THE EQUALIZER 2 (2018) – My rating: 7.5/10

“The Equalizer 2” (aka, The Equalizer II or EQ2) is a vigilante thriller, directed by Antoine Fuqua. It is a sequel to the 2014 film, The Equalizer, that was based on the TV series of the same name.  This is the fourth collaboration between Washington and Fuqua, following the “The Equalizer”, “Training Day” (2001), and “The Magnificent Seven” (2016).  I loved “The Equalizer” and was anxious to see “The Equalizer 2”.  I didn’t think the sequel wouldn’t live up to the original.  Perhaps Denzel should have lived by his principal not to make sequels of his own films.  Read on to see what changed.

A retired marine and intelligence operative, Robert McCall (Denzel Washington) now lives in a diverse apartment complex in urban Massachusetts.  While working as a Lyft driver he also helps the less fortunate, aided by his friend Susan Plummer (Melissa Leo).  Anonymously McCall helps a local bookstore owner’s daughter, who had been kidnapped by her father (Adam Karst), he also mercilessly beats a group of men for drugging and raping a woman, as well as helps Sam Rubinstein (Orson Bean), an elderly Holocaust survivor, who is looking for a painting of his sister who was separated from him when they were transported to different camps.  In addition, after discovering his apartment courtyard has been vandalized, McCall accepts an offer to repaint the walls from Miles Whittaker (Ashton Sanders), a young resident with an artistic but troubled background. One day McCall’s friend, Susan, is called to investigate an apparent murder-suicide of an agent and his wife in Brussels along with DIA operative Dave York (Pedro Pascal), who is McCall’s former teammate. After the investigation, they return to their hotel where Susan encounters assailants. McCall sets out on a path of revenge after one of his friends is killed. With his hands full of all the ensuing investigations he finds himself enmeshed in, Robert McCall forges on to resolve the mystery.

All in all, the plots were good but a bit to many.  Denzel’s acting was superb, as usual.   The following parts were brilliantly acted by Bill Pullman as Brian Plummer, Jonathan Scarfe as Resnik, Kazy Tauginas as Ari and Garrett Golden as Kovac.  The pacing is what I really had a problem with.  McCall’s actions were the same as in the original.  He would make note of the time on his watch and complete his punishment to the guilty within the short period of time he allotted.  Watching McCall in action was outstanding and quite satisfying considering the reason his prey was his prey.  Reading papers, making decisions and pondering his thoughts was down right boring at times.  In other words, Fuqua needed to pick up the pace.  If there is to be another sequel, I hope the words of the many critics won’t go unnoticed.  I still enjoyed the “The Equalizer 2” and think you won’t be disappointed.

 

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