The jury is still out on how many sequels turn out to be bigger hits than the original, but ‘The Equalizer 2’ doesn’t make the cut for those under debate. Nonetheless, at 63-years old, Washington still packs a punch and delivers on the action.
In ‘The Equalizer’, Washington stars as Robert McCall, a retired United States Marine and former Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) spy who’s living a solitary life in Massachusetts after being widowed. McCall’s long-time friend Susan Plummer (Melissa Leo), and her husband are the only people aware that he’s still alive.
McCall is a trained killer but presumed dead so now spends his time defending ordinary people, but not to their knowledge. With his photographic memory, McCall identifies items around which we uses as weapons to maim his victims. But one thing is a constant, he sets his stopwatch before getting the job done.
‘The Equalizer 2’, starts on an action “high” with McCall on an Istanbul-bound train to rescue the daughter of a local bookstore owner from her kidnappers, but if you’re looking forward to the blood and gore, you might not find the action sequences as compelling.
McCall is more cheerful and less elusive in ‘The Equalizer 2’. He no longer works at the Home Mart hardware store but is now a driver for an Uber-type service, Lyft. He’s quite chatty with his Lyft riders but continues to play superhero, this time mainly to his Lyft riders. In one of the scenes, he beats up the men who request a drop-off for an intern who they had drugged and raped. He sets his stopwatch before the McCall demons are unleashed but the men are lucky to get away alive unlike the Russian Slavi (David Meunier) and his men in ‘The Equalizer’. There’s even a comic relief, McCall asks for a 5-star rating for the girl.
McCall also takes interest in a passenger, an old Sam Rubinstein (Orson Bean) who’s looking for a lost painting of his sister, and Miles Whittaker (Ashton Sanders), a young-troubled African American neighbour who’s hanging out with the wrong crowds.
Susan and Dave York (Pedro Pascal), McCall’s former teammate, are drafted to investigate a murder-suicide case of a DIA agent and his wife in Brussels. Just when you think Susan might be calling on her trusted ally, Robert, she’s brutally murdered and the plot finally unravels. McCall must seek revenge for the murder of his dear friend. McCall lures Plummer’s murders to his late wife’s old bakery for the final showdown.
Plummer’s murder was difficult to watch and whereas her death was a greater motivation for McCall’s revenge when compared with his relationship with Alina (Chloe Moretz), the plot was not extensively exploited. McCall went to greater lengths to track down the Russians but his uncovering of Plummer’s murders was a bit too simplistic. The fact that the Russians didn’t know who the enemy was allowed for the plot to be properly exploited. This made the mysterious McCall far more enjoyable to watch but Denzel Washington can do no wrong.
Directed by Antoine Fuqua
Starring : Denzel Washington, Pedro Pascal, Ashton Sanders, Bill Pullman, Melissa Leo.