Star – Denzel Washington
My Rating ***
Genre – Action
Run Time – 1 Hr Minutes.
Certificate – 18
Country – U.S.A
Awards – 4 Nominations & 1 Win
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There can be no price put on star power in Hollywood. Ok there can be as Denzel Washington charges a flat ten million per action movie these days, what the double Oscar winner thinks he is worth. When it comes to non award chasing movies then there is no negotiation on that price. His premium sells movies, making his movies premium, a genuine A-List movie star, like Tom Cruise. Perhaps the only two left.
Their Equalizer and the Jack Reacher movies respectfully are a similar beast, movies made to work by star power alone. Cruise is totally wrong for the original Lee Childs books 6ft plus action hero and The Equalizer films based on a white middle aged man from a British TV series but they work. These two boys sell movies.
After 55 TV and film credits this is Washington’s first sequel, the same for director Antoine Fuqua. But the franchise, like Jack Reacher, has stalled, both Equalizer films costing around $70 million to make and doing $190 million. If Blockbusters was still on the highstreet they would have done double that. These movies need publicity. Although the first Equalizer and Jack Reacher movies worked well, could they keep it going was the question.
• Denzel Washington as Robert McCall
• Pedro Pascal as Dave York
• Ashton Sanders as Miles Whittaker
• Orson Bean as Sam Rubinstein
• Bill Pullman as Brian Plummer
• Melissa Leo as Susan Plummer
• Jonathan Scarfe as Resnik
• Sakina Jaffrey as Fatima
• Kazy Tauginas as Ari
• Garrett Golden as Kovac
Off – and now back on the grid – ex Special Forces bad ass Robert McCall (Denzel Washington) spends his life handing out brutal summary justice to bad people who hurt good people, no charge to the rescued but it’s his thing now. After doing some of that on a train in Turkey he takes on the fatherly role to a talented local kid Miles (Ashton Sanders), who is getting in with the gang. Boston is not known for gangbangers but he has found some. McCall is also trying to reunite an old Jewish chap with his sister, believed lost in the death camps.
Meanwhile McCall loses is only friend (Melissa Leo), a senior FBI agent murdered by assailants, whilst investigating the high-level death of a CIA boss and his wife and family. She, and they, knew too much and had to go, McCall soon on the case and raging for vengeance, ex Special Forces buddy Dave York (Pedro Pascal) his confident for now, and on the inside. Whoever killed his friend is in for some serious hell.
The reviews were not great for this as they were not great for Jack Reacher 2 but this one is by far the better sequel. Jack Reacher 2 was not good. Where the latter went wrong is because Cruise doesn’t work as the bad ass character on film and Reacher also clashed with the Mission Impossible ethos and so Reacher fizzled out. But I do still think there is life in The Equalizer films and this enjoyable enough.
Although similar to his role in previous work ‘Man on Fire’, I think this is a continuation of that film as he died in that film, of course. It’s the same mean, cool and menace and it works. Washington is at his moody best as he dispatches the villains in Steven Segal style. The dialogue is above average although we don’t steer too far away from action, cliché. The fact the bad guys know his address this time seems a bit silly.
It’s not as good as film one, of course, but worth a watch. If enough of us watch this one then maybe there will be a third film. If you like your action hero’s cool and indestructible then this is for you, a man of few words. I would defiantly see film one if you haven’t. Its good stuff, solid cool and slick action thriller to impress your mates on film night.
Imdb.com 6.7/10.0 – (108,367votes)
Rottentomatos.com –51% critic’s approval
Metacritic.com – 50% critic’s approval