The Equalizer starring Denzel Washington was a typical action flick that sort of worked as an entertainer because of its slickness. One major plus point of that movie was the fact that it had a compact script that lingered around one particular incident. When it comes to the sequel The Equalizer 2, there is this burden of being a commercial success that is kind of haunting the movie. And that results in the excessive glorification of the central protagonist Robert McCall. The movie doesn’t have the Adrenalin rush which was there in its trailer and hence the overall feel is of watching an average overcooked action movie.
So after what happened in the first movie, McCall is now at a different place living the life of a cab driver. The man is still doing his part-time job of saving and punishing people. At one point his only friend (those of you who have seen the first part would know who that is) gets killed in a horrible incident. The Equalizer 2 shows us how McCall hunts down the people behind it.
There is a burden put upon the movie by the makers itself to be something more appealing than the first one. McCall is helping a fellow black young man from getting out of the violent world of drugs and killings. He is helping an old man who has not seen his sister in a long while. He is helping a mother to find her daughter and takes action against a bunch of youngsters who misbehaved with a young girl (the trailer scene). Doing all that isn’t a bad thing, but the screenplay gets extremely bloated due to all these subplots and looking at the snail-paced main track, I kind of felt they added all this just to extend the duration of the film. The climax act of the movie is so dark and dull that you might end up wanting to see some light.
The pace is the main issue here. The subplots are distractions, but if the pacing of the screenplay was crisp, it would have become that forgettable flaw just like the first part. The Equalizer 2 doesn’t feel like a movie that was written after getting a proper idea. It invests too much time in establishing an already established character. It’s an irony how McCall couldn’t spot the foul play by a close person in the first place because the movie addresses him as this epitome of intelligence. Antoine Fuqua’s decision to include the suppressed people in the story to show them in a good light was good, but the screenplay just couldn’t do justice to that decision. Some of the dialogues like “Man ain’t spelled G-U-N son” etc. gives you the vibe the first movie created. The action in the movie is brutal.
Denzel Washington has this signature style of pulling off characters like these with swagger. Even when the movie tries to push this character into an invincible one, Washington adds this small layer of humane texture to McCall to make him a memorable character. The way he approaches the scene where he warns the four-member gang that he will kill them all is a good example of the acting skill. Pedro Pascal as the conflicted agent Dave was fine. Ashton Sanders, who was seen in Moonlight, plays the role of Miles and he was also good. Bill Pullman and Melissa Leo reprise their characters from the first film.
The Equalizer 2 is a dragged action flick that couldn’t keep us excited for its entire runtime. Denzel Washington’s graceful performance and some fabulous action sequences are the major plus points of this otherwise tedious action drama.
Denzel Washington’s graceful performance and some fabulous action sequences are the major plus points of this otherwise tedious action drama.