The Equalizer, Movie Review – Denzel Washington plays Robert McCall, a man who believes he has put his mysterious past behind him and dedicated himself to beginning a new, quiet life. But when McCall meets Teri (Chloë Grace Moretz), a young girl under the control of ultra-violent Russian gangsters, he can’t stand idly by – he has to help her. Armed with hidden skills that allow him to serve vengeance against anyone who would brutalize the helpless, McCall comes out of his self-imposed retirement and finds his desire for justice reawakened. If someone has a problem, if the odds are stacked against them, if they have nowhere else to turn, McCall will help. He is The Equalizer.
This film has had a lot of criticism, but I thought i’d make up my own mind. Here’s my view on this movie.
Denzel Washington as Robert “Bob” McCall
Marton Csokas as Nicolai Itchenko/Teddy Rensen
Chloë Grace Moretz as Alina/”Teri”
Melissa Leo as Susan Plummer
Bill Pullman as Brian Plummer
Johnny Skourtis as Ralph/”Ralphie”
Haley Bennett as Mandy
David Harbour as Frank Masters
Vladimir Kulich as Vladimir Pushkin
David Meunier as Slavi
Alex Veadov as Tevi
James Wilcox as Pederson
Mike O’Dea as Remar
Anastasia Mousis as Jenny
Robert Wahlberg as Detective Harris
Timothy John Smith as Detective Gilly
Dan Bilzerian as Teddy’s #3
Robert McCall (Denzel Washington) is a retired black ops operative who lives quietly in Boston, Massachusetts and works at a Home Mart hardware store; McCall befriends many of his co-workers and helps a security guard trainee named Ralph pass his qualification exam. McCall promised his recently deceased wife that he would leave his old life behind. Unable to sleep, McCall spends some late nights reading in a 24/7 diner where he befriends Alina (Chloë Grace Moretz), a teenaged prostitute for the Russian Mafia; McCall regales Alina with philosophical interpretations of the book he is reading (The Old Man and the Sea). One night, Alina is hospitalized following a brutal beating by her pimp, Slavi (David Meunier). McCall enters a restaurant owned by the Russian mob and offers to buy Alina’s freedom from Slavi for $9,800, but Slavi refuses, dismissing McCall as old and impotent. Failing in this approach, McCall considers the room, estimating it would take him 16 seconds to clear it. He subsequently kills Slavi and four of his men with skillful close combat efficiency. To slight dismay, McCall realizes that it took him 19 seconds to accomplish his task and quietly lectures the dying Slavi that his death could have been avoided had he taken the money.
In response to the death of Slavi and his crew, Russian Mafia boss Vladimir Pushkin (Vladimir Kulich) sends his enforcer, Teddy Rensen (Marton Csokas), to Boston to find and eliminate the culprit. In the meantime, Ralph withdraws his security guard application and instead goes to work with his mother at the family restaurant; McCall learns that the restaurant was set on fire set by corrupt policemen as an act of extortion. McCall confronts the corrupt policemen, beats them, forces them to pay back all the money they have extorted, and threatens to publicize their crimes. Ralph then returns to Home Mart and passes his test, becoming a security guard at the store.
Rensen determines that McCall is the culprit in the attack on Slavi and his crew. McCall repeatedly outsmarts Rensen and his pursuers and completes more acts of vigilantism. McCall then visits retired CIA operatives Susan (Melissa Leo) and Brian Plummer (Bill Pullman) in Virginia; Susan helps him acquire intelligence on Pushkin’s activities. It is revealed that Rensen’s real name is Nicolai Itchenko and that he is an ex-Spetsnaz who ran a wing of the secret police; Susan describes him as “a sociopath with a business card”. Brian reveals to McCall that he had a “nice funeral”; the Plummers are relieved, though not surprised, that he is still alive. After McCall leaves, Susan remarks to Brian that McCall was not actually looking for help, but was asking for permission.
After returning to Boston, McCall captures Frank Masters (David Harbour)–a corrupt policeman on Pushkin’s payroll–by trapping him in his car and flooding the vehicle with tailpipe exhaust to force him to cooperate. Masters relents and helps McCall destroy one of Pushkin’s local money laundering operations. McCall confronts Itchenko at dinner, pledging to bring down Pushkin’s criminal enterprise. When McCall destroys a container ship Pushkin used to smuggle goods, Pushkin orders Itchenko to kill McCall; Pushkin adds that until the deed is done, Itchenko may not return home to Moscow.
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The Equalizer – Movie Review – Denzel Washington – Chloë Grace Moretz – Marton Csokas, Robert McCall