Remember the 1980s TV series The Equalizer? Edward Woodward? Robert Lansing? Well, if you’re going to see Antoine Fuqua’s (Training Day, Olympus Has Fallen) version, you’ll need to forget all that; the only things the film and series share are a title and the lead character’s name. Not even the Jaguar survived the trip.
Denzel Washington plays Robert McCall as a retired unstoppable killing machine. It’s a credit to Washington’s acting skills that McCall doesn’t end up as a complete cartoon; he’s merely omniscient, not omnipotent. Marton Csokas (a long line of Eurobaddie roles) is the standard-issue crazy Russian mob hitter with whom McCall faces off.
Fuqua has a way with staging gritty violence effectively — you’ll never look at a Home Depot the same way again. There’s blood, explosions, and gunfights enough to keep you from realizing until the end credits that the story doesn’t really make a lot of sense. And of course, it’s set up for a sequel. If you’re feeling a need to watch another old guy kick butt and already saw the latest Liam Neeson flick, this may be a suitable substitute.