Movie Review: The Equalizer 2
This weekend the theaters were full of various sequels, and one of those newest sequels was The Equalizer 2. Antoine Fuqua returned to direct the film with Richard Wenk responsible for writing the screenplay. The story follows retired CIA agent Robert McCall and his search for revenge after the death of a friend. Denzel Washington stars once again as Robert McCall with Melissa Leo and Bill Pullman also returning as Brian and Susan Plummer. The film also added some new faces to its cast, which included Pedro Pascal, Ashton Sanders, Jonathan Scarfe, Kazy Tauginas, and Garrett Golden.
The film begins with Robert McCall on a train somewhere in the Middle East. After a brief altercation, it becomes clear that he is there to retrieve a little girl who was taken by her father. She is returned home, and through that sequence, it is revealed that McCall now lives in Boston, Massachusetts. He is a Lyft driver and continues to help the normal people who find themselves in his car on any given day. Meanwhile, he still stays in contact with Susan and Brian Plummer and occasionally asks for Susan’s help in his quests to help those around him. After a murder-suicide of an asset occurs in Brussels, though, Susan is asked to come join the investigation along with McCall’s former teammate, CIA operative Dave York. Whenever circumstances go south in Brussels, though, McCall decides to find the people responsible and bring them to justice.
For anyone who listens to our podcast or has followed us for a while, it comes as no surprise that we immensely enjoyed the first film. We thought from the beginning that the character of Robert McCall is an interesting person, and this movie only confirms that further. It’s a great dichotomy to have such a kind, mild-mannered person also be such a proficient killer, but it is that dynamic that makes these movies so entertaining. McCall has his own personal code whenever it comes to his skills, and I think that Denzel Washington pulls it off seamlessly. Also, it was great to see the return of Melissa Leo and Bill Pullman for the movie, and as always, their interactions with McCall make him even more likable and relatable. We find out a little more about McCall’s wife in this one, and I thought that was a nice inclusion. Also, I really enjoyed the character of Miles and McCall’s influence on his life. It is the relationships and interactions between the characters that ground these films, and of course, the excellently executed action sequences only add to the enjoyment.
So, while I generally liked the sequel, I can be honest and admit that I did not love it as much as the original. The story was engaging enough, but I do think the storyline for the original was a little stronger. I think the character of McCall is consistent from movie to movie, which is great, but I think some of the newer characters introduced are a little too predictable. I am fairly certain I figured out what was happening a lot sooner than I should have. Also, I feel like they incorporated more slow motion sequences in this installment, and I just didn’t think those sequences were necessary. Additionally, some of the CG toward the end of the film was definitely not up to par.
Regardless of any shortcomings, though, I found The Equalizer 2 to be enjoyable as the revenge tale that it is. Denzel Washington is always an incredible actor, and he alone would be enough of a reason to watch and enjoy this film. The characters are compelling, and the action sequences, while often gruesome, are well done. Also, I never feel that Denzel does actions that are outside the capabilities of a well-trained operative, which is a nice touch. If you are not a fan of violence or blood, then I would not recommend this movie because it does have a lot of each. However, if you enjoyed the first movie, then I am sure you will enjoy the sequel. All in all, I would say that The Equalizer 2 is worth a watch in theaters.
Mollie is a film enthusiast, aspiring writer/screenwriter, and a lover of all things Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Doctor Who. She is the co-founder of The Digital Shore (@thedigitalshore) and Above The Line (@atl_movies). You can follow her many adventures through Twitter and Instagram at @mcbeach.