Review: The Equalizer

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the-equalizer-official-movie-posterI’ll say one thing for The Equalizer — it’s not as violent or as hard to watch as I thought it would be. I realize that’s not a ringing endorsement, but when you hear that Denzel Washington and director Antoine Fuqua have teamed up again, as they did in the brutal Training Day, and you see the poster, featuring a grim, gun-wielding Denzel in the rain, expectations of covering your eyes and cowering in your seat run high.

I was actually pleasantly surprised by The Equalizer, as it starts out relatively slow and benign. We find Denzel as the humble Robert McCall, a neat, quiet man who works in a Home Depot-like warehouse store, and who eats in a diner frequented by a troubled hooker (Chloe Grace Moretz). By the time the Russian mob rears its ugly head the violence begins, it purposely starts and finishes in a matter of brutal seconds. The camera does not linger on the mayhem or the results thereof.

Based on the TV series of the same name, this is more about a man with an almost super heroic affinity for revenge and defense, trying to use his “talent” to help others, against his better judgement. There are some interesting twists and turns which provide for a decent amount of defense, and you can’t help but cheer for a guy who takes the law into his own adroit hands. Russian mobsters are the unsympathetic villains du jour, and they’re quite scuzzy enough so that you really don’t mind them meeting an untimely demise. I expect this film to be number one at the box office when it opens, and do just well enough to inspire a sequel.

In essence, if it’s your significant other’s turn to pick the movie and he wants to see something testosterone driven, you should pick The Equalizer over A Walk Among the Tombstones, and you won’t be exceedingly disappointed. It’ll be your turn next week.

Rated R

2 hours 11 minutes


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Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award winning journalist, author and film/TV critic. She can be heard regularly on Cumulus radio stations throughout the US, and on BBC Radio.

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