Director: Antoine Fuqua
Writer: Richard Wenk
Cast: Denzel Washington, Martin Csokas, Chloe Grace Moretz, Bill Pullman, Melissa Leo
Studio: Columbia Pictures

“The Equalizer” is a name only adaptation of the cult classic CBS show. However, Denzel Washington finds a way to make the material his own. It’s a shame that he couldn’t give Fuqua a few clues to catch up. Denzel Washington steps into Edward Woodward’s shoes with a calm panache that belongs to the Bourne films. This isn’t another CIA operative on a rip roaring campaign of revenge. This is a calm, steady man whose brutal activities border on OCD.

Chloe Grace Moretz basically cosplays as Jodie Foster in Taxi Driver, so that Denzel Washington has a reason to fight. But, the connection to her becomes tenuous at best. That’s why there is security guard fattie and nice middle aged lady to help keep focus. The entire second act of the film is disposable when it doesn’t involved Washington murdering people. But, I felt the same way about “Training Day”. What we’re seeing since that point in 2001 is a Denzel that has largely become self parody.

I believe that TV series can be remade into something greater than their origins. However, Hollywood seems hellbent to keep trying to prove me wrong. Denzel Washington destroys all connections to the original series simply by being Denzel. The actor has become something on par with a Post Modern John Shaft. Denzel being Denzel is a paramount to race issues being promoted to the top of the marquee. Everything about the new Equalizer is designed to show how he breaks racial stereotypes. The Equalizer is a vegetarian who exercises and he’s punctual. The constant push to keep showing that the man can read classic literature might border on offensive for some. I just feel that it was poorly thought out. It’s a shame that the creative talent didn’t pay as much attention to the character building as they did the fight choreography.


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