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The Equalizer Review

One of the most entertaining movies I have watched in a long time.  The Equalizer would capture any comic-book lover or action-film fanatic’s imagination. It’s a Batman, James Bond, Spiderman, Bourne Supremacy concoction refined with a dash of Denzel Washington’s serenely calm and docile on-screen nature.

The ingredients behind this film equate to a fantastic performance by an actor who we often forget has had a finger in so many action-based film pies. The Director Antoine Fuqua, (also responsible for pairing Washington with his Oscar-winning role in 2001’s “Training Day”) has stirred an assortment of cliché protagonist character traits with an inimitable and visually appealing flourish.

A story of action, explosions, guns, Russians and sex… a near perfect combination.

The movie may not be all that original, I may admit. One look at the main character would reveal some very familiar story lines, as if somebody had Photoshopped all their favourite heroes together to create the ultimate.

To further elaborate, Denzel’s character “Robert McCall” is thus described:

  • An unsuspecting, placid hardware super-store manager with a religious clock-work routine…

o   (Combo = Spiderman’s everyday secret identity and Bourne’s military rota).

  • …in possession of superhuman fighting abilities and a mechanical mind capable of inventing future/ alternative scenarios with brilliant precision…

o   (Combo = Batman’s fighting skills and Sherlock Holmes’ perceptual capabilities)

  • … finally, a chauvinistic nature paired with a hint of  sentimentalism

o   (Combo = Captain America’s patriotic style and Superman’s mawkish take on fighting evil)

The story carries on with McCall living out his life in seclusion, trusting he has put his mysterious past behind him in order to live out life like the average John Doe. McCall’s passive existence is disrupted by a young girl met inside his local diner. “Teri” (played by Chloë Grace Moretz) is a prostitute trapped in a sticky blend of Russian gangsters and high-rolling customers. After she is put in hospital by her pimp, McCall can no longer sit idly by. He is reawakened from his self-imposed retirement with an unsated desire to fight crime once again. Armed with combat skills and a mind like an analogue clock, McCall enters the world of underground Russian crime with all odds stacked against him.

The movies’ name may give away the results of his Robin Hood-like expedition. Over all McCall’s main goal is to equalize the playing field by helping the helpless and mass murdering the rich. The movie is brutal to an extent, but the gore has a fluid and very poetic feel to it (if that’s possible).  Antoine Fuqua has established multiple symbolic and aesthetically pleasing shots though out the movie, with his own rendition of the *walk away from an explosion dramatically* shot.

Over all I would say the feel of the movie is great, however there were some let downs. The plot was predictable and maybe just a little too overworked nearing the end. The movie’s close had me convinced the movie had finished at least three times due to the use of multiple finale cliché statements. The director’s choice of actors was great, his choice of an ‘original hero’ … not so great.

I would recommend watching this to anyone looking for an action-based film with a Russian twist.

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