Denzel Washington is a favorite. So when he took on the Russian Mafia with DIY tools at the local home improvement retailer in the first Equalizer movie, I enjoyed it. He remains a favorite and that’s the sole reason why I didn’t mind watching him do it all over again in The Equalizer 2. Having said that, I’m not too sure I’d look forward to a third Equalizer movie unless Antoine Fuqua comes up with maybe an Equalizer origin story, with Denzel Washington of course. You don’t go to a Denzel movie necessarily to watch him go all Jason Statham on his opponents, you already have Statham doing that. You just want to see him do another John Q, another Training Day, another Remember The Titans. There was even a movie where he chased a bad guy lying paralysed in a hospital bed. But I guess it’s that era cinematically where every actor either joins the MCU or finds a franchise of his own.
The Equalizer of 2014 banked on an element of surprise where you as a viewer was curious to see Denzel in an out and out action role which involved more physicality than what he displayed even in his frequent collaborations with Tony Scott. Here in the sequel Antoine Fuqua uses the same tropes as he did in the first. The only major difference being his change of career as an online ride for hire who does’nt hesitate to beat the hell out of his riders for a better rating. If McCall was helping a co-worker in the first, it’s the troubled neighbor kid who is in bad company that he helps out this time. He is still reading but not as much as he used to. There’s more of incoherent globetrotting vigilantism but, which could take a toll your reading habits, there. You expect each of these encounters to turn into the main narrative but they end up as minor amusements mostly. When McCall finally gets going it’s for the sake of his former colleague who was introduced in the first film. Pedro Pascal who made a name for himself in Game of Thrones and Narcos is a notable addition to the cast.The climax of the film is set in a coastal town hit by a hurricane which probably is supposed to hold a mirror to the truth that climate change is but it mostly served to remind me of Hurricane Heist.
Between The Magnificent Seven remake and Equalizer 2 Denzel Washington did two movies that are more “Denzel Washington” than the ones he has done in the recent past. Fences was directed by Denzel himself and was a success commercially and critically, Roman J. Israel Esq not so much. Movies like The Equalizer might be necessary to keep Denzel the star in the reckoning but as a viewer from the other side of the globe it’s his acting chops rather than his Karate chops that I’d pay my money for. Nevertheless the man doesn’t disappoint in any of his avatars.