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Published On: Fri, Jul 20th, 2018

‘Equalizer 2’ stumbles through cliches as Denzel Washington can’t save the film from itself

Denzel Washington returns as the mysterious Robin Hood, a former CIA operative named Robert McCall, in The Equalizer 2, getting pulled back into the depths of the intelligence community and the violence it brings.

Following the events of the first film, McCall lives quietly in Boston, working as a Lyft driver, who also secretly assists people facing the great injustices. McCall brings an odd approach to his vigilantism before his self-proclaimed “only friend” (Melissa Leo) is gunned down in Belguim. Pedro Pascal plays McCall’s former partner, key to Belgium incident, all of which changes McCall’s life forever.

Director Antoine Fuqua returns for EQ2, but really struggles to capture the best aspects of the first film. For example, Washington’s McCall is best in these bizarre moments of creative warfare, using his stopwatch and ingenuity – much the way the “Home Depot” scene concluded the final film.

While the sequel has moments of great action, the pacing is just too slow.

The circle of subplots never contradict the character of McCall, but the linear and predictable climax is beneath the character created in the first film. We see his nature helping neighbors, mentoring a truant neighborhood kid, Miles (Moonlight’s Ashton Sanders), who is an amazing artist, but all of that is quickly cast aside for revenge.

The worst part of the film is that I want to like it more.

Orson Bean plays a Holocaust survivor, lonely and distraught. McCall’s friendship with the man reveals the heart of the character, but Fuqua quickly discards all of that for the video game, first-person shooter style grand finale.

That would be fine if it aligned with the character in the first film, using the tools in the hardware store to creatively take down bad guys and overcome his injuries. In EQ2, McCall is bleeding, but never really is struggling for life. He takes down the mercenaries one-by-one Die Hard style, so don’t expect fatal versions of Home Alone gags.

The door is left open for a third film, so equaling or topping the $192 global box office numbers are key to Washington bring McCall back.

The Equalizer 2 gets 2 1/2 stars out of 5 stars.

While that is pretty harsh and the film is entertaining. The derivative nature of the climax just can’t be ignored. Without spoiling the details, the Miles subplot would have prompted a retaliatory attack from the local gang, but they weren’t even mentioned again. Fuqua stays focused on McCall, but we never see the grieving widow of his friend after rescuing him from the mercs. Too many loose ends.

 

About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professional in 2008 on sites like Examiner and blogs: Desk of Brian, Crazed Fanboy. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) will be a licensed Assembly of God Pastor by the Spring of 2017. "Why do we do this?" I was asked and the answer is simple. "I just want the truth. I want a source of information that tells me what's going and clearly attempts to separate opinion from fact. Set aside left and right, old and young, just point to the world and say, 'Look!'" To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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