"In a future where freedom is outlawed outlaws will become heroes"
That line is total bullshit. Outlaws do not become heroes in this movie. What happens is Christian Bale goes completely berserk and kills everyone in the movie, more or less. Don't get me wrong, that doesn't mean this wasn't an awesome action movie, but this is not a story about the underdog.
In the future, after world war who cares, emotions are bad and so the whole population of the last real bastion of civilization is dosed with 'prozium' a drug that keeps them from feeling emotions. It also makes them really easy to control. Not hard to see where this one is going. So Christian Bale is a grammaton cleric, which is a fancy way of saying that he uses two handguns and the fictional 'gun kata' martial art, to kill the crap out of the rebel factions who are trying to preserve culture and stuff like music and art and novels. One day after he kills Sean Bean (who is totally under-utilized in this movie) Christian Bale drops his dose, and then starts to feel stuff. Then he decides that the government and prozium need to go after some lady gets incinerated for being a saucy harlot. Or something. Also apparently she was Sean Bean's lady.
Its really difficult to say how true that is though. As nearly as I saw, Bale goes from being an unfeeling killing machine, to a killing machine who feels only two emotions. Rage and Violence. I don't think violence is normally an emotion for people, but for this guy it definitely is. Bale goes on a warpath through the dystopian society he was upholding only hours before, and doesn't stop until he gets to the top.
The action sequences in this movie are pretty top notch, and the only instance of 'gun kata' that you're going to see in a movie that isn't utterly retarded (see Ultraviolet to get what I mean. That's the same director). There's a lot of cool gunfighting, a little bit of swordfighting, and some good old fashioned beatings going around. The major problem with this movie is that at no point does Bale ever encounter anyone who is remotely his match. He lays waste to everyone who gets in his way, and no matter how many people there are, and how tought they're supposed to be, They all get cut up, beat up, or shot down. Taye Diggs is supposed to be some tough guy, and he gets sliced up into cold cuts in all of five seconds. The movie is still fun, but I feel like if Christian Bale ever felt the emotions of like... doubt, or fear, that might have been interesting too.
I can't talk about this movie without mentioning the puppy scene. See there's one point, after Bale's revelation about life, that he goes on a raid. They find a puppy! So he decides he's gonna hide the puppy, but at a checkpoint he gets found out. So rather than let these guards take the puppy, he brutally beats, shoots, andkills no less than SIX HUMAN BEINGS, to preserve his puppy's life. I think this says a lot about our society that this is supposed to make sense. Sure they're people, but they're jerks and they want to kill a puppy! So fuck those cute animal haters.
This is worth a watch for the gunplay alone, but it fell short for me because there's never really a sense of danger. Christian Bale is the fucking Terminator, and he just goes around fucking everyone up. But at least like the cover says, it will help you forget the Matrix.