Dare I say it?!? Equalizer 2 was actually pretty damn good! Denzel Washington brings a surprising amount of heart and compassion to the role of clapback killa. Antoine Fuqua delivers much-needed style, excellent pacing, and damn good action scenes. Did I say ‘damn good’ already?? I meant eye-popping, flinch-inducing, “oooouuuu”-shoutingly good murder music for ya optics!
Blood-thirsty fans will be pleased from the jump, as we get a gorgeous, sweeping, snowy shot of a Turkish railway train outside Istanbul. As Robert McCall, Denzel shows you exactly what he’s about: reading Ta-Nehisi Coates, starting up that guaranteed-to-catch-a-body-in-8-seconds stopwatch, and giving mufuckas a choice to do what’s right. The alternative is to suffer hella broken bones, countless dislocated extremities, shattered teeth and an occasional homicide or 4. In a nod to the first movie, Fuqua reminds fans that the Equalizer has a penchant for saving little white girls from European scumbags while looking like a straight-up G in the process! He doesn’t linger on the past long, though, and we’re thrust into this gripping new story.
I was wild surprised to be so invested in the first 40 minutes of this joint. The “dead” ex-military operative has resorted to driving a Lyft. Attempting to lead a quiet, retired life, he occasionally helping out various civilians. The writing really shines in these moments. McCall overhears a young lady crying tears of joy as she talks to her parent about getting accepted into college, or watches an elderly man combat his urges and come to grips with his alcoholism. Then we have the young soldier getting shipped off to their first tour in Iraq, which prompts McCall to say that he’d be there to pick him up when he returns.
Nothing beats the relationship he develops with the young would-be-gang-banger from his building, however. The dynamic between Miles and Mr. McCall (to him) is one that progresses through the movie slowly, winding up being such a fluid ‘chosen family’ angle that I never knew was gonna be needed. Real deal misty-eyed writing and acting is what gives Equalizer 2 such a great launching pad for the rest of the fade-delivering, mystery-filled, action-packed sequel.
Once the heartstrings are done being pulled, we get into that raw shit. Here is the reason why Equalizer 2 is the only sequel Denzel has ever done. Maaaannn we bout to get on that clap-a-mufucka-quick shit! Shotgun to da body. That bedroom full of AR-15s shit. Turn a mufucka to lunch meat. That threaded-barrel-suppressor-on-the-Desert-Eagle shit. You don’t want none!
A string of shady hits go down in Brussels, one involving the only friend that Mac has left in the world. He’s on flights to D.C. and Belgium swiftly, using these wild-ass Batman-meets-Misty Knight detective skills to get to the bottom of this homicidal trend. Once the bloodhound gets a whiff of who’s responsible, it’s open season on tearin’ that ass up!
The final showdown takes place in the most severely ravaged Massachusetts cape town. It’s like Storm was reincarnated to assist the homie with weather that appears to spew 40 foot waves and whip up 100mph winds while Mac hunts down the vermin who took his only companion. All a day in the life for the femur-crushing, trachea-destroying, Art of War mastermind know as The Equalizer.
Oh, and I failed to mention that this movie doesn’t feature your typical Russian or Syrian villains who hurt the woman to get to The Equalizer. Nah, they actually spent some time on this script before unleashing the savagery. I was so grateful for that because there could’ve been many eye roll worthy moments..but there really weren’t.
Equalizer 2 somehow manages to triumph over what has become an over-saturation of fading stars in vengeful, ass-kicking action movies. On the contrary, Denzel crushes this role and turns a would-be straight-to-DVD movie into a legitimate slobberknocker!
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