Tag Archives: Jason Bourne

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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Friday Fiction Fixes #25…

The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum – 1980

8e3377aa1f1942d7473da1bb3b7a06eb--the-bourne-jason-bourneI had expected my experience with The Bourne Identity would somewhat follow my experience with Jaws – where I had seen the movie first and was then pleasantly surprised at how good the novel was – but that is not what happened here at all. Unfortunately my first dance with spy fiction supremo, Robert Ludlum was not a particularly memorable one.

It took me a long time to finish The Bourne Identity, and that’s never a good sign. Where the movie is exciting and energetic, the book is mundane and plodding; and while the movie has a frenetic pace, the book wastes no time getting bogged down with the minutiae of Jason Bourne’s amnesia. Yes, this could be deemed as clever detail and important character background, but for the majority of the text it doesn’t even seem like these are the same protagonists.

But it’s more than likely my fault for comparing the two mediums anyway. Had the movie not come along, maybe I would have enjoyed the book more. But we’ll never know the answer to that, which is a shame. One thing I’m sure about: The Bourne Identity was such a rigid reading experience that it has put me off reading the two sequels that complete the trilogy – and I had bought them all specifically so that I could read them back to back.

Hollywood – I blame you.