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The Equalizer 2: Film Review

The summer of sequels continues, this time it’s “The Equalizer 2.” Does this film hold up as a strong counterpart to its 2014 predecessor?

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By Brennan Dubé | United States

“The Equalizer 2” stars Denzel Washington and is the follow up to the 2014 action/thriller “The Equalizer.” Director Antoine Fuqua returns to direct the sequel and he hopes to further the story of a badass lyft driver, “Robert McCall”, played by Washington. The film has a few different plot points, but the main story is about McCall trying to seek revenge. Along the way he also keeps a neighborhood boy from falling into the hands of a local gang.

Washington is truly a badass on screen and anytime a scene is focused on him involving some ass-kicking that needs to be done, this movie shines. The action sequences were very entertaining and fun to watch, much like the original. The plot however, is not as strong. The beginning of this film lacks overall drive and focus, and there is no factor that makes the movie overly compelling. This results in the first half of the film really feeling like it dragged on with not a real intriguing end goal. As the film progresses the second half does pick up a lot and there is a scene in the middle that really excited me back into the film and was a true game changer. The scene involved Washington and Ashton Sanders and it is a strong dramatic scene that had me really feeling these characters emotions.

The rest of the supporting cast in the film does a solid acting job, but most of the characters are not very compelling or notably interesting. Washington’s portrayal keeps the movie afloat and makes for an enjoyable time as he really is great at playing these types of characters. While I don’t believe there will be a “The Equalizer 3” I am glad this film was produced.

While entertaining, the movie didn’t feel all that fresh and it simply felt like any traditional sequel. It is always good to see some R-rated gore and violence from two time Oscar winner Denzel Washington, but not even this film darkens the true shine of Denzel in the main role, serving up a strong performance as well as an entertaining one. With regards to the gore, there wasn’t a ton of jaw-droppingly gross scenes. However, the gore was strong enough to keep this film R-rated.

If the twist and inciting incident of this film happened much sooner, I would have much more enjoyed this as a fast-paced action joy-ride. Even if more focus was put onto the story of Washington and Sanders, I would have found more enjoyment in the film as those two shared some very good scenes that felt emotional, charming and real.

The big plus: Denzel. Denzel. Denzel. Fun action and some badass moments.

Where it lacks: No real strong drive and a drag of a first half hold this film down.

Score: 64/100

‘The Equalizer 2’ offers up some solid action and is a worthy, but not as stellar addition to the first film. The film lacks a true focus early on and you feel like asking yourself “where are we going with this?” in the first half. When the movie picks up later on it does feel like a really good thriller that does have a few scenes of true excitement and thrilling pleasure.

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