We’re still in that phase of Hollywood where older actors are capable of becoming actor stars no matter the film’s cause. If there’s somebody with special skills helping people out in any capacity, you got yourself a standard movie with so-so delicious and memorable violence involved. But if you wanted to see Denzel Washington return for The Equalizer 2, it’s an easy why not?
What’s the Story?: Retired CIA agent Robert McCall (Washington) is still out helping people who are in trouble that needs help while as a Lyft driver also. He’s then set a path of revenge against a crew of highly trained assassins after his friend and former colleague Susan Plummer (Melissa Leo) was murdered.
I remembered enjoying The Equalizer, released back in 2014 based on the television show. It wasn’t necessarily the type of action movie that’s gonna have replay value, but it was alright with Washington solidifying himself as an action star. Returning with his Training Day director Antoine Fuqua once again, this is the first sequel both of them have been involved in. Very surprised to wonder why The Equalizer 2 after a four-year wait? With a summer that doesn’t have a lot of decent non-superhero or sci-fi action films, this follow-up couldn’t keep my attention, in all honesty.
One thing is for sure when it comes to both these movies is that Washington’s performance is always a win in the books. 63-years-0ld and he’s still able to handle all of these action set pieces without a scratch. As we see in his introduction on a train to Turkey to rescue a kidnapped girl, he can pretty much kill baddies in under a minute. He serves as the film’s answer to a guardian angel.
Fuqua doesn’t have a lot of films that are considered great, but when it comes to handling the action, it’s well-done. The action sequences were fine enough, but it still goes for that over-the-top, R-rated violence that I wasn’t a fan of in here, or in the first film. I did, however, love the setting of the third act’s climax set during a hurricane. That’s kind of unique and it probably hasn’t happened before.
The story takes too long to finally get what the actual plot is. There really isn’t anything that I’m gonna remember in between the action and how long till we get to the setup. And it makes for a pretty predictable storyline. The overall script from Richard Wenk had no effort and could’ve been a lot better, especially with its poor pacing problem when you don’t remember what the main plot turns out to be in the end. Not only that, it wastes Bill Pullman and Leo in the process, even though I knew Leo’s role was gonna cut short.
Remember in the first movie where Robert was helping out Chloë Grace Moretz’s troubled character? In here, he’s trying to make life easy for Miles (Moonlight’s breakout star Ashton Sanders) where he wants to be an artist but also wants to join this street gang. One of the criticisms some had with the original is that the subplot served no purpose. That was the one subplot that was just fine. The others don’t really matter. For instance, I couldn’t care less about the old man he frequently picks up with him and this painting.
For the people who really enjoyed the first film will probably like this. The Equalizer 2 just come off as a disposable summer movie to come out lately. This is this year’s Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. Why that? Because both are formulaic sequels that felt needless to not care about what’s going on. When plans for a third film are as follows, chances are that I gonna feel the same way but see it because of the who attached to the project.
The Equalizer 2 joins alongside other pointless action sequels that have a messy, uninteresting story even when Denzel Washington’s performance is the film’s strongest aspect. Grade: C