Posted under: The Equalizer
Replacing the late Edward Woodworton as the badass, butt-kicking, gun-toting Robert McCall is Denzel Washington in what is a refreshing and epic reboot of the hit 1980's TV show The Equalizer.
Olympus Has Fallen director Antoine Fuqua helms the reboot, of the same name, which sees Washington take on the role of Robert McCall - the titular protagonist. A man all about justice that has 'a particular set of skills' which he uses to make the world a better place. It's the first time the two have worked together since 2001's hit Training Day and you can you can see why the film was such a success - they are a remarkable and dynamic duo.
The film opens by showing him as just your average Joe, churning away his daily routine. He works, at HomeMart -a DIY store - and spends the majority of his evening at his local diner to endulge in some reading and chatting with Teri, a young Russian girl - played by Chloë Grace Moretz - that is also always at the diner.
She reveals her name as Alina, Teri being an alias for her life as a prostitute, and how she wants to follow her dream of becoming a singer. The two form an unexpected but charming friendship.
When McCall learns of how Russian pimp Slavi and his tattooed thugs are treating her, he doesn't take it too kindly and takes matters into his own hands. After his attempt to try to reason with the group fails, he uses other methods and is soon standing in an underground club room with 5 dead men surrounding him, after teaching them all a lesson they won't forget.
However, this comes with a price and soon The Equalizer has to deal with a formidable foe and his minions that are hunting him down, seeking to avenge Slavi's death.
I'll be honest, the plot is nothing special. It'ss just a different iteration of what has been regurgitated many times before and clocking in at 132 minutes can mean that this becomes tedious at times. Nonetheless, this is a thrilling and entertaining film that pays homage to the hit 80's show.
Washington kicks ass, literally. It's refreshing to see the actor back in the type of film where he's doing what he does best. This is old-school Denzel, at his best in an action role. Although the film is a violent bloodbath, McCall is, at heart, a sentimental, friendly guy and you really empathise for him.
His scenes with Moretz are heartwarming and silently moving. He sees the good in everyone. He represents the good in everyone and he makes you think about the world; the good; the bad. You'll leave the cinema wanting to be like The Equalizer, wanting to make the world a better, safer place.
Sure, Denzel is Robert McCall but the words The Equalizer are never mentioned once in the film. That's a universal term - to symbolise us. We are all The Equalizer - changing the world, even in the smallest of ways.
Better yet, this is a bloody, vicious R-rated action and you couldn't smile more as you watch him engage in some of the best and most brutal action sequences you'll see this year. Accompanied by the perfect score for this, you'll be on-edge as the action flies. And the climax, to this, is like "Home Alone with adults," to quote my friend - a twisted fight with the use of home-made contraptions that takes place in the DIY store. Washington and Liam Neeson are the biggest action stars to date and Washington is as good in The Equalizer as Neeson is in Taken. He returns to the genre with a bang.
Moretz is fine as Alina. This is her most mature role to date and a chance for her to really prove herself, which she does, and their is also veritable chemistry between her and Washington, illuminating their friendship and their scenes together in the diner. However, her screen time is limited and her character is quickly sidelined and forgotten about, even though the whole plot ricochets off of her.
As for our villain, he takes the form of Marton Csokas' Teddy - a diabolical and daunting Russian thug that you do not want to mess with. Csokas is magnificent as the antagonist but, the flaw with his character is, for the whole film he's portrayed as a tough and, well, equal match for Washington - exciting viewers for the epic climax - but they really lose that concept in the film's final 20 minutes which is ashame as it just ends up playing out like a generic action movie ending.
Whilst the performances, overall, were decent it's safe to say that no one matches Washington. This IS his show and, ultimately, there is no equal to him.
The Equalizer is a bloody, brutal thriller that will have you on-edge, wanting more. There is no equal to Washington in what is one of the best action films of his career.
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About the Author
Founder of Oasis Awais, and avid lover of life, Awais Irfan's love of writing and film is unequivocal. Ever since he was a little kid, he has loved the cinematic experience; so much so, he is studying Film Production in Glasgow and hopes to be the next "big thing" in directing.