So I watched The Equaliser…
Honestly, I don’t even know how to begin describing how amazing this movie was. It was such a throwback to the kind of spirit that made action moves in the 80’s so iconic but let me not get ahead of myself.
After i saw the trailer for the first, I knew immediately that I wanted to see this movie. Denzel Washington is always worth the price of admission, plus he was teaming up with Antoine Fuqua again, so there was no way I could resist seeing this. I was a bit worried though that the movie would be very similar to “Man On Fire” but I was such a fan of that movie that seeing something similar would actually be a treat.
Basic plot of the flick: Denzel is a retired spy or assassin or whatever (the movie never explains) and he’s living a normal life – 9-5 job, paying taxes etc etc. He befriends this woman – Teri – who’s a prostitute and when Teri gets placed in the ICU, Denzel decides to do something about it. This leads to an all-out assault on a Russian crime boss and one hell of an action movie. The movie honestly never feels like it’s trying to be (or trying not to be) Man On Fire. The tone may be similar but the motivation of the lead characters in the two movies is so different that you never catch yourself comparing them.
This movie is what I’ve been dying to see in an action movie for so long – a complex hero, a villain I inexplicably hate and motivation for the hero to take the villain down. It doesn’t get bogged down trying to jam a million special effects into the movie and the lack of CGI makes for hand-to-hand combat scenes that remind you of everything you used to like about Steven Segal movies. I loved how the movie took it’s time with the plot. It introduces the characters, makes you care about them so that when bullets are fired and explosions set off you actually care unlike a lot of movies nowadays (yeah, I’m talking to you Lucy)
Denzel Washington’s performance in this movie is CHILLING…he knocks every line, every nuisance, every punch OUT OF THE PARK. He combines the street-smart arrogance he had in Training Day with the emotionless efficiency he brought to The Book of Eli and Man On Fire and the result is amazing! His performance is definitely the best thing about this movie, followed closely by the work of his fellow actors and the script which provides classic action dialogue. Marton Csokas deserves a nod, I didn’t feel they made his character as menacing as they could but there’s one scene where they show a glimpse of the raw, barbaric nature that makes him such an enthralling bad guy.
The movie also reminded me a lot of Rambo: First Blood Part II, in the way that the hero uses guerrilla warfare and intelligence to take down groups of enemies. The action is larger than life at times but somehow also grounded in reality so everytime Denzel is in a fight you’re worried for his safety and just wanna clap (which I and the people in the cinema did alot) when he eventually wins. There’s a real threat of danger to the hero so the fight scenes are engaging and not just mindless excuses to blow things up while the hero walks away in slow motion…okay Denzel does blow shit up and walk away in slow motion but the movie earns the right to do this so it looks so much more awesome.
Overall, this was probably the most entertaining movie I’ve watched all year – not the ‘best’ movie, just the most entertaining so far. My expectations were met and then surpassed, there were countless times where I thought to myself this movie cannot be real, it’s way too awesome. Oh and another thing, this movie actually has tons of violence and action. The people don’t talk about kicking ass, they actually go out and kick it, unlike most movies this day (yeah, I’m talking to you, RoboCop & Godzilla reboots)
I could go on and on about how much I loved this movie but instead, I suggest you go see it yourself and let it amaze you. Definitely a trip to the cinema (more than one trip even) 8/10