New Movie Review: Denzel Washington’s THE EQUALIZER

Who doesn’t love watching a good guy take out the baddies? In this case, Washington enacts revenge on the Russian mafia. Once again, Washington is up against Russians (Training Day), but he has better luck in THE EQUALIZER.  Based on a short-lived television series, Robert McCall is leading a simple life following the same routine every day and night, and perhaps suffering from a bit of OCD. At night, he doesn’t sleep so he spends his time at a café reading books. There he encounters Teri, a young prostitute under the control of Russian gangsters, played by Chloë Grace Moretz. When Russians put her in the hospital, McCall springs into action seeking justice against the gangsters with special skills he learned from his secret past. Watch Trailer

At 59, the charismatic actor still draws audiences in with his powerful performances no matter the genre. As McCall aka the Equalizer, Washington is a man of a few words but his silence is deadly. Washington is one of those rare actors that can convey emotion through his eyes.  Any other actor in the role of the Equalizer would have been just another action movie, but Washington propels the film to a much classier level.

The Equalizer star Chloe Grace Moretz

Washington reteams with Training Day director Antoine Fuqua for THE EQUALIZER for another fast-paced thrill ride from beginning to end. Fuqua certainly knows how to turn up the intensity with gritty action and subtle camera movements and edits that doesn’t leave your head spinning.

While the story is your usual hero seeking revenge plot, adding the OCD to McCall’s character was a nice touch. While he’s deadly with his hands, that characteristic makes him slightly off-kilter and unpredictable. You get the feeling he could snap at any minute.  Keeping his past life secret is also another intriguing element in the story. We get bits of information about his mysterious past, but his demons aren’t fully revealed.  After his first kill after coming out of retirement, McCall sleeps like a baby.  The first impression you get is that he can’t sleep because of his guilty conscious, but as the story progresses you learn that’s not the case and perhaps he liked what he used to do in his past life as some sort of government operative.

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By the end of the film, you want more of Denzel Washington as The Equalizer helping out those who need his help. The film certainly leaves it open for a franchise so let’s hope THE EQUALIZER does well so we can see Denzel Washington in action again as McCall.  

THE EQUALIZER opens September 25.

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