The Equalizer (1 & 2)
THE EQUALIZER 2 (15)
D: Antoine Fuqua
Sony/Columbia/Escape Artists (Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, Denzel Washington, Alex Siskin, Steve Tisch, Antoine Fuqua, Mace Neufeld, Tony Eldridge & Michael Sloan)
USA 🇺🇸 2018
W: Richard Wenk [based on the television series created by Michael Sloan & Richard Lindheim]
DP: Oliver Wood
Ed: Conrad Buff
Mus: Harry Gregson-Williams
Denzel Washington (Robert McCall), Pedro Pascal (Dave York), Ashton Sanders (Miles Whittaker), Bill Pullman (Brian Plummer), Melissa Leo (Susan Plummer)
Based on a British television series, the first Equalizer movie was released in 2014 and, despite being reasonably entertaining, was totally forgettable, despite a solid lead performance by Denzel Washington.
This is actually one of the rare instances where a sequel is better than the first movie, and as a standalone film, it isn't important to have seen the first film to understand this one, so long as you understand the basics of the character Washington plays.
As Robert McCall, Washington is an every man, working for a mobile-based taxi service (no, not that one) as well as moonlighting as a vigilante who helps those who can't help themselves. The film wastes no time getting into a thrilling opening action scene before getting into a subplot involving McCall helping an impressionable black teenager from going down the wrong path. Meanwhile, an assassination in Paris is investigated by McCall's former colleague, who is subsequently murdered and it isn't long before the same hitmen come gunning for him.
The plot is a little hackneyed and the subplot's a little too goody-goody, but Washington's performance and some well directed action sequences carry the movie very well.
Considering this is Denzel's first sequel in a career spanning nearly 40 years, you can assume that he wouldn't have taken on the work if he didn't think it would be a good movie.
It's far from perfect, but it's a big improvement on the first movie.