Tag Archives: Denzel Washington

Potted Film Review: The Equalizer 2 (2018)

Starring: Denzel Washington, Pedro Pascal, Ashton Sanders

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What’s it all about?
The Equalizer 2 takes up a little further down the road from where the first movie ended, with McCall (Denzel Washington) working as a driver-for-hire by day, while at night he plays at being a vigilante warrior.

This time around Chloe Grace Moretz, who was pivotal to the thrust of the first entry, is nowhere to be seen… so already it’s an uphill battle. In an effort to mirror that relationship, McCall befriends Miles, another troubled teenager. A poor imitation for sure, but it is the best thread of the movie.

There are some stand-out moments – a fight in a moving car through the streets of Boston, and a tense search through McCall’s apartment come to mind – but this is disappointingly rote.

Watching it with the kids…
As with the first movie, this is pretty violent stuff with lots of blood and breaking of bones. Best not pick this one up if you’re looking for rainbows and snowflakes, or for something to babysit the little ones.

Verdict…
This is hard for me, because I really enjoyed the original movie. The only job this sequel had was to give me more of the same. Do that and I’m (probably) happy. Unfortunately, The Equalizer 2 is half-baked, and it doesn’t do anything as well as the first installment. It’s also very clumsy and far too convoluted for the story it wants to tell.

Not Recommended ↓

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Potted Retro Film Review: The Equalizer (2014)

Starring: Denzel Washington, Chloe Grace Moretz

What’s it all about?
Robert (Washington) is a former special agent who – upon the death of his wife – has given up those violent ways for a more peaceful life. He is a loner who spends his evenings quietly reading in his local coffee house, until lady of the night Alina (Moretz) finds herself in trouble with her pimp.

She is not really on screen for long, but Moretz does well here, and her character is the entire reason for the movement of the plot. Her black eye piques Robert’s curiosity, and before he knows it he is back doing what he does best.

The Equalizer is a cross between a vigilante superhero movie and an action thriller, not too far removed from the Bourne franchise. The fight scenes are creative, kinetic, and well-choreographed, and Washington plays the quiet bad-ass better than most, so it’s a lot of fun watching him take out the bad guys one by one.

Watching it with the kids…
The Equalizer is a very violent movie, prompting The Girlfriend© to shield her eyes at several moments. There’s a lot of blood coming out of lots of body parts, but it’s nothing that movies of this kind have not been doing for years. Language is strong yet appropriate for the type of movie being delivered here; and despite the thrust of the plot being about prostitution, there is no sex and no nudity.

Verdict…
The Equalizer is based on a fairly successful eighties cop show starring stiff-upper-lip English actor, Edward Woodward, so on first blush this seemed like an odd fit for Denzel, but he’s one of my favourite actors so I’m always willing to give him a shot. He does not disappoint here.

This almost entirely divorces itself from the source material, to the point where I have to wonder why it wasn’t just floated as an original vehicle for Washington in the first place, but nevertheless, this is a fine action movie in a well-mined genre. Plot-wise, it doesn’t offer anything new or surprising, but it does it all with confidence and imagination.

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