The Equalizer: An Ageing Action Hero And Not Enough ‘Sizzle’


A remake of a 80’s TV series The Equalizer is familiar ground for Denzel Washington. The ageing action hero has been saving the world from bad guys since the beginning of his career, and his latest collaboration with director Antoine Fuqua is no different.

Robert McCall (Washington) works at a hardware store by day and sits amongst the crowds of a Hopperesque diner at night. Sticking to a routine is obviously a character trait and some sort of coping mechanism but when McCall meets prostitute Lena (Chloë Grace Moretz) his tightly wound world begins to unwind, and all it takes is 28 seconds.

McCall decides to help Lena free herself form enforced prostitution taking out her Russian pimp. By doing so though, he has unwittingly involved himself in a massive Russian crime syndicate. Unhappy about his loss of revenue the head of the organisation, Puskin (Vladimir Kulich), sends his enforcer Teddy (Marton Csokas) to kill the unknown troublemaker; people are killed, things are blown up and body parts end up where they really shouldn’t.

As the plot slowly lumbers on to a showdown in a hardware store you can’t help but wonder about the invincibility of McCall, could a 59-year-old really be as deadly as Denzel unwaveringly portrays him to be?

And that sums up The Equalizer’s weak spot: it just isn’t believable. While Denzel does cut a good figure as a close-to-retiring-age ex CIA agent, his shirts can’t quite hide his middle-age spread and this doesn’t really convince us that he could singlehandedly take down the Mob.

But the action sequences are entertaining, the showdown shot in a very unique location and Chloë Grace Moretz tugs at your heartstrings as Lena.

The Equalizer is engaging enough but just can’t quite reach the needed sizzle to make a really good action film. But it is obvious that there is an intention to follow The Equalizer up with a sequel, and who knows maybe the next storyline will be kinder to the aging action hero.


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