Denzel Washington is back as Robert ‘Bob’ McCall, an action hero in The Equalizer, a former black ops operative who left the game by faking his own death.
When his good nature compels him to intervene, to help a local prostitute who is badly beaten by some pimps, he gets embroiled in a fight with the local Russian mob, corrupt police, and a great number of really bad guys. The damsel-in-distress lands in hospital from her injuries, and there remains while Bob performs his heroics. Perhaps she would have just been in the way.
While this is an action movie, about a black ops member, we learn about Bob’s mysterious past rather far along into the film. He is a dark, brooding character (who performs many of his pre-action scenes in extreme slow motion). This darkness carries over to the image itself, and the overall picture is incredibly dark, meaning that in most of the action scenes, you struggle to see what is going on, and end up not being able to follow the action. Bob also seems to have far too many sayings of ‘zen’, for each situation, as he travels the neighbourhood doing favours for everyone, as the perfect boy scout.
The film is far too long, and would likely benefit from removing all the slow motion pondering prior to a fight, brightening the world so the audience can actually see anything that is going on, and perhaps containing the story a it more. The final act of the film would have been fun on it’s own (minus aforementioned slow motion and near solid black), yet takes its time reaching this point.
Another action / thriller that falls short of the mark. For those who wish to brave the experience, or reminisce about the days of listening to a story, as opposed to watching it, The Equalizer opens 26 September 2014 in South African cinemas.