Reviewed by: Karen C. Flores
dangers of taking justice into one’s own hands—judge, jury and executioner
difficulties involved in dealing with death of family members
|Featuring:||Denzel Washington … Robert McCall
Pedro Pascal …
Bill Pullman … Brian Plummer
Melissa Leo … Susan Plummer
Sakina Jaffrey … Fatima
Jonathan Scarfe … Resnick
Orson Bean … Sam Rubinstein
Ashton Sanders …
Caroline Day … Amy
Abigail Marlowe … Jana Calbert
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Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures
Prequel: “The Equalizer” (2014)
“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.
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.