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With the announcement of a sequel seven months prior to THE EQUALIZER (2014) starring Denzel Washington, Marton Csokas, and Chloe Grace Moretz even being released in theaters, you’d automatically expect something quite special from this film. Fortunately, you won’t be disappointed as long as you have a pension for cold and calculated violence, and a stomach for the gore that is sure to follow.

Based on the television series THE EQUALIZER (1985-1989) starring British actor Edward Woodward, Denzel Washington has now stepped into the well-worn shoes of Robert McCall. A retired Black Ops, McCall had chosen to live a quiet life, spending his days working at hardware store and his evenings reading classic literature. When he befriends Teri, and young prostitute under the thumb of Russian gangsters, McCall finds he’s incapable of standing by as they exercise violent control over every aspect of her life. Experienced in the art-of-the-kill, he can’t stop himself from exacting revenge on anyone who dares to take advantage of the weak, or the helpless. Those with nowhere else to turn.

With a somewhat predictable plot, I wasn’t surprised that THE EQUALIZER met the requirements of the genre to a T – bad men with evil agendas requiring the intervention of a heroic person to show them the error of their ways. And when McCall decides to intervene and show someone they’ve been wrong, you can be sure that his intended targets will never forget their lessons. A little ‘Macgyverish’ with his selection of tools from the hardware store, each of McCall’s altercations prove that he’s not only brilliant, but at least two steps ahead of the local thugs and dirty cops.

Directed by Antoine Fuqua, Rated-R, 132 Minutes, Action, Crime, Thriller, *** 3 stars out of 5. NOTE: The violence can reach somewhat disturbing levels with its graphic imagery. The kills are not implied – they are ultimately revealed.

Editor review

Reviewed by Lynne Martin October 20, 2014
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