Friday, September 26, 2014


Bottom Line: Uncomfortably packed with a slew of 80’s-esque action movie clichés and cheeseball slow-mo antics, this overlong and yet occasionally fun flick scoots by on the charm and badass-itude of its always charismatic A-list star.  A friendly, hardworking man who minds his own business until bad business crosses the path of those who’ve been wronged, Denzel’s Robert McCall is a man with an entire movie on his shoulders – a movie that, without his swagger and Jason Bournian presence, would be forgotten the second it ended and you rushed for the restroom.  He’s a methodically focused, mysteriously skillful sledgehammer of swift Hulk-like justice with an affable, Bruce Banner manner and pleasant daytime demeanor.  And aside from a sadistically (and entertainingly) prim-and-proper villain, the movie only really comes to life when Denzel’s rampaging Robin Hood is talking trash or taking it out.  Drug lords, henchmen, street thugs, dirty cops and Russian pimps don’t stand a chance…  Running over two-hours, however, the seams on this overstuffed flick tend to burst from lazy writing where nonsensical setups never pay off and way too many ends are left loose…  Add to it a load of self indulgently loopy directorial choices that never truly shed interesting light on our main character and your left with a whole lot of empty cinematic calories.  This mystery man may be able to take on the East Coast hub of the Russian mafia, but keeping this movie from being anything better than barely above average is a task he’s not just equal to…

Starring: Denzel Washington, Chloe Grace Moretz, Marton Csokas, Bill Pullman and Melissa Leo
Directed by: Antoine Fuqua (TRAINING DAY and OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN)
Running time: 131 minutes
Studio description: In The Equalizer, Denzel Washington plays 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. (c) Sony

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