Vic's Flick Picks
Don’t be fooled! The only thing this movie has in common with the outstanding 1985-1989 television series is the name…okay, and the name of the lead character, Robert McCall. Sadly, instead of the cool former intelligence agent played by the very smooth Edward Woodward, we have a slightly introverted former agent who displays signs of extreme OCD.
The Equalizer takes an inordinate amount of time introducing us to the background of Robert McCall (Denzel Washington). An hour into the movie I was bored – we get it; he has precise habits, insomnia, always brings his own teabag to the restaurant and places his book on the edge of the table.
McCall has struck up a passing friendship with young prostitute Teri (ChloŽ Grace Moretz) whom he has met at a diner. When her pimp Slavi (David Meunier) beats her badly, McCall steps in to help.
His form of help is bad news for Slavi and his associates, which are the usual stereotype of Russian mobsters with creative tattoos.
His success in taking down these bad guys in 29 seconds apparently inspires him to help others and we are treated to a few more instances of his severe aid.
But things are not going as smoothly as one would hope. Teddy (Marton Csokas) has been dispatched from Mother Russia to discover who wiped out an entire herd of henchmen. Teddy is quite psychotic, yet effective in tracking down McCall.
Obviously, the violence escalates steadily until a dramatic nail gun finish. I forgot to tell you McCall works at a home improvement big box store. Hand tools and power tools won’t be the same after you see some of these shenanigans.
But, only two boxes out of five for The Equalizer. I found the action was heart-pounding and at times made me close my eyes – but the background story and attempts to make McCall compassionate fell flat. There is a bright spot with Melissa Leo as a former associate of McCall’s that was quite interesting𠉫ut it was short and didn’t make up for some of the big holes in the emotions of the film. This time, I have to recommend the television series as great entertainment, the film is only worthy in it’s second half – and even then only for creative use of corkscrews and microwaves.
The Equalizer is rated R for strong violence and language.
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The Equalizer was directed by Antoine Fuqua, who also directed Washington in this 2001 movie which won him an Academy Award.
LAST WEEK’S MOVIE TRIVIA
Did I forget to say Wesley Snipes was also in this film? Oh well, he didn’t add much. He is excellent, however, in this 2000 spy adventure also starring Anne Archer. The Art of War.