Wednesday, 11 February 2015

The Equalizer

If there's one thing I know about Denzel Washington, he knows how to sell action. Now that he’s back with Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) at the director’s reins, The Equalizer delivers as a fun, action packed experience that has just a few minor issues. But, let’s start with the good, shall we?

Out now on Blu-Ray and DVD comes The Equalizer, based on the 80's TV series of the same name. Director Antoine Fuqua manages to shoot and display a character that, from the first opening sequences, we clearly see as methodical and trained.  When things start coming to blows The Equalizer is at it’s best. You get a taste of how he operates and determines his situation - An armed enemy to my left, cork-screw on the table to my right, two enemies with knives in-front of me … Fifteen seconds, it’ll take fifteen seconds. And all of this is presented in a very stylistic series of shots that give the vibe that he’s downloading all this information, which he then executes with perfection. It’s a thrilling ride, that’s for sure.

So, what of the problems? Well, notice that I’m talking all about Denzel and his performance. Chloë Grace Moretz, whom you may know as Hit-Girl from the Kick-Ass franchise, makes an appearance as Teri. She’s a damaged young girl going through a troubled time and is the sole reason why Denzel decides to throw it down again. But she feels more like a guest appearance than anything, and was nothing more than a device to push Denzel’s character forward.

She’s there for the first thirty minutes or so, then is practically dropped and unheard of until the last act of the movie. Marton Csokas (Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, Noah) does an acceptable job as the main adversary for Denzel, but sadly even he felt like a missed opportunity. He has a  strong introductory scene, and a brief teaching sequence showing him as a man who may even be equally as methodical as Denzel’s character, but instead more ruthless and brutal. However, his presence falls short with a few villain clichés and a very underwhelming ‘fight’ with Denzel.

Don’t get me wrong. The last act of the movie brought some rather vicious moments that felt like an adult version of Home Alone. It’s just that when Marton and Denzel finally face off, it was more like an execution, rather than a display of Marton’s skills to match Denzel’s. There’s a few more scenes in the movie, mostly with Denzel playing the white knight vigilante, that I felt like could've been disregarded to maybe flesh out more of Denzel and Chloë’s relationship, or perhaps even squeeze in a few more hard-knuckled fights. Nevertheless, The Equalizer brings home an entertaining action flick that just has a few minor issues. Still, Denzel is able to show that he’s still quite strong in the action front, and is able to make you completely forget about the movies small annoyances once he throws that first, deadly punch.

The Equalizer gets a well deserved 4/5.


Cole James

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