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

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