In The Equalizer, Denzel Washington plays McCall, a man who believes he has put his mysterious past behind him and dedicated himself to beginning a new, quiet life. But when McCall meets Teri (Chloë Grace Moretz), a young girl under the control of ultra-violent Russian gangsters, he can’t stand idly by – he has to help her. Armed with hidden skills that allow him to serve vengeance against anyone who would brutalize the helpless, McCall comes out of his self-imposed retirement and finds his desire for justice reawakened. If someone has a problem, if the odds are stacked against them, if they have nowhere else to turn, McCall will help. He is The Equalizer.
For me this was a very entertaining vigilante flick. Denzel Washington is excellent in his role as a cold and calculating yet compassionate vigilante. The movie is slower than a lot of movies in this genre but that does not make it boring and when the action starts it is measured (for a movie in this genre) and well done.
Although there is a red thread, started by McCall’s first act of vigilantism, running through the movie he also performs a few on the side jobs as well during the movie. I like the vigilante stuff so for me this was some nice fillers to round off the movie.
The main thread pitches McCall against a real psychopathic Russian enforcer. No one can say that this movie did not have a well done bad guy. The role is quite well played. The guy is creepy to say the least. Not to mention violent of course but then so is McCall when the time is right.
One thing I liked with this movie is that McCall it is not one of the usual run around, look dangerous and clobber the bad guys in periodic outbursts of violence stereotypes. McCall is always calm, calculating, behaving intelligently and the baddies almost never realizes the mistake they just did until it is quite a bit too late.
Sure, the capacity of McCall to clobber the bad guys, usually without getting hurt himself, is bordering on superhuman but what the heck, it is fiction after all. Totally realistic movies are rarely fun, at least not movies of this genre. Also, the end fight where the baddies are more or less running around aimlessly and get taken out could have been better. Especially since the Russian mobster had shown quite a bit of intelligence up until that point. Having said that, I did like that it did not degenerate into the usual 20 minute shoot anything that moves nonsense. McCall is continuing his cold and calculating rampage through the unfortunate individuals on the wrong side and the various ways of disposing of them are rather creative.
On the whole I found this to be a rather entertaining movie. In one sense it is the usual vigilante stuff, which I happen to like, but in one sense it is not your normal run of the mill vigilante movie thanks to Denzel Washington’s cold, calculating and intelligent portrayal of McCall.