Showtime: The Equalizer premiered at the Gaslamp District in San Diego on September 26,2014. (Creative Commons, photographer: vagueonthehow)
The Equalizer was originally a Reagan-era television show on CBS in the ’80s. The show ran four seasons with Edward Woodward as Robert McCall, a former covert operations officer of a U.S. Government intelligence organization that was referred to as the “The Agency.”
The reboot of the series stars Denzel Washington as the lead, a mysterious vigilante who fakes his own death to live a quiet life as a shelf stocker at Home Mart, a Home Depot knockoff. McCall lives in an unadorned apartment, as a widower to his late wife who passed away for an unnamed reason. At a late night cafe, lonely McCall reads Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea, while he has lighthearted conversations with Teri (Chloe Grace Moretz), a young Russian escort who has dreams of becoming a singer.
Teri frequents the cafe, getting picked up by her clients every night after exchanging words with McCall. The Russian mafia owns forlorn Teri, and while her safety isn’t on their agenda, McCall will climb up the ladder kill every member of the Russian mafia to rest assured that Teri is given the justice and freedom she deserves.
McCall’s sadistic rival, Teddy (Marton Csokas), is sent from Russia to discontinue the killing spree McCall is carrying out.
“Everything about him is wrong,” Teddy says to his fellow mobsters when he leaves McCalls apartment.
For a man working a life of subtle contemplation, the precision of his murders come as a surprise to Teddy. This “don’t awaken the sleeping giant” cliché was utilized by director Anton Fuqua while characterizing the protagonist.
The Equalizer features a copious amount of carnage, brutal murders by a barbed wire noose, corkscrew, electric drill, and glass shard. However, it goes without saying that McCall only resorts to murder as an ultimatum.
The film was highly predictable, leaving nothing to the audience’s imagination. While the gore and action has it’s viewers cringing, there is never doubt that the hero will ruthlessly kill the villains. The Equalizer is not a movie that culminates with perplexity, but rather a movie more suitable when craving violent revenge.