Did you know that this is Denzel Washingtons first sequel? He never made Crimson Tide 2 or Mother Goose: A Rappin’ and Rhymin’ Special 2 or The Siege 2: Siege Harder but he returns to this?
The Equalizer verse?
In a way I guess it makes sense- given that this is based off of an old TV show, it would be pretty easy to franchise and the first film wasn’t terrible but it was no Taken either. In fact, I’d completely forgotten that it existed until I figured I should watch it before hitting the multiplex to catch the sequel which… i’m also going to forget exists in well, however long it takes me to finish this review. Say…. 20 minutes? 30 if I have to get another brew.
So, we rejoin Robert McCall, the worlds most perfect human a few years after the first film and find that he’s basically an Uber driving vigilante who’s in perfect control of every situation, reads classical literature, provides a father figure to a local wayward youth and is arguably the most boring protagonist I’ve seen in years.
He has no flaws, no fear, and at no point did he seem to be in danger. And I know that similar claim can be made about Liam Neesons character in Taken (10 points if you can tell me his name without hitting IMDB or Wikipedia.) But he took damage, he showed emotions, he was in danger and at times seemed like he could fail. In other words, in both Taken films he was human.
He also remembered to have a second act as well.
I mean seriously, the structure of a film should be thus. Person goes up tree, person gets stuck in tree, person gets down from tree. It varies from genre to genre but that’s the basic idea. Here? We spend 42 minutes setting up that Mcall is vigilante Jesus,as well as several pointless subplots before the main plot actually gets going!
I mean, I know that 42 is the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything but in a supposed action movie I think it’s a bit much. Especially when the film is a slightly overlong and stodgy 121 minutes anyway, could this not have been cut down?
Anyway, Washington’s only friend is murdered and he embarks on a quest for justice! That…. takes about ten minutes since the villain pretty much confesses and monologues the first chance they get, before we get onto an overlong, tedious, dull third act with no suspense which is all that stands between me and a well deserved pint.
Denzel Washington is one of the finest actors working today and it’s a shame to find him wasting everyone’s time appearing in such an underwhelming film. It’s in dire need of at least 25 minutes being removed as well as least a subplot. Films like this need to be fast paced, with villains who appear to pose a threat to our hero, have more than a handful of goons as well, as well as seeming to actually have an evil plan as opposed to nothing better to do with their or indeed my time. And also, if your going to have the whole ‘dark reflection of the hero’ villain, please, please, please have either of these characters have actual well, character!
Equalizer 2: Equalize Harder is a dull action sequel to a not particularly interesting film. It’s characters are flat, it’s got way too many subplots all of which are so predictable that I could set my watch to them. All of which adds to the bloated run-time and when there is action it’s not terribly active. Or involving. Or original. Or… I can’t think of any more O words and the kettles boiled.
My Score- Skip It