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The Equalizer 2

also known as “A védelmező 2.,” “Bez litości 2,” “Ekvalaizeris 2,” See more »

Reviewed by: Karen C. Flores

Moral Rating: Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:
Primary Audience: Adults
Genre: Action Crime Thriller
Length: 2 hr. 1 min.
Year of Release: 2018
USA Release: July 20, 2018 (wide—3,300+ theaters)
DVD: December 11, 2018
Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Picturesclick photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures
Relevant Issues


justice of God


dangers of taking justice into one’s own hands—judge, jury and executioner


difficulties involved in dealing with death of family members

Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures
Featuring Denzel WashingtonRobert McCall
Pedro PascalDave York
Bill PullmanBrian Plummer
Melissa LeoSusan Plummer
Sakina JaffreyFatima
Jonathan ScarfeResnick
Orson BeanSam Rubinstein
Ashton SandersMiles Whittaker
See all »
Director Antoine Fuqua
Producer Columbia Pictures
Escape Artists
Fuqua Films
See all »
Distributor: Columbia Pictures. Trademark logo.
Columbia Pictures
, a division of Sony Pictures

Prequel: “The Equalizer” (2014)

Sequel: “The Equalizer 3” (2023)

“The Equalizer” movies are based on a popular 1980s TV show about a retired British Intelligence agent, Robert McCall, who becomes a private detective living in the USA. He helps his clients equalize the odds. His philosophy is that violence is the last resort. In this 2018 film version, Denzel Washington plays Robert McCall who is a former American CIA black ops agent. Violence is the only resort he uses throughout this film. I never saw the first Equalizer. I can only review the movie I saw which is the second.

“The Equalizer 2” is the first sequel picture for Denzel Washington. The story is about Robert McCall avenging the death of Susan, a close friend and former co-worker. He works as a Lyft driver, which allows him to hear the hurts and difficulties people may face. He tends to help those who are in special need or in serious trouble. His life takes a turn when he finds out Susan was murdered. The rest of the movie is McCall trying to figure out who killed her and executing everyone who did the deed.

Unfortunately, the movie plods along in telling the story. It does not arrive at the main theme until halfway through the film. It opens with a fight scene in a train car in Turkey. After that, the audience sees several scenes in his car with McCall’s various passengers. He pulverizes men who raped a female passenger. He helps a young boy named Miles stay out of a drug gang and go back to school, encouraging him to stay focused on his artwork. McCall helps a woman fix her vandalized garden. Eventually, Susan is murdered, and the action starts to pick up.

In the meantime, the audience is subjected to an onslaught of violence. The audience can hear people’s arms and hands breaking. One sees people getting stabbed, shot, and severely maimed. Women are beaten, battered, and killed. There are a number of explosions; buildings and people are blown up. The film is one huge blood bath.

Whenever there is a film with such extreme violence, it comes with a plethora of vulgar language. Throughout this picture, there are around forty to fifty expletives utilized. However, the main character never uses swear words, and he asks young Miles not to utter any either. Miles shows McCall that he signs his artwork with the words, “the right hand of God.” He talks to Miles giving him Biblical advice and Godly wisdom, but later McCall takes a gun and shoots people in order to rescue Miles.

Overall, I feel that this picture was rather weak as an action film. Denzel Washington’s acting is great, but the story and the film are not on the same caliber as his talent. “The Equalizer 2” moves at a snail’s pace to get to the main plot. I leave you with these stats:

Language: f-words (20+), s-words (15+), The Lord’s Name in vain (4), n-word (racial epithet—6—mostly heard in background songs throughout the picture. G*d d**n (2), d*mn (1), for G*d’s sakes (1), Oh my G*d (1), b*tch (3), a** (1), cr*p (1)

Nudity: Woman in clothes that show her bar and top of her panties, plus one scene with a shirtless man

Drugs and alcohol: There are a few scenes with drinking, and McCall goes in a gang’s drug den to perform a rescue.

Violence: The violence is so extreme. Every scene where there is fighting, there is blood. People are shot, stabbed, and maimed. Blood is splattered throughout this picture. To name all the scenes with violence would reveal the entire movie. I thought that I was going to vomit, because it was so gory and gruesome.

I would not recommend this film to anyone. However, if you are going to see it, the age should be 18 years old and up. It is not healthy to expose yourself to such gore and violence. Even as a believer, a person could become numb to seeing this type of behavior. It is as if we are no better than the ancient Romans watching people get killed in the arena.

  • Violence: Extreme
  • Vulgar/Crude language: Very Heavy
  • Profane language: Heavy
  • Nudity: Mild
  • Sex: None—but a sexual comment
  • Occult: None

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Neutral—In response to how long it takes for the action to begin, that is in keeping with the first Equalizer movie. A tone is really set to show how Robert lives his life, how he avoids his past dealings but at the same time uses what he knows to protect others and help others. It’s in his nature to reach out and fix what he can. He’s a good man who can’t sit idly by and almost adopts a cause. That is evident in the first film and this one as well. In the first film, the action takes a while as well. The story builds and takes it’s time, showing us who Robert is and how other people intersect in his life. It introduces us to the other people in his life that are sub stories to the main story. In that regard, it builds before the main story line really gets going and the action starts.

The violence is more brutal in this installment than the first. Even Robert seems more brutal in his killing. I didn’t care for that level of brutality. There are a couple scenes filmed in first person. They are really out of place in this film. I found it distracting. This is not a gaming movie so the first person style is completely out of character in this film.

This film does show us Robert’s backstory in greater detail than the first film. We get bits of his prior life in the first film and in the 2nd film, more is given to us. It takes the character back and shows us who he is, why he has stepped away from his former life and how he has to return to who he was, both for closure and retribution.

The language was disappointing, the use of the N-word, as well as hearing what I think was a very bad name for female body part in a song… I think. I hope I’m wrong. I didn’t need to hear the street language to get the point.

I think the first Equalizer was a better film. We really got to see the quiet, gentle nature of Robert in that film that is underscored by who he was in this former life. That same character, the helping others without recognition, is present. I enjoy his interaction with a young man in the film, the time he invests in this young man. As someone who works with kids, that time is important. To invest, to show you believe in them, to get them to think not what they can’t do, but what they can do, it’s an awesome thing. Robert shows that well in this film. However, I still preferred the first film.

Overall, “Equalizer 2” does not live up to the standards of the first film. If they keep the franchise going, I’d watch another one, but I did feel they wrapped things up in this film. I give it a Neutral rating because the first one was better.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
Andrea, age 45 (USA)

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