Monday, 29 September 2014

The Equalizer - review

Only in Hollywood can Edward Woodward turn into Denzel Washington.

And that's precisely what happens in this Hollywood big screen reboot of the Eighties TV series about a former Intelligence Agent who, like fellow Eighties heroes The A-Team, The Incredible Hulk and The Littlest Hobo, helping people with their troubles.

It is obvious from the slow build beginning that Washington's Robert McCall is not just a quiet, solitary man who works in a hardware store. There is the spotless apartment, his regimented and disciplined lifestyle and inability to sleep which results in late night reading and chats with young prostitute Teri in an all-night diner.

Their discussions are framed like a live action version of Edward Hopper's Nighthawks and it is an act of violence upon Moretz's Jodie Foster like hooker that ignites the fire within and causes McCall to go full Travis Bickle on her pimp and the Russian mobsters that follow.

And in one of the biggest signposting moments since Ripley demonstrated how she could use a power loader, Denzel spends several scenes working in Home Depot... Gee, I wonder where the big showdown will take place?

Denzel goes through the motions as the quiet hard man with a heart of gold who looks cool while walking away from explosions in slow mo but what is lacking here is Tony Scott's hyper-kinetic visuals and flair that would have made this more than equal to the likes of Man On Fire and Unstoppable.

Still, it looks like it will do well enough at the box office to merit a return from Robert McCall in The Sequelizer!

2 stars

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