Friday, September 26, 2014

The Equalizer review: Awesome Denzel, not-so-awesome movie

This review was first posted on Geek Crusade . Verdict: Two out of five stars. A good movie for the summer. But it’s fall now and time is b...

This review was first posted on Geek Crusade.

Verdict: Two out of five stars. A good movie for the summer. But it’s fall now and time is better spent catching up on all the wonderful television series that are back from their break (Hello Bones, Castle, and The Big Bang Theory!). Meanwhile, if you want something centred on feminism and equality, you’re better off watching Emma Watson and her ground-breaking speech at the UN.
Director Antoine Fuqua had the right idea when he decided to make a movie based on the premise of fighting for women’s rights. The Equalizer stars Denzel Washington as McCall, a seemingly everyday guy who happens to befriend a troubled girl, Elena (ChloĆ« Grace Moretz).

And it all goes downhill from there.

In essence, McCall and Elena frequent the same diner. McCall goes there to read, and Elena goes there to wait for her Russian mafia bosses to pick her up for, well, clients. One day, Elena gets beaten up in front of McCall, who then inexplicably morphs into a cross between James Bond and the Hulk.

He also proceeds to go about taking down everyone who is even the slightest bit related to the operation, killing anyone who gets in his way.
“I told you, no ketchup on my fries!” ©Columbia Pictures

So here’s my main problem. The guy only talked to this girl once, and suddenly he’s willing to risk everything to go on a killing spree to avenge her? This clearly screams “PSYCHO”, and is possibly why I felt very uncomfortable throughout the whole movie – McCall put me in a state of emotional ambivalence and I was upset that I was unable to fully support his line of action.

Another gripe I have is that the movie left me with a lot of questions. This McCall dude was supposed to be a supervisor in a warehouse. So where did all his cool fighting moves and torture techniques come from? Where was he from exactly? Why did he visit some woman who used to be from some agency who knew some people who could give information on some things?

I was very confused throughout the movie. In fact, I completed the movie, had a brief discussion with a friend, and I still don’t quite get it. Mr Fuqua, DUDE. Girls don’t like guys being vague over the details man. Not cool.

There are quite a few action scenes (you know, with the fighting and the blood and the gore). And that’s all pretty cool. But then we come to the explosions. And in short, they all look like this:
Michael Bay would love this. ©Columbia Pictures

Anyhow, while The Equalizer won’t be winning any prizes for best plot or script, the casting choice for McCall was superb. Denzel Washington delivered a stellar performance as usual, which made it very hard for me to hate McCall, even though I was constantly questioning his mental state of mind.

Washington injected just the right amount of ruthlessness and composure to the character, which made me question if I was being a little too harsh in my initial judgement (I was not). The man is the only reason that The Equalizer wasn’t a complete flop, and is testament that you can still kick some serious ass when you’re 60.

The Equalizer is playing in cinemas now. Let us know your thoughts on the movie!

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