The Equalizer 2
There will be consequences.
Denzel Washington rejoins director Antoine Fuqua for the sequel to 2014's neo-noir action thriller, based on the '80s TV series of the same name.
Retired CIA black ops operative Robert McCall (Washington) - a man who serves an unflinching form of justice - returns to his old ways after discovering the murder of a friend. McCall sets out to find and punish the perpetrators.
- Antoine Fuqua('Training Day', 'Olympus Has Fallen', 'Southpaw')
Action, Crime, Thriller
Rating: R16 Graphic violence, drug use & offensive language
The Equalizer 2 begins on a train to Istanbul. Denzel Washington, wearing a skullcap and beard, is reading Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between The World And Me. Soon after, he murders a couple of very bad Turkish men.
It’s an absurd opening that promises something glorious. A movie that follows Denzel around the globe as he dons disguises and beats people up sounds great. Alas, this is not that movie.
Instead we head back to the States, where he spends his time driving a Lyft (enabling a pretty staggering amount of product placement), bonding with his neighbours, and beating the snot out of some wealthy rapists (the most enjoyable scene if cathartic violence is your thing). After about an hour, a plot kicks in.
Antoine Fuqua gives the film a similar palette to the first - it’s drab, downright ugly in places, as befits the subject matter. He also seems to be on autopilot much of the time. Shots are unmotivated, but worst of all the action is sloppy and hard to follow. There’s the suggestion of horrific violence but it’s never clearly shown, and in a movie aiming for pulpy thrills, that’s a bad thing.
In the first Equalizer Denzel joined the club of ‘serious’ actors who veered into action late in their careers. Liam Neeson is fine, but Denzel radiates quiet dignity, and it was so much fun watching him wail on dudes. And it still is. And he’s still a great actor, commanding the screen even when he’s just making soup, let alone wandering into a room full of gangsters, guns drawn.
The Equalizer 2 ends up feeling hollow, though. Puzzling even. It’s a bit of a hodgepodge, a series of scenes that mostly work quite well, but don’t add up to anything satisfying.
Stuff.co.nz (James Croot)
New York Times
Herald Sun (Australia)
The Equalizer 2
YAWN! Another week, another mediocre action sequel. Paint by numbers storyline, boring protagonist. Why so serious Denzel? That's the problem with these Equalizer movies: they take themselves too seriously. The recent Dwayne Johnson Die Hard rip-off was generic as f**k too, but at least it was entertaining and moved reasonably quick. Would recommend Equalizer 2 to filthy casuals who enjoy watching average movies on Netflix. People with good film taste should pass on this.