by Lorie Lewis Ham
Special coupon for Dinuba Platinum Theatre at the end of this review.
I was a fan of the old Equalizer TV show back in the 80s and was surprised, and pleased, when I saw that it was going to be rebooted as a movie starring Denzel Washington. It was obviously going to be very different as the TV show starred British actor Edward Woodward running around in a suit and trench coat, while Denzel is not only not British, but from the trailers it was clear there was no suit and tie. I wanted to see where they would go with it.
Basically, this movie is a prelude to the TV show and sort of an origin story. In the TV show Robert McCall (Denzel’s character in the movie) is a former agent who now works as a private investigator to help people in need–kind of equalizing the situation because of his skills from being an agent. In the movie version, McCall is working at a place like Home Depot living an ordinary and very simple life, trying to leave his old life behind. However, when a young Russian prostitute that he becomes friends with is severely beaten he just can’t fight his old nature and sets out to save her, setting off a chain of events that changes not only her life but also his. The action in this movie is fun because it’s like a much more deadly version of MacGyver, as McCall uses whatever is at hand to fight the bad guys instead of just running around with big guns. I couldn’t wait to see what he was going to use next.
While McCall is called “old man” by many of the younger characters, Denzel looks pretty good to me and totally believable as this very capable defender of the defenseless. The action, while very brutal, is also very creative (see above). McCall can definitely still handle himself well and is a hero I look forward to seeing more of–they totally set this up for more movies. We only got bits and pieces of McCall’s background in this movie, but I expect more background and more character development will likely come over time if this does become a series of movies. Because he is also an intelligent man and crazily calm, there were moments that moved slower than the typical action movie-but I liked the contrast. McCall is like a knight for modern times–noble, good and brave–and we could use more of those. Denzel did a wonderful job of giving this 80s character new life.
The Equalizer is currently playing at Dinuba Platinum Theatres 6, also in 3D. Showtimes can be found on their website. Platinum Theaters Dinuba 6 now proudly presents digital quality films in 2-D and 3-D with 5.1 Dolby digital surround sound to maximize your movie experience.