Edward Woodward as Robert McCall in that show
The Equalizer was a pretty cool show back in the '80's.
A kindly, elderly gentleman with some kind of shadowy spy
background who helped people out of seemingly impossible
situations with these shadowy skills of his. Pretty cool
show. It's been a while, but I don't recall McCall
jabbing the equivalent of a spear through someone's skull,
temple first, or using a corkscrew on some poor schlubs chin,
just one of the many ways McCall was dealing death in this
modern remake of 'The Equalizer'. But then just because
I don't remember it, doesn't mean it didn't happen.
Regardless of all of that, Denzel Washington as a tortured
badass, dealing death to some truly awful people, under the
steady hand of director Antoine Fuqua? Pretty much a
can't miss proposition, if one were to ask me.
When we catch up with Mr. McCall (Washington) in the here and
now, he is a kindly worker at one of those big box hardware
stores. He helps people here and there before retreating
to home where he can't sleep, due to what we can imagine are
the thoughts of the people he's lost, and the awful, awful
things he's done over the years, though I'm sure it's all been
in service to the greater good.
Since he can't sleep, this man who
clearly has some obsessive, compulsiveness issues, goes down
to the local diner to enjoy a book, and here is where he meets
the young Russian prostitute Helena (Chloe Grace
Moretz). McCall takes a liking to the girl, noticed
she's getting abused a bit on her job, and after the child
suffers through a rather severe beat down, McCall makes the
effort to attempt to free her from bondage.
These Russian mobsters reject McCall's
offer, and they do it in a way that wasn't very
respectful. In retrospect, that was just an awful
decision on the part of these gentlemen. Awful.
Alas, if one murders some Russian mobsters, invariably some
meaner Russian mobsters will be enroute to find out what
happened. Thus this brings the psychopath Nikolai
(Martin Csokas) to the scene and he's
a really bad dude. Nikolai has his own
unique set of skills and eventually he figures out who has
done this thing to his people, and Nikolai is no fool. I
mean he knows almost completely what this cat is capable of
and that taking him out will be a feat as difficult as
anything he ever taken on, and he still
underestimated him. In Greek Mythology, Thanatos is the
God of Death. In this mythology this god of death goes
by the name Robert McCall.
So I just got an idea for a movie. Denzel Washington and
Liam Neeson, obviously retired badasses of some shadowy
agency… obviously…, and these two have children who marry and
these kids have a child. Then have this seven year old
kid get kidnapped by crazed North Korean terrorists, then we
send BOTH Denzel and Liam, their grandfathers, to get this
taken kid back. Tell me that doesn't sound like all
kinds of awesome. I'm already in line to buy a ticket
for this movie that doesn't exist yet.
So what do you get with this version of 'The Equalizer'?
You get some high quality, controlled nonsense, the kind of
which we have come to expect from an experienced action
director such as Antoine Fuqua, then you add in a legitimate
movie star who instantly adds an air of legitimacy to this
controlled nonsense in Denzel Washington. This is what
Critically speaking, one might say 'Yawn… another aging badass
brutal revenge movie. Gee, haven't we seen enough of
these?' Or one might say 'Yawn… look, Denzel slow-mo
walking away from yet another fiery explosion. What is
this? Man on Fire 2?…' Or one might be tired of the
completely expendable, faceless Eastern European goons that
these guys have been tirelessly and mercilessly mowing down
for the better part of the last decade… but not us over here.
I'm sure if the star and the director really wanted to, they
could've buckled down and attempted to give us something new,
by why reinvent the wheel? We have bad people doing
really bad things who are in desperate need of some killin',
and a fractured badass more than willing to give them what
they need, all done with style and gloss. And
violence. Good Lord was this a violent movie. When
our hero power drills somebody in the back of the skull, or
hangs another cat using barbed wire, then unemotionally
watches him die, this is some violent stuff.
You almost felt sorry for these drug running, gun running,
rapist pedophiles. Note to self: Home Depot is an
absolute terrible place to request
a showdown with a tortured CIA badass. I mean if this
guy can turn a paper clip into an instrument of death, imagine
what he can do at Home Depot?
Of course the movie is complete and utter nonsense. We
love us some Antoine Fuqua as a director here at the FCU,
because he makes the kinds of movies we like to watch, but the
next time he makes a movie that takes place on a version of
the Planet Earth that we are familiar with, it will be the
first time. The film also has some other impressive
actors in it, such as Melissa Leo and Bill Pullman, along with
Chloe Grace Moretz, but they served little to no
purpose. Even Chloe Grace and her beat up prostitute was
almost a McGuffin just to get us to McCall brutally slaying
faceless Eastern European goons.
But still, we enjoyed our time spend with 'The
Equalizer'. Will Mr. Washington cave and finally appear
in a sequel to a movie? Even though is could've been
called 'Man on Fire 2' and I think most everybody would've