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The Equalizer

The Equalizer

Movie
Studio(s): 
Director(s): 
In Theatres: 
Sep 26, 2014
Grade:
B
Running Time: 
131 minutes
Denzel Washington has always straddled the line when it comes to playing a full-fledged action hero. He’s had plenty of action roles over the years, but there has yet to be one that felt truly his until now. Matt Damon has Jason Bourne, Daniel Craig has James Bond, and now Denzel Washington has Robert McCall in The Equalizer. It’s unadulterated action and everything you could want in the genre.

Robert McCall (Washington) seems like your normal kind of guy who spends his days working at a hardware store and his nights reading books at the local diner while sipping his team. On the outside it would appear to be a very simple life. That simple life becomes interrupted when he meets Teri (Chloë Grace Moretz), a pretty young girl working the streets for the Russian mob.The two form a father/daughter type of connection, and when her Russian pimp puts her in the hospital it forces McCall to revisit a dark part of his past as he exacts his revenge on those responsible.

The Equalizer is a no-frills, non-stop action film that delivers scene after scene of violent badassery from Denzel Washington, nothing more and nothing less. The beginning is used to briefly set up the main characters and to establish Robert McCall as this OCD-type nice man who goes about his daily routine like clockwork. Chloë Grace Moretz’s Teri acts as the catalyst for McCall’s rampage throughout the film, although I was surprised at how little screentime she actually had. Once she gets beaten by her Russian handler, she essentially disappears until the end of the film, leaving McCall to go to work on anyone who gets in his way.

The film doesn’t beat around the bush. It doesn’t strive to be some top-notch story or the next Bourne Identity, but instead focuses on the action. You learn that Robert McCall used to be a former government agent of sorts and that he had a wife who died, but that’s about it. The Equalizer doesn’t give some long-winded backstory as to who he is or why he had to get out of the field. All audiences need to know is that McCall is not some guy you want to piss off, because when push comes to shove, he’ll take you down.

The same can be said of the film’s main villain, Teddy (Marton Csokas). Don’t let his name fool you; he’s no cuddly bear. He’s your stereotypical Russian gangster with his intimidating attitude and full-body tattoos and will go to any means necessary to take McCall down. He doesn’t need to be anything more.

The Equalizer is nothing but pure action from start to finish. Denzel Washington makes the role his own and delivers one of his most entertaining performances in years. When it comes to non-stop action this year, The Equalizer has no equal.
Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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