2014 / Director. Antoine Fuqua.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
I react to films emotionally, on a very basic level and I am susceptible to manipulation. I love being strung along at the mercy of a director and I subscribe to the belief that cinema is the best kind of manipulation. THE EQUALIZER played me like a fiddle. I was completely swept up by this one. Denzel Washington leads this big screen adaptation of the TV series and he owns every second of his screen time. He plays a highly skilled former government operative who gets caught up with the Russian mob when he seeks justice for a young woman, whom they had beaten to a pulp. The film plays out in three classic acts, the first of which establishes his character's place in society, the second reveals his past and the third shows us what he is capable of. In amongst all of this are some fantastic action sequences, classic movie villains (perfectly contrived) and a kick ass soundtrack. Denzel hasn't really been this good since TRAINING DAY as far as I'm concerned and neither has director Antione Farqua. Both have approached this film on a pure entertainment level and invest everything they've got to make it a brutal, fast paced action thriller. It slightly overstays its welcome and could do with a trimming (130 minutes is a long running time for an action film) but that's not to imply that it's ever boring. The story just keeps delivering fantastic set-ups and amusing kills. Imagine if Kevin from HOME ALONE had grown up to become a Black Ops agent and put his booby-trap knowledge to use... haha... that's exactly what THE EQUILIZER delivers. There's never a dull moment and it is an overall super energetic and totally fun movie.