The Equalizer

"Good"

The Equalizer Review


Little more than a paint-by-numbers action thriller, it's anyone's guess why the filmmakers have bothered to make a connection with the 1980s TV series of the same name. Because this film bears almost no resemblance to it. Instead, this is a reunion of Denzel Washington and Antoine Fuqua, who last collaborated on the Oscar-winning Training Day. And since it's packed with brutal violence and questionable morality, that's clearly where this movie's roots truly lie.

Washington stars as Robert, a meek shelf-stacker at a DIY warehouse store in Boston. He can't sleep at night, so he heads to the local diner to read classic novels. That's where he meets Teri (Chloe Grace Moretz), a teen hooker who is having problems with her psychotic Russian pimp (David Meunier). Ever so quietly, and clearly relying on some external source of income, Robert goes about helping Teri secure a free future. But when he offers to settle her debts, the pimp and his thugs just laugh at him. So Robert mercilessly kills them all, drawing on his secret past as a black-ops agent. The problem is that this puts Robert at odds with the top Russian boss Teddy (Marton Csokas), who heads to Boston to get even.

In standard action movie tradition, Robert works his way right through the entire Russian mob, along the way cleaning up Boston's corrupt police force before the requisite final confrontation. His only distraction is a brief visit to his old CIA boss (Melissa Leo) and her husband (Bill Pullman) for a bit of moral support and added starry cameo value. Yes, there isn't much about this movie that doesn't feel concocted for the box office, which means that the story is both achingly predictable and littered with gaping plot-holes. And with Washington in the focal role, everyone else fades into the woodwork. Moretz is excellent but badly underused, while Csokas is never given much to do with his one-note villain.

Even so, Fuqua is an adept filmmaker who keeps things moving briskly and smoothly. The film looks great, and there isn't a dull moment. Although even a whiff of pithy humanity would have helped undercut the ludicrously over-serious tone. Since it's all so po-faced, the final act begins to feel rather silly, sparking laughter as Robert turns into another 1980s TV hero, MacGuyver, making weapons out of household objects so he can better torture and kill the army of bad guys. All of this wallowing in grisly violence completely undermines the premise of a mild-mannered expert quietly going about vigilante justice. But it will probably keep the Saturday night multiplex crowd happy until the next movie just like this one turns up.



The Equalizer

Facts and Figures

Genre: Thriller

Run time: 132 mins

In Theaters: Friday 26th September 2014

Box Office USA: $100.5M

Box Office Worldwide: $191.3M

Budget: $55M

Distributed by: Sony Pictures

Production compaines: ZHIV, Escape Artists, Lonetree Entertainment, Mace Neufeld Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 61%
Fresh: 105 Rotten: 66

IMDB: 7.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , Jason Blumenthal, , , , , Tony Eldridge, Michael Sloan

Starring: as Robert McCall, as Teddy, Chloë Grace Moretz as Teri, as Masters, as Mandy, as Brian Plummer, as Susan Plummer, as Slavi, Johnny Skourtis as Ralphie, as Tevi, as Vladimir Pushkin, as Lead Investigator, James Wilcox as Pederson, Mike O'Dea as Remar, Anastasia Sanidopoulos Mousis as Jenny, Andrew Farazi as Gangster

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.