Antoine Fuqua and Denzel Washington fail with The Equalizer 2

2018-08-26 00:00
The Equalizer 2

City Press review: The Equalizer 2

Director: Antoine Fuqua

Starring: Denzel Washington, Pedro Pascal

In action crime film The Equalizer 2, Denzel Washington reprises his role as former spy with a soft heart Robert McCall. I wasn’t familiar with the Equalizer franchise, so I watched both in one day ... I wish I hadn’t.

The dynamic duo of Antoine Faqua and Denzel Washington fails to ignite a new spark.

The first film is much like the second, except we get to see more about McCall, the story of his wife and a little more about his career. In the first film he’s a former Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) spy now leading a quiet life, working at a hardware store. He meets a young girl at a diner and becomes friends with her. When she’s abused by Russian mobsters, McCall decides to go after them. While doing this, he stumbles upon a nest of crooked cops and dismantles the entire organisation.

The violence is quite graphic and this is the same in the second film, even though they make you wait a bit longer.

In The Equalizer 2, the action gets going when McCall’s former DIA colleague is killed. Every time he gets into butt-kicking mode, the director slows down the imagery and focuses on what McCall can see in front of him, details like a tattoo on a neck and whether or not someone has a limp in their leg. After this happens, everybody gets the smoke.

It’s not a terrible action film if you accept that it isn’t much more than that. I don’t feel this was a particularly demanding role for one of the most talented actors in Hollywood. The sequel isn’t as good as the first film, which always leaves me wondering why people bother. I also didn’t enjoy not seeing much of the cast from the first film. I was happy that The Equalizer 2 was shorter than the first, even though I know this is time I will not get back.

Director Antoine Fuqua and Denzel Washington have worked together before, on the Oscar award-winning Training Day. That film is in an entirely different league to this.

There wasn’t enough dialogue for Denzel to sink his teeth into and the supporting cast in both films could have been better. It starts off well, with McCall working as a Lyft driver (Lyft is an Uber-like service in the US). I may have enjoyed it way more had they made a film about a Lyft driver with military skills.

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