Tag: film review

The Equalizer 2: Film Review

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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The Bottom Five: Each of These Movies was a Box Office Bust

By Brennan Dubé | @Brennan_Dube71R

2018 has been a year that has provided us with several hits at the box office so far, but that doesn’t mean there haven’t been some absolute duds as well. Here is a rundown of the top 5 box office busts of 2018… so far. For this list, I have compiled how bad films did in comparison to what they were expected to earn as well as how poor of an intake it had at the box office in comparison to its budget. Here we go!

5. Sherlock Gnomes

The animated feature, ‘Sherlock Gnomes’ was not as much of a high stakes release as some of the others on this list budget wise, but is still costed $59 million dollars to make. That’s a lot of money to be messing around with. This movie came out on March 23rdand was expected to bring in a less than stellar $13-18 million for its opening weekend, it did not even reach that standard. ‘Sherlock Gnomes’ opened to $10.6 million in its opening weekend and went on to gross $42.3 million domestically. The movie grossed a worldwide total of $78 million dollars, when considering that its budget was nearly $60 million pre-marketing, it’s hard to mathematically find ways that ‘Gnomes’ and Paramount Pictures made much of a profit from this movie.

4. Pacific Rim: Uprising

When Warner Bros. released the first ‘Pacific Rim’ in 2013 and it turned out to be a hidden gem, it grossed over $400 million globally and was no box office bust in China. This success sparked a sequel, ‘Pacific Rim: Uprising’ came out in March and it did not nearly garner as much success as its predecessor. ‘Uprising’ had a production budget of $150-175 million dollars, on top of that marketing expenditures reached up to $140 million. This hefty spending meant that the sequel to the surprise 2013 success film, would need to smash $300 million dollars to break even and reach upwards of $350 million to turn a noticeable profit. It is safe to say, ‘Pacific Rim: Uprising’ was a box office bust as it managed to only make $290 million dollars globally when all was said and done. This result leaves studios with almost no hope at a third ‘Pacific Rim’ installment.

3. Hurricane Heist

‘Hurricane Heist’ hit the big screen on March 9th. This movie carried a budget of $35 million dollars but was expected to be a box office bust. Initially experts and the movie execs themselves eyed a $7 million dollar opening weekend at the domestic box office, but with an opening day total of just $950,000 it ended up just grossing $3 million for its opening weekend. ‘Hurricane Heist’ ended up grossing just $6.1 million domestically and less than $7 million internationally for a global gross of just $12.5 million. After factoring in marketing and the fact that it barley grossed a third of its budget, there were over $30 million dollars in losses for the studio.

2. Solo: A Star Wars Story

‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ is the moment Disney and ‘Star Wars’ finally looked vulnerable. After the billion dollar releases of ‘The Force Awakens’ (2015), ‘Rogue One’ (2016) and ‘The Last Jedi’ (2017), we get ‘Solo.’ Now there are tons of theories as to why this movie flopped, but let me just give you the numbers first. With a budget of around $250 million plus $200 million in marketing costs, the studios stated that ‘Solo’ would need to make $500 million to turn a respectable profit. $500 million, no big deal! Back-to-back-to-back billion dollar movies… ‘Solo’ will be just fine right? Not a chance. In the weeks leading up the projections had this movie set to open with $135-150 million in its first weekend. As we got closer and closer that number dropped to around $115 million. Finally, the weekend of May 25thcame and ‘Solo’ opened… to a shocking $84 million dollars. The poor domestic showings along with bad numbers globally have put this film on pace to gross less than $400 million when all is said and done. Studio officials have stated that the losses will be around $50-80 million dollars, making it a considerable box office bust.

1. A Wrinkle in Time

Disney’s ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ was perceived by many to be a potential hit in 2018, then it finally hit the big screens. Dampened by poor marketing schemes and absolutely awful reviews by critics, ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ lost all hype heading into its release and was not able to generate the motivation and hype of usual Disney films. The budget for this movie was listed at a whopping $100 million dollars, and on top of that another $100 million plus was spent on advertising and marketing. ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ opened to a dismal $33.3 million at the domestic box office. It went on to gross a global total of $130 million during its time in theaters. Many reports list that this movie has lost its studio anywhere from $85-185 million dollars. Definitely a well-deserved number one on this list. ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ will go down not only as a major box office bust of 2018, but also one of the biggest of all time.


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