The Equalizer – Movie Review
The Equalizer – R
Release Date: Fri 26 Sep 2014
The Equalizer is a satisfying action movie starring Denzel Washington as Robert McCall, a seemingly modest man who becomes a vigilante in the wake of his friend Teri (Chloë Grace Moretz) being hospitalized. Robert underestimates the situation as Teri’s pimps are connected to a major organized crime network and they don’t take his actions as less than war, sending in the ruthless Teddy (Marton Csokas) to find and eliminate him.
The story establishes Robert as a heroic but normal man, helping his co-workers at a hardware store while following rigorous routines that he times with a stopwatch. Perhaps the most unexpected element of the movie is just how quickly Robert begins killing rather than simply beating or threatening his enemies. The scene explodes with violence that I don’t think is quite as over the top as it felt given how we have no real expectation that the hero is about to straight up murder people.
That aside, it’s fun to see Washington play a character who is constantly underestimated by those around him and the meting out of vigilante justice. As the action scenes get bigger toward the end, things do occasionally drift toward the ridiculous culminating in a sequence that resembles an R-rated Home Alone where the bad guys get outsmarted and are outmatched by a single, unstoppable character.
While similar in story to last week’s A Walk Among The Tombstones, The Equalizer feels more like action entertainment than a crime thriller. I enjoyed both but would warn viewers that David Harbour shows up in both playing similar characters and watching a double feature of these might feel very confusing. I would be happy to see Washington reprise this role in a sequel and recommend checking this one out.
John M. and I saw it in the theater and has a discussion afterward in the car: