Movie Review: The Equalizer
The Equalizer is not new territory for A-list actor Denzel Washington. Anyone familiar with his huge catalog of movies knows that he is just as apt playing the action man as he is playing any dramatic role you throw at him. Movies like “Man on Fire” or even the more recent and random “2 Guns” prove that Denzel can point, shoot, kick and punch with as much star power as Mark Wahlberg or even the action genre’s current unlikely front man, Mr. Liam Neeson. The Equalizer, directed by Training Day collaborator Antoine Fuqua, proves this point without breaking a sweat.
At the ripe age of 59 Denzel is still as captivating as ever, and it’s this charisma that gives an otherwise straightforward movie the kind of momentum that would keep you enthralled until the end. Based just on how this movie was marketed you know the protagonist is going to win, but what really makes the movie fun is watching how. Trust when I say he gets more and more creative which each kill he mounts on his belt.
Like most of the senior actors who star in action movies these days, Denzel’s character is damn near invincible. The ex-spy dispatches Russian mob bad guys and crooked cops without prejudice while still finding time to work in a hardware depot, crack jokes, train his chubby co-worker who’s trying to lose weight for a security position and read 100 books to honor his dead wife. There’s no stopping the man, and honestly that’s part of the appeal. Meticulous in every action of his life, the guy is like a modern day Spartan.
The film doesn’t deviate much from the plot offered by the trailer: Chole Grace Mortez plays an underage prostitute who is beat up by her employers for her insubordination. Unfortunately, her Russian bosses were unaware of Robert Mckall, a seemingly harmless man that Chole’s character would exchange kind words with almost every night at the local diner. What happens next I’m sure you can figure out.
Antonie Fuqua, known for hyperrealism when it comes to violence doesn’t disappoint and he takes full advantage of the larger than life scope IMAX offers while directing Denzel in his ass-kicking endeavor. Laced with the right amount of humor, action set pieces and a strong supporting cast, – Martin Csokas reveling in the role of Russian enforcer Teddy – Fuqua builds an intense narrative despite the shallow depth of the plot.
The Equalizer, all in all, is a fun movie and if you’re a fan of films like Taken and similar revenge flicks you should easily enjoy this action offering by one of Hollywood’s most iconic actors. See The Equalizer in IMAX if you want to enjoy in every bone crunching, glass shattering sound effect thrown in your direction.
2.5 out of 4 stars