Director Antoine Fuqua’s The Equalizer bears little resemblance to the television series from which it was supposedly derived. But, that’s not a bad thing. Just deceptive.
The film has a slow start as we see the methodical Robert McCall (Denzel Washington), working at a Home Depot-type warehouse store and going home to his spare bachelor apartment. His only recreation is late-night reading at a 24-hour diner, also habituated by a young Russian prostitute named Alina (Chloë Grace Moretz).
It’s only when Alina gets severely beaten by her pimp that McCall comes out of the closet as a one-time government-sanctioned hit man, who has long been presumed dead. As McCall starts to clean up the pimps, he finds there is more to their operation than he imagined. And, that’s when a Russian oligarch (Vladimir Kulich) sends in a suitable opponent (Marton Csokas) to find out who is destroying his business.
Denzel turns in a fine performance, as usual, but Chloë is underutilized. The action is great, but more in beyond-Bond superhero fashion as opposed to the realism suggested by the heritage of the TV series.
I give The Equalizer a 3+ out of 5.