The Equalizer (2014)
February 8, 2015 12:32 PM - Subscribe

A man believes he has put his mysterious past behind him and has dedicated himself to beginning a new, quiet life. But when he meets a young girl under the control of ultra-violent Russian gangsters, he can't stand idly by - he has to help her.

Based on the beloved 80s show with Edward Woodward, which once featured Melissa Leo, who has a small role in the movie.

Richard Roeper at the Chicago Sun-Times had fun: "This is a ridiculous, audacious, violent and did I mention ridiculous thriller, with Washington displaying superhero-level prowess when it comes to taking down a roomful of snarling, tattooed, heavily armed bad guys half his age. One minute they’re snickering and sneering at the old man, the next they’re scattered about the room like the remnants of a fireworks show."

Paul MacInnes in The Guardian was unconvinced: "Fortunately for Fuqua, this ain't just any old 59-year-old. Denzel is so cool, so made of pure nails he can make even the most preposterous action scene feel thrilling. But Denzel's strength is also his weakness. He's so convincing at being tougher than everyone else that we never get that end-of-the-second-act moment where it looks as if everything is lost."

This movie was the subject of one of the more notorious leaked Sony emails. Despite the unnamed producer's concerns, box office appears to have been respectable both in the US and globally ($190m on a $55m production, with just under half of that from 'foreign' markets).

More importantly - is there an episode of Denzel Washington is the Greatest Actor of All Time Period on it yet? (Yes.)

Bonus: Denzel did an AMA for this one.
posted by Gin and Broadband (6 comments total)
OK, I know $190m isn't Guardians of the Galazy money, but it not nothing. Anyway - this was 2 hours of Denzelish goodness, Denzel killing people in all sorts of imaginative and nifty ways (Neeson, watch yourself!), with Marton Csokas taking his Russian scumbag to the next level. Neither of them are in a movie as good as they are, but that doesn't make it less fun to watch for fans of Old Man Action Flicks.

I spent the movie wondering what city it set in, it looked so pretty. It was Boston! I have been led astray by too many Dennis Lehane adaptations because I was genuinely surprised. Sorry, Boston. (Note: I'm one of the foreign audiences, I don't really know USian cities beyond movies and TV).
posted by Gin and Broadband at 12:39 PM on February 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

I liked it though I never saw the tv series so I can't speak to comparisons. If The Expendables can kickass when they all average 150yrs old, then so can Denzel. Anyway, the old guy facade played well, I thought. He's retired, he was badass in his youth, and he's still tough enough to take down young punks.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 12:49 PM on February 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

So I just watched this last night and enjoyed it in a "this is silly but I cannot stop myself from enjoying it" kind of way. I mean, the movie was just preposterous, but I liked it anyway.

Was there a "Midnight Run" homage when he called up the FBI and an "Agent Moseley" answered? I sure hope that was intended. It had to have been.

Did anyone else think that it was bizarre that he just went back to his old life at the end, in his old neighborhood, and at the same cafe? The dude just killed about 50 people and laid waste to a Home Depot (or Home Mart, or whatever they branded it). Surely there is hell to pay for destroying a Home Depot, is there not?

Oh, and why did he so elaborately electrocute Pushkin at the end instead of just killing him? He left about a half dozen other bodies in the house, so what was to be gained by getting overly cute there? It's not like he was setting it up to make it look like a tragic accident.

I don't know. I still can't dislike this silly, silly movie.

(For comparable silliness, but without Denzel, check out the Mark Wahlberg vehicle "Shooter," also directed by Antonie Fuqua, which by all accounts should just be dreadful but is nevertheless also kind of pleasing).
posted by MoonOrb at 2:45 PM on February 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

If I'm going to watch a big dumb action film then I like it to be made well.
This is a well made big dumb action film.

The main cast is actually kind of awesome; Denzel Washington, Marton Csokas and Chloë Grace Moretz being far too good for this. Similar to how Edward Woodward was considered far to good for the original TV Show. Perhaps there's a similar snobbishness at play, but it's fun to watch Good Guys beat Bad Guys.
Oh, and why did he so elaborately electrocute Pushkin at the end instead of just killing him?
I'm assuming to save someone in Russia enough face that they won't have to take revenge.
posted by fullerine at 12:45 PM on February 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

Just rewatched this last night on Netflix, and thought I'd recycle a Facebook thread:

"Why? Why did we confront Denzel Washington's ex-Special-Forces-type character in a home improvement store with all its barbed wire and saws and blades and chemicals?"

"It's where he works."

"But we could have taken our hostages to a Barnes and Noble or a Yankee Candle or a Build-A-Bear Workshop or something. At *worst* we'd be getting papercuts right now. are a bad boss."

"...and now he's put my face through the entire lighting section. I have more glass in my body than blood now. All I'm saying is, this wouldn't have happened at Toys R Us."

"Shut up, Gary."

"Oh, look at that. Eight-foot gardening shears through Bob's jugular. Know where you don't see a lot of those? Pinkberry."

"Gary, I swear to Christ."
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 1:04 PM on January 13, 2017 [2 favorites]

rather late to the game, but watched this (for the first time, I'm pretty sure...) it was an excellent dumb action movie, but I wish I could favorite Mr. Bad Example's comment 100 times because YEAH!!! confrontation in a hardware store, cause everything is a weapon if you just try a little bit!
posted by supermedusa at 8:29 AM on January 19 [1 favorite]

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