Denzel Washington

In the same vein as Walk Among the Tombstones and the upcoming John Wick, The Equalizer condenses sucker-punch massacres, morbid humor, power dynamics and political prejudice into 1 sophisticated flick.

Denzel Washington’s Robert McCall leads a quiet, almost regimented life as a Home Depot salesman in Boston, Massachusetts. He times his daily tasks and keeps his apartment fastidiously clean. At work, he regulates the exercise regime and diet of his co-worker Ralphie, who wants to lose weight to become a security guard.

Rising star Chloe Moretz is convincing as Teri, a teenage prostitute who confides in McCall at a diner they both frequent 1 day. Without banking on her Hollywood-darling charm, she conveys enough gravitas through her adult conversations with Washington’s character.

Denzel Washington;Chloe Grace Moretz

After McCall walks Teri home 1 night, they are ambushed by Russian gangsters who kidnap Teri. McCall keeps calm, but notes every detail about the encounter. After he sees a brutally injured Teri in the intensive-care unit, he decides to avenge for what they did to her.

In the first of this film’s slaughters, McCall hunts the gangsters and takes them down in about 26 seconds (he times his killings too)before wiping out the Russian mafia.

McCall’s calm demeanor is at odds with his gruesome, swift executions. He is able to ascertain the weapons in the room, their possessors, their locations and even the direction they’re moving in. The post-mortem of the deaths shows the extent of McCall’s damage – an upward thrust of a corkscrew, a well-placed punch of a shot glass. You’ve been warned.

Denzel Washington

The Equalizer culminates in a final showdown at the Home Depot store. The ingenious use of hardware items such as a hand drill, blowtorch and flammable paint in McCall’s booby traps must be applauded, albeit inwardly.

Antoine Fuqua, who has worked with Washington before on Training Day (2001), for which Washington won a Best Actor Oscar, was careful to capitalize on only important parts of the screenplay. McCall’s and Teri’s relationship isn’t never shown to be leading into inappropriate waters. Unexpected humour is seen when McCall hands stacks of cash to the women who had counted them at gunpoint. The action sequences was less of a puppet show, and more of an ode to McCall’s timing and detail. Rap extraordinaire Eminem and “Chandelier” songstress Sia collaborated on the film’s closing title track, “Guts Over Fear”.

This writer feels that both the gratuitous slow-motion scenes of the weapons in action and painfully drawn-out scenes of violence contributed to The Equalizer being an intrinsic show of settling the score between good and evil.

Rating: 4/5

Director: Antoine Fuqua

Screenwriter: Richard Wenk

Original Soundtrack: Harry Gregson-Williams

Cast: Denzel Washington, Chloe Moretz, Melissa Leo, Marton Csokas, Vladimir Kulich, David Harbour

Runtime: 131 minutes

Release date: September 26 2014