As I watched the trailers for The Equalizer in the cinemas many a times this month I couldn’t quite make my mind up. Was this film going to be a total badass action flick or was it going to be a ridiculous over-exaggerated mess. Thankfully it turns out that The Equalizer is much more of the first of those two options.
Denzel Washington always has the potential to be great in action films, however sometimes the content does let him down. Here though Washington excels as his character Robert McCall. I genuinely think that this could be the most badass action character that cinema has ever seen. McCall has all the skills thanks to his special forces past, he never losses his composure and he never allows problems hold him back. This of course was fantastic to watch and Washington nailed this aspect of the character. At times I did wonder if this character was just too good? I never once thought that he was in real danger as he was just so good, I am undecided if this was a good or bad thing though. I suppose it doesn’t have to be one or the other just a different aspect to a character that we maybe aren’t used to. However despite this I thought that there were some brilliant moments of tension throughout the film. These moments rightly earn this film its action/thriller status rather than just being an action film. One scene in particular which carried this attribute was when Teddy is interrogating one of the prostitutes. Many other scenes featured this kind of tension too, notably would be the finale in the home ware store.
I haven’t seen a film which is as gruesome, creative and brutal with its death sequences other than The Raid 2 this year, this added something to the element of tension too and also contributed much to why Washington’s character was such a badass. If you think too much about this film it may begin to seem a little far-fetched. It seems to escalate very quickly however I think it manages to remain credible because it resists the temptations of the cringey one liners and the action cliches. One of the final scenes in which McCall goes to Russia seemed really rushed and it just felt like a loose end was being tied up. Whilst this scene was good I think it compromises what could have been a possible plot for a sequel to this movie. Anyway even though The Equalizer has flaws there is a lot more right with this movie than wrong. The running time of 131 minutes never feels long and although there are obvious things that could be cut I was never bored so I don’t see the need to.
Much like the OCD nature of Washington’s character McCall, The Equalizer is slick, it keeps good time and it remains pleasing to experience. Most definitely one of the better action thrillers of the year and certainly one to re-watch when it is released on DVD. Denzel is back on top, Expendables 4 anyone?
BIGGEST FLAW – McCall’s character maybe needing a few shortcomings
BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT – Those moments of tension
Rating – 8.5/10