The Equalizer is an action thriller film directed by Antoine Fuqua that is loosely based on the 1980s TV series of the same name. It stars Denzel Washington, Marton Csokas, Chloë Grace Moretz, David Harbour, Bill Pullmanand Melissa Leo.

The Story/The Direction:

Robert McCall (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 (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.

The film is a mix of Washington's own, Man on Fire, and Taxi Driver, which thanks to Fuqua's direction works well for the majority of the film. The action is great especially when McCall uses everyday hardware supplies as lethal weaponry. What separates this from movies like Taken is that the film is darker and more intense thanks to its score. Fuqua has directed prior action films with prowess such as King Arthur, Shooter, and Training Day,  which additionally he worked with Washington.

The Characters:

Fuqua and Washington work well with each other to tell this story of a retired killer trying to be a vigilante. He is a man who reads books that comment on himself such as "The Old Man and the Sea" and "The Invisible Man." He tells lies to his coworkers about who he is as he wants to start a new life.  When he is brought back into duty, he takes care of everyone in his path by being able to pre-visualize each situation. Even though this is not Washington's best performance, he is still able to get the job done and perform in this role with gravitas. 

The Flaws:

Even though this film does separate itself from other films in the genre in some ways, in other ways it does not. The plot plays out pretty much exactly how one would figure. McCall plays a game of cat and mouse with the main Russian antagonist until he is able to take him down. The villains keep underestimating him and think he's nothing and he proves them wrong.  Furthermore, any of the characters aside from McCall are pretty forgettable and one probably will not care if they live or die. 


This film may be a simple film that shows a guy coming out of retirement to be a real-life superhero that is willing to kill. It's dark enough world to be interesting but it's not one that most have not seen before. The film is not terrible by any means but it's not great either. The film, however, does showcase Washington playing a character fairly well that will keep one entertained for its 132-minute runtime. If one has not checked it out before, its a film that will satisfy most crime genre fans. 

Rating: 3.5/5.0 bowties

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