‘The Equalizer’ Review: Starring Denzel Washington, Marton Csokas & Chloe Grace Moretz

Posted in Film, Reviews by - September 26, 2014
‘The Equalizer’ Review: Starring Denzel Washington, Marton Csokas & Chloe Grace Moretz

Director Antoine Fuqua (2013’s Olympus Has Fallen) reunites with Denzel Washington 13 years after Training Day, the film that gained Washington his second Academy Award. What we have in their second film together is a stylish action thriller with some brutal action sequences and performances.

Based on a 1980s TV show of the same name, The Equalizer focuses on Robert McCall (Denzel Washington), an ex-black ops commando who is currently living a simple, quiet and retired life, working at a home improvement store on the side. When McCall meets young call girl Elina (Chloe Grace Moretz) at a late-night diner, the two form a friendship as they open up to each other about their past and aspirations.

When Elina ends up in the hospital after her pimp beats her, McCall seeks revenge on him and the rest of the Russian mob he is a part of. When mob clean up man Teddy (Marton Csokas) comes to town, it puts McCall in a tricky situation forcing him back into the life he wanted to leave behind.

Denzel Washington is back in full form as the badass no nonsense commando. Similar to his roles in Training Day and Man on Fire, Washington knows how to lead an action film and look good doing it. Even in the scenes where he doesn’t have much dialogue, Washington is always expressive with his eyes and stoic features.

Chloe Grace Moretz is a force to be reckoned with. As a firm supporter of the young actress, she is remarkable as Elina (whose real name is Teri), the underage call girl controlled by the Russian mob. In les than 15 minutes of screen time, Moretz is able to establish an interesting character that is the foundation of the story going forward. Though I wish she were in the movie longer, she and Washington have sweet father-daughter like chemistry.

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The cinematography by Mauro Fioro (2013’s Runner Runner) is particularly striking especially in the sequence where Washington takes down the bad guys under a waterfall of sprinklers.

The beginning is a bit slow with a little too much exposition before getting into the good stuff and after a while the middle tends to drag out, but the final climatic scene is worth the wait.

Washington proves that he can still lead an action film while Moretz proves she can elevate any film. The Equalizer is not your average mindless action thriller and in fact it cannot be classified as just one genre. It’s mystery mixed with drama and film noir and even has a touch of horror. 

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