Reviewed by: John Decker
courage, bravery, self-sacrifice
vigilante: taking the law into one’s own hands and attempting to provide justice according to one’s own understanding of right and wrong
From the viewpoint of a follower of Christ, evaluate these references made in the movie:
• you have to be who you are
• making wrong choices to get to the right place
• the importance of discovering one’s primary purpose in life
Denzel Washington … Robert McCall
Marton Csokas … Teddy
Chloë Grace Moretz … Teri
David Harbour … Masters
Haley Bennett … Mandy
Bill Pullman … Brian Plummer
Melissa Leo … Susan Plummer
David Meunier … Slavi
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|Director:||Antoine Fuqua—“Training Day” (2001), “Shooter” (2007), “Olympus Has Fallen” (2013)|
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Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures
Sequel: “The Equalizer 2” (2018)
This film does not rate high for me. I find Denzel Washington more predictable than perhaps ever. For the most part, this film is classic Denzel—action, humor, wit, solid good guy vs. solid bad guy. The acting is decent, but this film is drawn out and reads more like seven TV shows than a film. If you would prefer to simply know the potentially objectionable content and judge the quality for yourself, skip my next paragraph and go straight to the “Violence, Sexuality, Profanity” section.
Why I tired of this film before the first hour was over may well be because I’ve seen so much of Denzel’s wit in other movies. His decisive and cunning macho dealings are well on par with that of Bruce Willis and Mel Gibson in their action roles. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, whether it is familiarity or just slow moving scenes, I find Denzel predictable, and I find the scenes drawn out—painfully drawn out. There are some great build-ups. And then there are some more build-ups. And then more. This film had more ups and downs than the hydraulic arm of a Saudi oil pump. Every 25 minutes, I felt like I had watched another film. By the end, I felt like I had watched seven films and been glued to my chair for three or more hours. That’s quite a discrepancy for a 2 hour and 11 minute film.
I will admit that the first half of “The Equalizer” is better than the second. There were some very hopeful moments. It gave promise and dumped her head-first on the floor. This film in its parts is good action, in its parts it is dramatic and contains some witty one-liners, in its parts it contains some solid motivations for justice and some cool effects, but no book or film or artwork is a bundle of parts. As a whole, this film embodies the term violence and revenge ad-nauseam (Latin for “until you puke”).
Violence: Probably the most disturbing violence in the film is a woman being strangled. At least that’s more frustrating for a man (cough) than seeing bad guys impaled by tree trimmers, nail guns, drills and various implements of destruction, all of which, and more, exist in this film. Is the violence senseless? Well, it serves a purpose; it’s always a just-desserts situation. However, it is lengthy, it is at times 8/10 gory, it is drawn out, it is repetitive, exhaustive, a bit numbing, and a little tiresome. In-fact it extends almost comically beyond the plot, as if more a dream-like portrayal of violence than one of experts in action. As a fan of the Bourne trilogy and “Shooter,” it takes no small amount of violence to produce such and opinion in me.
Sexuality: A hooker plays a key role in the film. She is dressed with relative modesty, and she acts modestly. There is no sexuality from her or other women in the film. There is a scene where a man is shown in the shower. His lower torso is shown and part of his butt from the back. There are vulgar sexual comments, other prostitutes, cleavage, a shirtless man, vulgar sexual comments, and a Web page showing prostitutes in lingerie.
Profanity: You name it—f-bombs, combination f-bombs (over 80), various blasphemies, this move is full of them—“G*d-d*mn,” OMG, “Swear to God.”
Violence: Extreme / Profanity: Extreme / Sex/Nudity: Heavy
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.