Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Equalizer
Releases September 26th, 2014
2 hrs 12 mins
Rated R
Action/Adventure, Suspense/Thriller


Director: Antoine Fuqua

Denzel Washington as Robert McCall
Marton Csokas as Teddy
Chloë Grace Moretz as Teri
David Harbour as Masters
Haley Bennett as Mandy
Bill Pullman as Brian Plummer
Melissa Leo as Susan Plummer
David Meunier as Slavi
Johnny Skourtis as Ralphie
Alex Veadov as Tevi
Vladimir Kulich as Vladimir Pushkin
E. Roger Mitchell as Lead Investigator
James Wilcox as Pederson
Mike O'Dea as Remar
Anastasia Sanidopoulos Mousis as Jenny
Allen Maldonado as Marcus
Rhet Kidd as Jay
Mike Morell as HM Brian
Matt Lasky as Marat
Shawn Fitzgibbon as Little John Looney
Vitaliy Shtabnoy as Andri
Timothy John Smith as Detective Gilly
Robert Wahlberg as Detective Harris
William Xifaras as Home Mart Laborer

Review by Stephen M.

The Equalizer based on a 1980s television series, Denzel Washington plays the mysterious lead Robert McCall leading a simple life as a Home Depot-like store worker.  The only thing that draws your attention to him is his sleepless nights walking the neighborhood and frequenting a diner where he meets escort Teri (Chloë Grace Moretz).  When Teri gets a bad break, literally from her pimp Slavi, something in Robert awakens in which he can't even explain himself.  From there, Robert starts equalizing, seemingly as an addiction, which draws the attention of Russian mob enforcer Teddy (Marton Csokas).

Overall, I enjoyed the film, from the action of the film to the cat and mouse scenes between the two leads, Denzel and Marton.  Marton plays the bad ass Teddy incredibly well, from his looks, body language and dialogue, his character instills fear well... unless of course you're the Equalizer.  Denzel looks tired throughout most of the movie, and that's fine because that's the sense you get out of his character.  Chloë surprisingly doesn't get as much screen time as you would expect.  Her youthful looks make it difficult to accept her as a Russian escort, but I suppose they sadly do exist.  Haley Bennett who plays an escort as well, named Mandy is another standout in the film.  Her scene with Teddy is just chilling.

Aside from the beginning, the movie does move fairly quickly with intermittent violence that will have you going, holy cow.  My favorite scenes include Robert taking apart Slavi's men.  I have never seen the original television series despite it being filmed two blocks from my home.  But I don't really see the purpose of the moments in which he scans and analyzes the rooms right before an intense action scene.  Usually in those moments we get glimpses of what the action would be, but here, Robert just stands there in frozen time and looks around at a few items.  For the viewer, the only delight is knowing that the sh*t is about to hit the fan in a second or two.

Overall, I enjoyed the movie and would recommend it.  Aside from the slow beginning, the film has a lot to enjoy as a suspense and action film.  I would have loved to see some flashbacks to better explain Robert McCall's character.  I would have also liked to see more vulnerability in the character so it seemed like a more fair battle.  Based on just the bloody violence alone, I would not recommend the film to kids, but that didn't deter a mother from bringing her toddler yesterday to the screening.


Tagged: , , , , , , , ,