Action sequels are often disappointing, lazy, and unnecessary. There are exceptions to this, though. For example, John Wick Chapter 2 was incredible, maybe ever better than the original. But then you have a movie like Kingsman 2: The Golden Circle that was pretty disappointing compared to the original. It is always a risk when it comes to sequels in general. The Equalizer hit theaters back in 2014 and it was decent, not great. It didn’t break any ground but it was definitely watchable. When a sequel got announced, it was difficult to be SUPER excited about it. Well this is a case of the sequel being better than the original. The Equalizer 2 is a very entertaining sequel that sheds some light on the mystery of Denzel Washington’s character Robert McCall.
Robert McCall serves an unflinching justice for the exploited and oppressed, but how far will he go when that is someone he loves?
There is a lot to like about The Equalizer 2. First off, Denzel is great as always. He is simply one of the greatest actors of all time, and it is awesome to see him in a roll that not only he is perfect for, but also one that he’s clearly enjoying. He has some dialogue and fight sequences in here that are awesome. The best part about his character in this sequel is that we get to learn more about his past and why he’s the way he is today. In The Equalizer, we basically knew that he had a wife that passed away. The Equalizer 2 expands on his character a lot and actually has a decent amount of down time for development and depth. When the action kicks up, it definitely doesn’t disappoint. There are a few scenes that are some of the best action scenes of 2018 so far.
The Equalizer 2 adds some new characters that have been a part of McCall’s life in the past and one new one from his life now. Miles (Ashton Sanders) is a younger kid who lives in the same apartment complex as McCall. He definitely has artistic talent, but he’s in with the wrong crowd. McCall realizes this and plays a father figure to him in a way (sometimes an INTENSE father figure). Their character dynamic really works in the film and serves a s subplot, but not one that doesn’t contribute to the overall story. So many movies have subplots that ultimately have nothing to do with the story, either because of bad writing or the tie in being left on the cutting room floor. The script for The Equalizer 2 does a good job of being cohesive and engaging. Melissa Leo turns in a solid performance as Susan Plummer, a friend from McCall’s past. She isn’t in the movie as much as expected, but she’s important to the story. Pedro Pascal (AKA discount Jeremy Renner) has a big role as Dave York, a FBI agent and former Army Private from McCall’s past as well. His character is slightly thin and underdeveloped, which is disappointing.
This sequel might be entertaining and cohesive, but that doesn’t mean there’s not plenty of issues. The biggest problem is that there are a lot of predictable moments throughout the movie. In an action movie, it is normal for there to be some predictable aspects. That’s just part of it. However, once a movie gets past 5 predictable moments, it has officially sinned. The Equalizer 2 has about 6 or 7, so it isn’t awful but it still has too many. A little bit tighter of a script could have fixed a lot of these. That’s what makes the John Wick movies so good; It is almost impossible to predict because the script is clever and thought-provoking. Oh if only every action movie could be that smart… But anyway. The score is pretty forgettable and some of the editing is sloppy. Nothing that will ruin the movie, but at moments it felt lazy.
The Equalizer 2 is definitely worth an admission ticket at your local theater. It isn’t going to break any new ground, but its good enough to where a 3rd one would be welcomed. They still have so much mystery with McCall that the screenwriters could expand even more with him. Denzel is so good in this role that most people would want to see more of it. He has some hilarious moments in this one too, which is a good contrast from all the dark, gritty stuff. Go check it out this weekend.