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.
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.