“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.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged adam karst, ari, Ashton Sanders, bill pullman, brian plummer, dave york, denzel washington, garrett golden, jonathan scarfe, kazy tauginas, kovac, melissa leo, miles whittaker, orson bean, pedro pascal, resnik, robert mccall, sam rubinstein, susan plumer, the equalizer 2
Prisoners is one the most suspenseful movies I’ve seen in a while. Who done it? You won’t be able to figure this one out. There are so many suspects, twist and plots that you’ll be literally sitting on the edge of your seat. Two little girls go missing on Thanksgiving day. Their families are shaken to near collapse. One father is willing to go beyond the call of duty to get his daughter back.
I have some mixed feelings about this movie because the guessing game goes a little too far for my taste. I can’t really explain this without creating “spoilers”. Despite any reservations I might have, there is some great acting in this movie. Hugh Jackman gave a phenomenal performance showing why he will go down as one of the great and versatile actors of our time. Performances by Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Maria Bello and Terrence Howard were outstanding. One of my favorite was the performance by Melissa Leo who has done a lot of TV as well as “Frozen River” which you can find on this site as one of the highly rated movies I’ve reviewed. Normally, I wouldn’t suggest seeing a movie with no special effects, dancing or science fiction on the big screen but this one is a “see it now” kind of movie so I suggest that you invest your time and the price of a ticket. I rate Prisoners 8.5 out of 10 because it really gets you thinking while you’re also entertained.
[PRISONERS is nominated for Achievement in Cinematography]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged hugh jackman, jake gyllenhaal, little girls, maria bello, melissa leo, missing, outstanding, prisoners, terence howard, thanksgiving day, viola davis
Frozen River is one of the most significant, heart felt and emotionally stirring movies I’ve seen. Two women with equally profound hardship stories end up offsetting their circumstances by border smuggling Indians across the frozen water of the St. Lawrence River. The performance by Melissa Leo is convincingly well acted. Her character, Ray Eddy has two sons that her husband, a gambler, has walked out on with all the money she had in this world. With no food, and a low paying, part time job, she looks elsewhere to make up the difference. Ray comes across Lila Littlewolf, a Mohawk women who is driving Ray’s husband’s car. Lila’s new born baby was taken from her by her mother-in-law because Lila is too poor to take care of the infant. Lea also has a low paying job with no prospects of doing any better for herself.
This story has emotional ties between the two women and leads you on a journey that you have to see to believe. I guarantee your emotions will be tried in this movie with a very different flavor. I highly recommend you see this movie by any means. It’s worth your time. I rated this movie so high because it has a lesson to be learned and it’s highly entertaining.