This is a lightning Review of the Denzel Washington flick The Equalizer 2, a sequel to 2014’s The Equalizer directed by Antoine Fuqua.
This review contains spoilers.
This review will be fast. I have to get to bed.
I believe I mentioned before that I thoroughly enjoyed ‘the original’ 2014 film. I related to Denzel’s portrayal of the Robert McCall character. I also found the supporting characters to be interesting. From Chloë Grace Moretz’s Teri to Marton Csokas’s Teddy there wasn’t a character I was completely bored with. Even chubs, Johnny Skourtis’s Ralphie didn’t completely annoy me…though he was annoying. The soundtrack was good. The action was good. It got a little wobbly in the third act but it still managed to stick the landing.
I didn’t want to see The Equalizer 2.
My movie buddy wanted to see it…I had a feeling it wasn’t going to deliver the goods. I was right.
Let’s jump right to the primary problem. No villain.
Sorry, Pedro I lost my job and had to put food on my family’s table Pascal’s character. What are you Michael Keaton’s Vulture from Spider-man homecoming? I don’t care…you have already put me to sleep. Complete dud of a villain. Would I have killed him, sure? But there really wouldn’t have been any passion in it. A pointless death for Melissa Leo’s character…the last mildly interesting character in the movie. That was smart. As in, the exact opposite of.
What are we left with….the long stare Bill Pullman? The character was shell-shocked for the rest of the film. The master of stealth…ninja extraordinaire Miles Whittaker ( Ashton Sanders)? He who can’t walk without his pants falling down ( there is no scale built by man that can measure how much I despise skinny jeans ) and thinks that talking on the phone four feet away from killers with guns is….smart? I would have shot him myself. Just on principle.
How about the complete anti-reality of walking into a den of hard-core drug dealers, beating the crap out of a few of them, pointing guns at them…and then walking back down to the bottom of their heavily guarded building where you spend the next 15 minutes having a heart to heart…ABC after-school-special-like. Did I just walk into bizarro land? Hello, is this thing on? What gangster is gonna let that ride without any sort of retaliation? I’ll tell you who…none, zilch, zippo. Miles would have been dead the next day…if not that night. One would think Mr. Fuqua ( I know crips and bloods ) would know better than to try to pass off such sublime nonsense.
Best part of the film was the first ten minutes. The movie needed more side adventures of Robert assisting those in need. And I don’t mean missing portraits…egads.
It felt like the screenplay was written in a day. Rushed without any thought to nuance…basically just rapidly trying to cash in on the first one’s success.
By the time the ‘bad guys’ were on their way to meet Robert on the island, I was as indifferent as the oncoming hurricane.
I can tell they wanted to interject the importance of a father for black men and all that but they went about it very poorly. Instead of making a boring ex-government, CIA, whatever the bad guy they could have focused on the primary killer of men like Miles…other black men. A horde of vicious wacked-out drug dealers lead by an insane (but interesting) kingpin would have been a perfect antagonist for this movie. You depict an epic struggle between the negative and positive influences on the youth and we get to see these scumbags brought to grizzly justice (for once) on-screen.
I like to cheer when the bad guys are killed not yawn.
How about a story about the Muslim grooming gangs?
Yes, that would definitely draw some attention. But I doubt that will happen…stories like that might hit too close to home. Ruffle the right feathers. Make a difference.
No way they’re touching them.
Pity, it’s just the kind of stories we need.
2 out of 5 stars.
The Equalizer 2 starring Denzel Washington is in theaters now.