If you liked the first Equalizer (or even the hit 80s TV show) but want to find out more about the leading character, then you will probably like this sequel.
- Screenplay by Richard Wenk (The Equalizer, Jack Reacher)
- Directed by Antoine Fuqua (The Equalizer, Training Day)
- Starring Denzel Washington (The Equalizer, Roman J. Israel Esq), Pedro Pascal (Kingsman: The Golden Circle, The Great Wall) and Ashton Sanders (Moonlight)
- Budget of $62m
Initial Thoughts 💭
It was about four years ago that the first Equalizer film came on to our screens and achieved massive success. So it is no surprise that Robert McCall (Washington) comes back to our screens to ‘equalize’ again in a sequel – it isn’t a simple copy of the first, but a more emotive McCall and a film which provides more insight into our leading character. What you get is a different film than you might have been expecting, but with Denzel at the helm he elevates it from being an average film to a good film.
The ‘ccc’ review💭
Robert McCall is back and he has now embraced the vigilante life to help those who need it to get the justice they deserve – even if it is as a Lyft taxi driver. But what happens when it is someone he knows is in trouble. How far will he go to equalize. Will he put himself at risk to eliminate every culprit there is? Of course he will….he’s the Equalizer…. he is Denzel!
Massive respect to this film. Unlike most sequels where they would take the same formula and maybe change the villain or country, Equalizer 2 tries to push itself to not become a simple derivative of the previous film. On one hand you learn more about the history of this retired ex spy whereas in the first film you were given very little. However on the other hand, by delving into what makes the lead character tick sacrifices cold hearted killings which made the first film so enjoyable. Don’t worry there are still a few kills…..just not as much.
No matter, we still have the great Denzel and he smashes it. Did you know that after over fifty-five film and television credits, this was Denzel Washington’s first sequel. Even though you know what to expect now, he still delivers time after time. At one point we thought he was going for the Oscar in one brilliant scene.
The film goes at a decent pace (perhaps slower now there is less equalizing and more dialogue) and the style is very similar to the first film. There is probably some value in having watched the first film, although you are not missing too much if you haven’t. It doesn’t quite hit the heights of the first one but at least they didn’t squeeze the same film out to spoil the character just for a few dollars more.
Probably the main reason this film broadly feels the same is because of the continuity. With Antoine Fuqua returning to the director’s seat, and Denzel Washington, Melissa Leo (The Most Hated Woman in America, The Fighter) and Bill Pullman (Battle of the Sexes, Independence Day: Resurgence) reprising their roles as ex-agents, it follows on nicely from the first film. Ashton Sanders continues to impress in his burgeoning career again in another role that demonstrates his ability and Pedro Pascal keeps enjoying his frequent screen time in yet another film.
Final Thoughts 💭
This made feel like we are verging on the start of yet another franchise based on a hit 1980s TV series, but Equalizer 2 feels as original as the first film. Definitely would help watching the first one probably just to understand the background, but regardless you will be treated to a good yet unspectacular film. With a more emotive character, we see McCall fight for what really matters – friends , loyalty and community. If it is the start of a franchise we would definitely watch the next one, but would require much more “equalizing” that time round.
If you are big fans of the first one we would definitely recommend watching this, even if it is just for another chance to see the great Denzel Washington 📺 🔫