Culture Street

Film

Film Review: The Equalizer

On September 25, 2014

By Sophia Whitfield

The Equalizer sees the teaming of Denzel Washington with director Antoine Fuqua. A previously successful collaboration, Washington won an Academy Award for Best Actor in Fuqua’s acclaimed Training Day.

Inspired by the 1980s vigilante TV series starring Edward Woodward, The Equalizer shares the same premise as the series. The highly trained Robert McCall (Denzel Washington), a mysterious operative, sets out to equalize the odds against injustice.

McCall lives a life less ordinary spending his days working as a DIY manager. Alone at nights in a small apartment, his insomnia drives him out in the early hours where he sits in a local diner reading Hemingway. It is here that he befriends a young prostitute (Chloe Grace Moretz) abandoned by the world. When she is beaten up by her pimp McCall seeks retribution.

It takes almost thirty minutes for the film to build to this moment. McCall’s days and nights are ruled by his stopwatch. At 2am every morning he heads to the diner where he sets out his cutlery, unwraps his teabag (from a carefully folded napkin), which he has brought from home, and waits for boiling water to be poured into his mug so he can begin reading his latest novel of choice.

A widowed man with obsessive compulsive tendencies, McCall finally breaks out of the mould he has created for himself revealing his previous life as a skilled operative. The tension dissipates as McCall begins his campaign to right wrongs. Not content with putting the local mafia out of business he goes straight to the top violently executing Russian mafia and setting right corrupt Boston police.

It is an excessively violent film but McCall never uses a gun, preferring instead to use more domestic tools such as a corkscrew as he fights for what is right.

Washington oozes a cool persona as the unstoppable McCall. The role fits so well that the film is conveniently left open for another instalment.

The Equalizer is released in cinemas across Australia today.

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