The Equaliser

WRITTEN BY: Richard Wenk
DIRECTED BY: Antoine Fuqua
STARRING: Denzel Washington, Martin Csokas, Chloe Grace Moretz, Johnny Skourtis, David Harbour
RATING: 3 stars

Revenge-style action films are always better when they involve creative ways of killing bad guys. Aside from having an amazing leading man in Denzel Washington, the slaughtering of the villains is definitely the best aspect of The Equaliser. The only problem with it is that the protagonist seemed almost psychotic in his enjoyment of finding unique ways to kill the antagonists. But that can be overlooked in favour of enjoying the humorous entertainment of its ridiculousness. Unfortunately, the film is too long and slow in parts, and the ending drags on. It was as if director Antoine Fuqua did not know when or how to end the film.

Based on the television series, The Equaliser is about Robert McCall (Washington) who has a mysteriously lethal past but has put it all behind him to live a quiet life working at a hardware store. He often sees an escort named Teri (Chloe Grace Moretz) at a local diner but becomes concerned about the young woman when she is brutally bashed by her Russian gangster employers. McCall decides to come out of retirement to fight for justice for Teri and others. But he may have found his match in Teddy (Martin Csokas) who is sent to the United States from Russia to solve the problems McCall has caused for the escort service.

Washington seems to channel Liam Neeson's recent tough guy persona in this film and while he is convincing, there are some moments that will make you cringe. He does however, have great chemistry with Moretz and the early scenes where we learn more about their respective characters are interesting. Csokas is appropriately creepy with his gruff expression and tattoos, but it is a shame we do not learn more about him. Johnny Skourtis is good as McCall's goofy security guard friend while David Harbour has an integral role as a corrupt detective. Bill Pullman and Melissa Leo also have minor roles in the film but their talents were underused.

Ultimately, The Equaliser is ridiculous but relatively entertaining for action fans who enjoy watching a bit of brutality on screen.