling his mirror out of the wall. The shots showing Preston have his face half covered in shadow, but his reflection shows no shows no shadows on him in reverse shots.


Quantom X

Revealing mistake: At the end when Brandt pulls out the Katana from Father's desk, the close-up shows it's clean and shiny. When he swings it it looks grey and plastic like obviously used for lightness and safety.


Continuity mistake: In the burly battle at the end of the film, in which a couple dozen guards are dispatched, Preston's white Nehru jacket remains spotless. Even after he kills DuPont, there isn't a speck of blood on Preston's jacket. Moments later, in the Father's broadcasting room, Preston now has a considerable neck wound and a quantity of blood staining the jacket collar and shoulder. The DVD lamely attempts to explain this delayed bleeding as a bullet wound that Preston sustained while fighting DuPont. However, after Preston shoots up the broadcasting room and finally exits the Equilibrium building, the blood stains have mostly vanished from the shoulder and collar of his white jacket.

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Charles Miller

Continuity mistake: At the end of the Kung Fu gunfight between Preston and DuPont, Preston snaps some of DuPont's fingers and gets his gun away from him. Just after that, DuPont screams "Wait! Wait!" Watch his hand as he says this. The close up shows DuPont has his index finger extended and pointed at Preston with his other fingers folded down, and his thumb extended out. There is a jump cut to a distance shot and suddenly his hand changes. Now all his fingers are extended towards Preston. After a moment, he slowly folds his other three fingers and his hand looks like it did previously. But then the shot cuts to behind DuPont and all his fingers are extended again.


Quantom X

Revealing mistake: Before Mary is incinerated, she is shown standing behind the door looking through the T shaped window. Only a portion of her face is seen with her right eye on the left side of the opening, and some hair wavy over it. The shot cuts back and forth between her and Preston a few times, then the camera zooms in on Preston's eye. Mary's reflection is in his eye, however it is not a mirror image when it should be. It should be a mirror image reflected.


Quantom X

Continuity mistake: Preston confronts Partridge in the church about the book. Partridge talks first, and then Preston raises his gun and pushes on the book in Partridge's hands to see the cover. The shot from behind Partridge shows the book tilted up at less of an angle than when from Preston's view.


Quantom X

Continuity mistake: The second interrogation of Mary doesn't go so smoothly once Preston tells her that he was the one who killed Partridge. She grabs a pen and tries to stab him with it. They wind up on the table in their struggle and he is on top of her. The side shot shows their faces right next to each other, with their noses barely an inch apart. The shot changes to over Preston's shoulder and their faces are suddenly noticeably much further apart.


Quantom X

Revealing mistake: During the fight where Preston deploys his lethal pistol whips on the Grammaton cops, watch closely towards the end of the sequence. There is a semi close up of one of the cops getting nailed in the face with Preston's gun. His helmet's visor shatters and you can see some red come off it, supposedly blood. But you can see there is a second layer of protective visor sunk back in the helmet to protect the actor's face from shattering glass/plastic.


Quantom X

Revealing mistake: Preston pulls his bathroom mirror out of the wall so he can hide his Prozium behind it. The shots taken from inside the hole in the wall have some sort of blue glow at the very bottom. You can tell this is some sort of light, probably on the camera itself, as when the mirror is put back on the wall, it should be pitch black inside the hole as it blocks out all light. But the blue glow remains.


Quantom X

Continuity mistake: After the puppy barks from inside the trunk, the cop goes to it and looks at Preston. Preston asks one last time for him not to do it. Shot changes to showing the cop again. You see him reach down and lift his arm, and you hear the sound of the trunk creaking as it opens. Then the shot cuts to showing the trunk. Now you see him lift the trunk and hear it open again.


Quantom X

Continuity mistake: In the bathroom after the first interrogation of Mary, Preston is holding a vial of Prozium. He holds it between his thumb and index finger. As he looks at it, he rotates his wrist and turns the Prozium sideways, still between the same two fingers. The close up shows Preston's thumb facing inwards, towards his face and his index finger facing out. The next shot from in front switches these, the thumb facing out, and the index finger on the inside.


Quantom X

Continuity mistake: During their first interrogation, Mary grabs Preston's hand and pulls him close to ask why he is alive. Pulls his hand right up next to her chin, almost touching it, as you can see from the side angle showing both of them from the side. But it then cuts to showing Preston from over Mary's shoulder. Preston and Mary are now further apart suddenly. You can tell by looking at the distance of Preston's wrist in relation to Mary's hair.


Quantom X

Continuity mistake: In their first interview, Preston slides a 1/3 full vial of a yellow substance across the table to Mary. After a moment, she picks it up off the table and puts it in her lap. Moments later, before she grabs Preston's hand, she reaches out to slide the vial back, which is now already back on the table before she touches it.


Quantom X

Continuity mistake: When Preston returns home after killing Partridge, his son is watching Father on a TV. As Preston walks in, his son raises the remote control to mute the TV and then lower his arm. It then cuts to a close up of his son, and now he raises and lowers his arm again to mute the TV.


Quantom X

Continuity mistake: Preston mentions that returning to the city reminds him why they do what they do. Partridge slips and asks, "It does?" Just before he says that, he looks up and ahead of him then back down to his Prozium gun. But later when Preston is watching the play back of that conversation from a different angle, Partridge never looks up before he asks "It does?"

00:10:55 - 00:14:00

Quantom X

Visible crew/equipment: After verifying that the Mona Lisa found is the real thing, the guy with glasses turns his head to Preston. As he does, a white screen is reflected in his glasses.


Quantom X

Continuity mistake: When the Mona Lisa is found, two of the Grammaton cops lift it up. The official looking guy walks in to examine it, and when he does the cops' hands change positions on the painting.


Quantom X

Continuity mistake: During the first fight of the movie, several cops burst through a window and rush into the building. As they burst through, there is a center support piece of the window that begins dangling. This bar vanishes and comes back a couple times between shots of the cops rushing in.


Quantom X

Continuity mistake: Preston orders the police to blow the bulbs when the door is down. Immediately after this, you see the police take aim at the door's handle and hinges. The first one, you see a guy kneel down and aim at the handle. A few shots later, you see a guy standing and aim at the handle. The guy who was kneeling down aiming at it is now gone.


Quantom X

Revealing mistake: After Preston shoots Father, there is a wide shot and we see Brandt's face on the ground. Not only is there no blood surrounding it, it completely clashes with the floor, making it painfully obvious that it's CGI.



Revealing mistake: When Preston attacks the guards with the studs on his gun, there is a slow zoom out of one of the guard's visors. On the right, you can see the reflection of Christian Bale's stunt double.


Continuity mistake: When Christian Bale is fighting the guys with the spiked butts of his guns, he breaks one guy's visor. Then it shows a side-view of his gun, and there are no spikes.


Continuity mistake: After the "Faith, I have it speech", looking at the Mary O'Brien interrogation footage, the birthmark on his nose changes position from the right side of his nose to the left side, and after that shot it returns to his right side again.


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Mary: Let me ask you something. Why are you alive?
John Preston: I'm alive... I live... To safeguard the continuity of this great society. To serve Libria.
Mary: It's circular. You exist to continue your existence. What's the point?
John Preston: What's the point of your existence?
Mary: To feel. 'Cause you've never done it, you can never know it. But it's as vital as breath. And without it, without love, without anger, without sorrow, breath is just a clock... Ticking.



The word 'tetragrammatron' has some very interesting origins which render the film either profound or pretentious, depending on your point of view. See http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A3477909 for a full explanation.