REVIEW: The Equalizer 2 (2018)

The Equalizer 2 stars Denzel Washington as Robert McCall, who is on the hunt for the people who killed one of his closest friends.

Before I dive into this movie, it’s best to mention the first Equalizer. Among the successfully entertaining parts stood a fantastic lead performance by Denzel Washington as the titular character. In my opinion, the movie was better than it had any right to be, all thanks to Washinton's composure, charisma and reverence. It’s a very entertainingly badass movie with a great score, acute direction and a straightforward narrative.

I can’t say the same for The Equalizer 2. Sadly, the movie slumps into over-crowded meandering where the central plot fails to ignite until more than half an hour into the running time.

This movie frustrated me in how unfocused it was. It somehow has too much going on yet simultaneously so little is happening. The movie fails to find its feet for a very long time, and another great offender to my patience was the lack of a clear-cut villain, which also doesn’t come to fruition for a while.

I question why the movie couldn’t just cut to the chase straight away as I did not come to see an Equalizer movie involving an old man, a painting and him looking for his sister. That’s a plot thread that should’ve been erased, among many.

Denzel Washington provides my relief with his laid-back presence and slick dialogue delivery, but the movie around him seems to deplete the impact of his performance by relying on excessive dialogue, weak character development, and action scenes that are so few and far between that they become practically invisible and insufficient. There’s one lovely relationship Washington has with Miles (portrayed by Ashton Sanders), and there’s at least an effective scene between the two after he helps him out of a situation that was prepared to go awry.

But that is where the pros end as far as the film is concerned. Despite being well-made enough, I’m finding it very hard to accept an Equalizer movie that left me bored. By the time the story began, I almost lost interest. By the time the villain was revealed, I had seen the individual coming from quite a distance.

Watching Washington subduing a room full of bad guys can be entertaining but I’d recommend the first film for better effect. In short, The Equalizer 2 came up short on story, characters, action and also its music. Banally unimpressive and remarkably dull, this is a recommendation I won’t be giving any time soon.

By Seán Mac G.

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