The Equalizer 2

The Equalizer 2 is more of a thriller than an action movie. There were plenty of action sequences and Denzel Washington does kick a lot of ass. But compared to a full-on action movie, the action was tame. It was not crazy over-the-top Mad Max level action; like the first film, the action was down-to-earth and felt like it could happen in real life. The actions scenes were a bit spread out but not so much that the film felt slow. Some parts were borderline on feeling slow but managed to stay on the line instead of stepping over it.

Denzel is certainly a badass in this movie. He is still able to take down a roomful of men single-handedly. The Equalizer 2 focuses less on what he can do and more on who he is. We already know his character’s backstory from the previous film. This time around it focuses more on who he is now, after the previous movie partially come out of hiding. He is more actively helping people from the beginning of this film but, like in the first Equalizer, his hand gets forced and the situation escalates.

It is not very common to see an action hero who is also a person. While Denzel’s character is very skilled and methodical, you do not get the sense he is invincible. He is extremely intelligent and constantly two steps ahead, but he is not Rambo. On top of his intellect, he cares. He genuinely cares about other people, even people he does not know. At one point in the film someone he saves asks, “Why me?” and he simply responds, “Why not you?” The scene where Denzel and the young man get off the elevator (to keep this vague and spoiler free), particularly shows what kind of man he is. He has a gentle soul but also the heart of a warrior.

While I still hold that Denzel’s best film is The Book of Eli, The Equalizer 2 turned out very good. It is on par with the first film, which similar but not identical structuring to the story and characters. The story is extended from the first film but also left open enough that they can make The Equalizer 3 if they want to. While not necessarily one of the top action films ever, The Equalizer 2 is solid enough to be well worth the watch.

July 29, 2018

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