When he’s not working as a Lyft driver, Robert McCall (Denzel Washington) moonlights as the self-appointed friendly neighborhood equalizer, a vigilante-style assassin with a big heart for the little guy. With an apartment complex to watch out for and the life of a dear friend to avenge, McCall proves, yet again, that his dad-style approach to his retired work of guns and crime fighting might very well be the best way to get the job done.
Denzel Washington works alongside director Antoine Fuqua once more in The Equalizer 2. Despite working with Fuqua numerous times past in his gritty action-packed work, this is Denzel’s first time ever filming a sequel. His performance carries the film, pushing the audience into the powerful gap between sin and justice. Washington’s ability to channel the firm, fatherly love of his character reminds the audience of his seasoned abilities as an actor, making the film as enjoyable as the first.
Should you venture to the theater to see Washington’s hero-of-sorts sequel, here’s what you can expect as you head in. The Equalizer 2 is a film of home-town heroes and familial betrayals. The ubiquitous cry of support can be felt in the theater for Robert McCall as he seeks to represent, one might dare to say, “the least of these,” around him. But, it needs to be noted, that to avenge his loved ones and seek justice for the wronged, McCall is willing to engage in whatever form of brutality necessary. The Equalizer 2 does not shy away from new and creative ways to engage in hand-to-hand combat. Brutal forms of death are shown in technicolor as the conflict is worked out in the dark world of drugs and prostitution (among other things). The cold and brutal wars of his past, previously experienced abroad, have now come home to haunt him, leaving him with the task to deal with, once and for all, the evil that has gone unpunished.
The Dove Take
Unfortunately, as this film champions an “R” rating, the question must be asked: Is the content worth the viewing experience? Dove’s perspective is that in the end, the violence and intense thematic material outweighs any thought-provoking narrative that might be worthy of risking an affirmative seal. Therefore, Dove does not grant The Equalizer 2 with the Seal of Approval.