Title – The Equalizer (2014)
Director – Antoine Fuqua (Training Day)
Cast – Denzel Washington, Marton Csokas, Chloe Grace Moretz
Plot – Hardware store worker Robert (Washington) finds himself embroiled in a fight with some nasty Russians after going in to bat for young call girl called Teri (Moretz). When heavy hitter Teddy (Csokas) arrives on the scene, Robert must unleash his true beast and wage war on the baddies.
“When you pray for rain, you gotta deal with the mud too”
Review by Eddie on 08/04/2015
While Denzel Washington can be watchable even when he is playing a role in his sleep (like he does here) there is little doubt the shtick that has served him so well in films such as Man on Fire, Safe House, Two Guns, The Book of Eli, Déjà Vu and arguably others is starting to wear a little thin and when the re-teaming of himself and Training Day director Antoine Fuqua (who needs to show more of what he did with that film) produces such a mundane and predictable action thriller you know it’s about time to try something a little different.
A revitalisation of the somewhat forgotten TV series of the same name, The Equalizer sadly feels like a million similar movies before it despite Fuqua seemingly trying to difference itself from other such action/thrillers by ramping up the violence to 11 and bombarding your eardrums with Harry Gregson-Williams increasingly intrusive score. Another thing that Fuqua seemed to feel was necessary was to edit the film to an at times boredom inducing 2 hours plus and when the story is so cookie cutter as what the Equalizer entails there is no justifiable reason behind this. What Washington’s bad guy dispatching anti-hero Robert McCall has to do is rescue poor street working girl Teri played by the annoying Moretz and then kill some bad guy Russians and this storyline is not deserving of the airplay it gets even though it’s saved by the sleepwalking through Washington.
Although his getting on in years now there is still no doubt Washington cuts a commanding and often mean presence on screen that allows him to make us believe his characters even when they’re so thinly drawn and over the top as Robert is here. From his timing of the time taken to dispatch bad guys through to his ability to craft Home Alone quality traps in mere minutes, Robert is some form of retired Jason Bourne who really enjoys reading, not sleeping and killing copious amounts of bad Ruskies. Robert’s history is only hinted at but his a man you don’t want to mess with and Washington is the reason to watch this forgettable fair as everyone else around him hams it up and fails with particular mention needing to be made of Marton Csokas cringe worthy big bad Teddy.
Some neat if over the top action scenes, another good yet worryingly similar Washington performance and the chance to see Washington dance in a hardware store are the reasons to catch this wholly unoriginal and often dull slice of action. It’s about time we see Washington challenge himself once more but with his next project being the remake of the Magnificent Seven it looks like this tough man act is here to stay.
2 and a half late night book readings out of 5