Denzel Washington has been in many action movies, but The Equalizer is probably my favorite. It’s a dramatic slow build that easily keeps you on the edge of your seat. It’s the perfect film for a couple of friends to watch on a Friday Night In.
Denzel’s character, Robert McCall, quickly worms his way into viewers’ hearts. Just as the name The Equalizer suggests, McCall uses his black ops training the right the wrongs of corrupt individuals. Throughout the film, we see McCall struggle with the morality of his actions; he helps others, but he does it using violent and – often times – deadly tactics. Denzel portrays this struggle perfectly. His body language and tone adds a level of character depth, making McCall even more loveable.
Alina, played by Chloë Grace Moretz, is a close friend of Robert’s. Alina’s mix of innocence and toughness coupled with McCall’s compassion and wisdom provides a nice relationship between the two. Unlike most action movies, where the subplot is saturated with trite love tropes, The Equalizer manages to portray Alina and McCall’s interactions as those between a mentor and a mentee. Despite the lack of cheesy love tropes, it’s clear that McCall cares deeply for Alina; he offers her advice, and genuinely wants to see her succeed. McCall and Alina’s relationship is so well developed that it isn’t surprising when McCall comes out of retirement to protect her from the Russian Mafia
To dismantle the Russian Mafia, McCall relies on his black ops skills. He uses his knowledge of martial arts and his cunning to outsmart his opponents. However, most of the action happens off screen. We see glimpses of McCall analyzing the situation beforehand or we see him cleaning up the aftermath, but Denzel’s phenomenal acting makes up for the lack of action. In fact, the lack of action makes the few action scenes we do see even more intense. They’re filled with so much fighting, blood, and gore that it almost makes me grateful that there were so little action scenes.
All in all, The Equalizer earns a stunning four and a half stars from me. If you’re looking for something to watch, then you definitely need to see this movie.