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July 23, 2018

The Equalizer (2014) --- "He Settles Scores And Deals Justice, And His Help Is Just One Click Away."

Plot Summary
Robert McCall (Denzel Washington), a man of mysterious origin who believes he has put the past behind him, dedicates himself to creating a quiet new life. However, when he meets Teri (Chloƫ Grace Moretz), a teenager who has been manhandled by violent Russian mobsters, he simply cannot walk away. With his set of formidable skills, McCall comes out of self-imposed retirement and emerges as an avenging angel, ready to take down anyone who brutalizes the helpless. (1)

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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     Director Antoine Fuqua is a talented director and has helmed a number of respectable films in his day. To name a few he directed Training Day (2001), Tears of the Sun (2003), King Arthur (2004), Shooter (2007), and Olympus Has Fallen (2013). In 2014 he managed to top Olympus Has Fallen with his most intense and dramatic film yet, The Equalizer. The Equalizer satisfies audiences in the same manner in which all of Fuqua’s previous films have but his talent as a director allows this film to also stand on its own.

     If you read the film’s plot without having seen the trailer then you would think that it was just another one of those same old stories about an ex-assassin/hit-man and violently methodical revenge. And while this may be true you have to understand that most films don’t need a unique storyline to make them unique. Even the simplest of storylines can make a film a box office hit all that matters is if the director and writer(s) are skilled enough to deliver the story in a way that makes the film unique. And that is exactly what happens here.
     The story is simple but it keeps you guessing till the very end. Unlike most directors today, Director Fugua is not impatient when it comes to delivering the story. He gives the story time to progress in it’s own time without feeling dull or dragging. The end of the film is done well, which is rarely done as most films don’t always hit the bulls-eye or know how to come down from such an intense high.
     In terms of the action I expected the usual PG-13 action sequences but what we got instead was borderline Rated-R. The action is violent and inventive but it doesn’t serve as the film’s only best feature, rather it acts as an enhancement to the film’s story. The best part about the action was the fact that the main character works at a Home Department store which allows him to use some non-conventional, albeit creative, weapons. In short, the action sequences are like nothing I have seen before.
     The cast performances were great all around but the most noteworthy is Denzel Washington (The Equalizer 2) as Robert McCall. McCall is not Jason Bourne, an elite assassin betrayed and on the run, nor is he John McClane, a wisecracking cop in the wrong place at the wrong time. Rather he is a quiet and complex character whose sense of justice is reawakened when a young girl he knows in passing gets hurt. Washington is best suited for these roles of highly skilled quiet men who decide to right the wrong in the world, as a sort of check and balances kind of character. I believe his roles in Training Day (2001) and Man on Fire (2004) are what prepared Washington for his role in this film. Chloe Grace Moretz (The 5th Wave) is great despite her limited screen time Marton Csokas (Aeon Flux; Into the Badlands) is scary and intimidating as the Russian fixer that poses a great threat to our hero.

     Overall, The Equalizer (2014) is an epic action film that should be more appreciated than it is. Even the simplest of storylines can be unique; it’s only a matter of how they are delivered. The story, while filled with inventive and violent action, is allowed time to progress without slowing down or relying solely on the action sequences. The ending of the film could have easily been lackluster but instead, it was perfect, which is rarely seen in intense action films. The characters were great, especially Denzel Washington who was best suited for this role. If you’re a fan of John Wick 1 & 2 (’14 and ’17), Tears of the Sun (2003), Olympus Has Fallen (2013), and London Has Fallen (2016) then you will enjoy this film.

"Progress. Not Perfection."
- Robert McCall

Final Vote
Worth Seeing: 8 of 10 star
Worth Buying: 8 of 10 stars

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