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Review: The Equalizer 2

Denzel Washington stars in Columbia Pictures' EQUALIZER 2

Since I enjoyed the first Equalizer so much back in 2014, I was excited to see what Denzel Washington and Antoine Fuqua had in store for us in The Equalizer 2. Just based on what they are, there’s always a lot of potential to have fun with these types of movies. With this one in particular, I found that there are some things to like, but it has some significant issues that may derail it before it ever gets to its desired destination.

Taking up the role as a vigilante, Robert McCall (Denzel Washington) has found something that gives his life meaning. Helping random strangers at times when no one else can or will has been satisfying work for him up until this point. While he pushes forward with that part of his life, certain people in his personal life have become targets themselves. Of course, this changes things and sees him react in a fashion that his quest for justice may push him to depths he couldn’t imagine.

I found that the action is one of the only strong points of the entire movie. Of course, it’s something that we would want to see out of something like this, so we shouldn’t be surprised if it’s done well for the most part. Like the first one, the violence we witness is brutal and made exclusively for the eyes of adults who enjoy seeing it handled in this fashion. For us, there’s an authenticity that makes it work by upping the stakes and making it at least somewhat believable.

As you may have guessed, the acting is also exceptional and shouldn’t shock anyone either. After all, it’s Denzel leading the way by doing what he does best. What he’s able to do as an actor never gets old and can carry films in a way that make them at least watchable even when they shouldn’t be. And if I’m being honest, that’s one of the things that saves this movie from being a lot worse than it would be under ordinary circumstances.

There aren’t a large number of issues, but the ones that are here are huge and put a large dent into what we are being offered. That’s because the problems come from the film’s inability to properly tell a story. While I liked the other aspects of The Equalizer 2, the story is scattered, all over the place, and is simply an absolute mess. When looking at the positives, that’s unfortunate since much of what I liked will ultimately be wasted in the end.

As you’ll notice, there are plenty of scenes and subplots that should have been removed in order to save the movie. To make matters worse, they come in at inopportune times and disrupt any flow you should have had from the main story. This makes everything that we’re getting feel uneven as many of the scenes feel misplaced and disjointed.

I think they were trying to give us that feel of what life is like for Robert McCall, but they simply overdid it since we didn’t need that much stuff going on since it proved to be inconsequential. In a way, it felt as if they were trying to push a bunch of television episodes together and surround its main story with a bunch of subplots to help carry us through the episodes that are only there to get us through an entire season.

The core story and a couple of useful subplots could have connected much better if they were able to cut out a good amount of the extra fluff around the edges. This would have allowed The Equalizer 2 to be reshaped and reformed in a way that would have allowed it move smoothly and seamlessly. If that had been done correctly, you’re talking about an action packed movie worth suggesting to everyone who can stomach brutal violence.

Even though I thoroughly enjoyed some of what it contained, I left The Equalizer 2 disappointed. Not only could it have been better, but it’s Denzel Washington’s first ever sequel and is being released four years after The Equalizer. Based on that, there’s no way this movie should have been as choppy and as messy as it is. Someway, somehow, you have to put more effort into it in order to get it all to work the way it should. You had plenty of time. There’s no reason this should have been the finished product.

Rating: R

Director: Antoine Fuqua

Denzel Washington
Melissa Leo
Pedro Pascal
Ashton Sanders
Bill Pullman

Film Length: 129 minutes

Release Date: July 20th, 2018

Distributor: Columbia Pictures

  • Score - 5.5/10
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