Movie Review – The Equalizer (2014)

Director: Antoine Fuqua

Stars: Denzel Washington, Chloe Grace Moretz, David Harbour, Johnny Skourtis, Marton Csokas

Robert McCall (Washington) is a simple man leading a simple life. He works at a DIY store, reads, and goes to a diner. A young girl, Alena (Moretz) frequents the diner and when she falls foul of disreputable folk he decides to take matters into his own hands. However, little does he know the forces that he brings to Boston, and as he dispatches vigilante justice there’s a vast criminal empire out to hunt him.

I was looking forward to The Equalizer because Washington and Moretz are two of my favourite actors and I generally like films where someone is being badass. Washington sells the role and captures the no-nonsense attitude of McCall. It is slow at the beginning and takes a while for him to display his skills but when he does the film rattles with slick violence.

But the pace is a bit of a problem and as much as I enjoy slow-motion it is overused here. The plot itself is okay, it’s pretty standard really, although I did like the portion of the film where he helped out different people. The main problem is that McCall is presented as so good and so much better than anyone else that there’s not much tension, and while it’s cool how he takes care of the bad guys the end result is never really in doubt. There were only a couple of moments when I thought he actually might be in danger, and I didn’t like this predictable nature.

Also, there wasn’t enough Chloe Grace Moretz. She had different hair in pretty much every scene she was in and while their friendship was supposed to provide an emotional grounding to the film I don’t think it came off as how the director intended. She disappears quite early on and McCall doesn’t seem to be concerned, but there’s nothing that hints to the audience as to her whereabouts. Also, she gives McCall a demo CD of songs she made yet he never listens to it.

I think if you want to see Denzel Washington being badass then this is a perfect film for you. The violence is brutal without being too graphic or over the top, it’s quite stylish and surprisingly humorous in parts. A few things did bother me but all in all I thought it was pretty good and I liked that McCall was actually creative with the kills, so it wasn’t him simply mowing down a bunch of bad guys with a gun.

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2 thoughts on “Movie Review – The Equalizer (2014)

  1. As much as I like Chloe…

    …I felt that keeping her away helped make the movie a bit fresher. Otherwise, we would have been stuck with a damsel in distress type of plot that could dropped hints of a 17 year-old wanting to bone a 60 year-old. You know…the classic action hunk saving ladies and killing bad guys.

    • This is true. I would have liked some indication as to where she had gone though. There was a comment to say that nobody had seen her, but she’d still been having appointments with the doctors to have her stitches out and stuff.

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