The Equalizer (15) review
I’ll be honest with you from the off – The Equalizer doesn’t really bring anything revolutionary to the table.
But I ask you this: does that really matter when it delivers just over two hours of Denzel Washington being an absolute bad ass?
Some actors make average films good by simply signing up and playing a role they know inside out.
For me, Washington is pretty close to the top of that list. Those of you that enjoyed the excellent Man On Fire way back in 2004 will know what I’m talking about.
Anyway, enough of my Denzel love-in.
His latest role sees him play Robert McCall, a seemingly normal chap who works at the American version of IKEA.
Although a bit of an obsessive compulsive, he’s the neighbourhood’s resident good guy – be it training up his portly buddy Ralphie (Johnny Skourtis) in a bid to get him a new job, or attempting to steer prostitute Teri (a very grown up Chloë Grace Moretz) away from her destructive path.
He’s a peculiar guy, too. Be it his OCD or insomnia, there’s clearly more than meets the eye to McCall’s past – which becomes even more apparent when Teri is savagely attacked by Russian mobster Slavi (David Meunier) and his crew.
From then on McCall turns into a one-man wrecking machine – or a vigilante if you will – and he clinically dispatches the crew with impressive precision.
That attracts the attention of Slavi’s boss Vladimir Pushkin (Vladimir Kulich). He sends his best man Teddy (Marton Csokas) over to Boston to deal with the mess ‘The Equalizer’ is creating.
With McCall determined to cleanse Boston of its Russian crime ring and the equally impressive Teddy set on taking him out, what follows is a deadly game of cat and mouse between the two – culminating in an awesome sequence at McCall’s place of work.
As mentioned at the top, Washington is very much the star attraction here… and he just about saves The Equalizer from being a bog standard action film.
Here he teams up with director Antoine Fuqua once again, with the pair having struck gold with 2001’s excellent Training Day.
Sadly, this isn’t anywhere near that standard. Although I was fully invested in McCall as I character, I wasn’t a fan of the regular slow-motion scenes that kicked off the big action sequences. It felt forced and, although I can’t totally explain why, like it came from another movie.
A lot of the story was fairly predictable too, although Washington and Csokas papered over those cracks with show-stopping performances.
Indeed, Czokas’ calculated Teddy was one of the best bad guys I’ve seen in recent months and proved the perfect foil.
There are plenty of average action flicks out there, but The Equalizer easily surpasses them without ever threatening the upper echelon.
But it wasn’t my favourite ‘Equalizer’ of the weekend. That honour still goes to Phil Jagielka in Saturday’s Merseyside derby.
Rating 3.5/5 (watched at West End Cinema, Boston)
Showtimes at West End Cinema, Boston
(October 3 to October 9)
**BILLY ELLIOT (ENCORE)
Sunday, Oct 5 (7pm)
**DRACULA UNTOLD (15)
12.15pm (Wed), 2.25pm (Fri/Sat/Sun/Weds), 4.30pm (daily), 6.35pm (daily), 8.45pm (daily)
**THE REWRITE (12A)
2pm (Weds), 8.50pm (Weds)
**GONE GIRL (18)
11am (Sat/Sun/Weds), 2pm (Fri/Sat/Sun/Weds), 5.10pm (daily), 8.15pm(daily)
A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES (15)
DOLPHIN TALE 2 (U)
10am (Sat/Sun), 12.10pm (Sat/Sun), 2.40pm (Sat/Sun), 4.25pm (not Sat/Sun)
WHAT WE DID ON OUR HOLIDAY (12A)
2pm (Fri/Weds), 5pm (Sat/Sun), 6.45pm (daily), 8.50pm (not Weds)
THE EQUALIZER (15)
2.30pm (Fri/Sat/Sun/Weds), 5.20pm (daily), 8.20pm (daily)
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2D (12A)
THE BOXTROLLS 2D (PG)
10am (Sat/Sun), 12.15pm (Sat/Sun), 4.15pm (daily)
THE BOXTROLLS 3D (PG)
2pm (Sat/Sun), 6.30pm (not Fri/Sun)
Sat/Sun 10.30am – Maleficent 3D (PG)
Wed 11.30am – The Equalizer (15)
** Denotes Free List Suspended
Box office: 01205 363634