Ever since it was first announced that ’80s television series The Equalizer was getting a film remake I wasn’t sure what to make of it. Initially two things went through my mind: either it’d be awesome and well worth the time, or that it’d fail miserably like the majority of remakes. Ultimately it turned out to be neither, though was much closer to the former than the later.
Former black op government operative Robert McCall has made a promise to his recently deceased wife that he’d leave his former life behind. Having moved to Boston, Massachusetts, working in a Home Mart hardware store Robert has so far managed to keep this promise. Unfortunately he has to break this promise, as after a young teenage girl named Teri (real name Alina), that he’s befriended, get badly beaten by the Russian sex slave who’s ruined her life, Robert feels compelled to get involved.
Antoine Fuqua has directed so many great films, with Training Day, King Arthur and Olympus Has Fallen being the standout amongst them. It’s for this reason that I always expected this film to be good, if not great. Not disappointing Fuqua delivers some amazing cinematography, as though this may not be the greatest film he’s directed, his direction does prove to be the most enticing factor about this film. Reflecting fellow TV to film remake The Edge of Darkness, The Equalizer takes a slower paced flow, with the tension and drama being the focal point of this tale. This also spills into the amazing action, as despite being intense, and at times explosive, it too proves to be more suspenseful and dramatic than anything else.
Having such a well known cast of actors, most people would assume we’d get great performances. I however have learned not to assume such things, having been disappointed with the likes of Stone and The Son of No One for this very reason. Luckily The Equalizer doesn’t disappoint on the acting front, as though the directing overshadows it, we get some fabulous performances. The standout amongst these is naturally Denzel Washington who falls nicely into the role of Robert McCall, giving a strong, calculating performance. Playing opposite Washington is Marton Csokas as antagonist Teddy, who is tasked with finding and disposing of McCall for his actions against his boss. Rounding off the main cast is Kick-Ass and Carie actress Chloë Grace Moretz as Teri/Alina. Despite not having as large a role as I thought she would, Moretz gives a strong performance that is the catalyst for McCall’s actions.
This film is definitely not for the easily distracted, and I in no way mean that in an offensive way to anyone that was. What I do mean is that this film gives a very deep, concentrated story that needs the viewers undivided attention to be best enjoyed, and though there are some slow moments, this is only to capture the drama. The music from Harry Gregson-Williams wasn’t necessarily memorable, but in all honesty that is neither here nor there. What Gregson-Williams music does do is help give tone, and atmosphere to this tale, with the suspense throughout being extremely gripping. I especially enjoyed the way in which he utilised this near the end, conveying the stealth like situation of the scene perfectly.
The Equalizer is a soft toned, suspenseful action drama that gives a very strong and powerful story. Thought not for the easily distracted, this film proved to be very intense, having a fantastic score, and wonderful direction. The acting was also solid, with Denzel Washington as ever giving a standout performance. Due to all these reasons this film comes recommended.