Sun 23 Nov 2014
Robert McCall (Denzel Washington) should be a super-hero. After all only a super-hero can destroy in 28 seconds the US East Coast command center of the Russian mafia (actually exceeding by 9 seconds his plans), can survive an army of armed and dangerous enemies in a Home Depot, even saving the lives of all his good friends, and then take a flight to Russia to destroy the whole organization’s brains in the viper’s nest.
It is actually the anti-hero vision of the character that gives this story a high dose of credibility. Yes, I am incredulous of having said it Denzel’s character building is so rigorous, so precise, so human that he not only builds himself as the positive character we as viewers can sympathize with, but also lightens the whole story, which otherwise would be a brutal encounter between yet another retired agent and the world which would not let him enjoy his quiet reading and lattes at night hours, a world full of violence, of human traffic, of ladies in distress silently shouting for help with nobody to hear but Hollywood super-heroes.
Director Antoine Fuqua seems to make amends to me for Olympus Has Fallen which I liked much less for various reasons. I would have liked Chloe Grace Moretz to be more on screen, but her absence for much of the screen time after having been the trigger of the story has logic. The Equalizer is based on a TV series from the 80s which I did not see or maybe I forgot, but there is enough good material in this film – including mystery hints about Robert McCall’s past including a tragically lost love – to make me hope that this is another start of a series, on big screen this time.