Cast: Denzel Washington, Pedro Pascal, Ashton Sanders, Orson Bean, and Melissa Leo
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Antoine Fuqua has made some great films in his career. He’s responsible for the first Equalizer film, Training Day, Olympus Has Fallen, and Southpaw; all great films. And while The Equalizer 2 is not his greatest work, it’s still a solid action movie and one that entertains from start to finish.
Robert McCall (Denzel Washington) is now working as a taxi driver for Lyft. The events of the first movie have passed, and Robert’s now living in a diverse apartment complex in Massachusetts. However he’s still assisting in the help of less fortunate individuals, including the parents whose daughter’s been kidnapped, and a young teenager who’s pressured into gang violence. And Denzel carries it all in style.
The story in The Equalizer 2 is far more personal than it was in it’s predecessor; the stakes are higher and we learn more about Robert as we have a greater insight into his mysterious life. We are told more about his wife and why he does what he does; it’s far more interesting and makes you care for the characters.
Denzel Washington is believably tough; he really makes the action work and just oozes cool. You truly think Denzel can beat up a room full of guys, and he does it with flair! His performance is charismatic and chilling, yet he’s such a nice guy in this film; the way he helps all these people is quite inspiring, and once we learn his philosophy, it makes it even better.
The cinematography is quite solid as well. The final action sequence is shot fantastically with the foggy backdrop creating an uneasy and dangerous tone. And when you combine the excellent action choreography with the glorious aesthetic of the film, it makes the sequence more tense and suspenseful…
The writing can be quite predictable and basic, and the run time can feel long and drawn out which ruins the film’s pacing. And, dare I say, boring as well at times. In particular the middle portion of the film lost my interest; I kept checking the time to see how long was left, but the film does pick up the pace in the final act and reclaimed my concentration.
Overall, The Equalizer 2 is a solid action movie. The story is more personal and emotional, and Denzel Washington is excellent as always. The second act is quite dull and dragged out, and the writing is lazy; the villain is also very weak and thinly written. But the action is done brilliantly and the film looks great from start to finish.