Denzel Washington and director Antoine Fuqua return for a sequel to the 2014 sleeper hit. Equalizer 2 delivers an entertaining movie that is just as fun as the original.
The film blends amusing action with some genuinely well-written moments. Though, it still has its flaws. Luckily, though, it does more things right than it does wrong.
Equalizer 2 picks up with Robert McCall (Denzel Washington) continuing his life after the events of the last movie. By day, he’s a Lyft driver. By night, he’s a brutal vigilante.
His days as a government agent are behind him. That is until the brutal murder of his friend, which sends McCall leaping back into the world of spies and assassins to track down her killer.
Denzel’s First Sequel
By far, the best aspect of this movie is Denzel’s performance. He acts circles around the rest of the cast, literally in a couple of instances. He shows off his charisma, making simple lines sound as if they were written by a best-selling novelist.
His swagger oozes through his body language, turning a casual walk into a rhythmic strut. The audience can feel the gravity of his presence, pulling them into the story. Denzel’s performance carries the film, making it truly stand out.
The rest of the cast give good performances as well. Along with Denzel, Ashton Sanders and Melissa Lee are also impactful in their roles. Though her role is small, Lee gets an opportunity to show her chops as an actress. Sanders also gets the job done, pulling off the role of Miles Whittaker.
The plot itself is where the Equalizer 2 both succeeds and suffers. The story does not take itself too seriously, displaying enough self-awareness to realize that it is just a chill action movie. As a result, it’s mostly simple and straight to the point.
Yet, at times, it feels as though it splits into two separate movies. There are two separate story arcs which it bounces back and forth from frantically, jarring the audience.
Equalizer 2 is an action movie. But, there are times where it tries to be more than that.
As a whole, it doesn’t have a clear tone, which makes it seem as though it wants to be both a drama and an action movie. Overall, it focuses much more on the action sequences, while awkwardly grasping for the identity of a serious drama.
Action wise, Equalizer 2 is also a mixed bag. The fight scenes are fast-paced, brutal, and entertaining. And they are also shot better than most combat sequences you’ll find today.
Though, the usage of jump cuts makes some of them difficult to follow. While they do create an atmosphere of a fast-moving fight, they also make the movement of the characters on-screen difficult to follow.
Overall, Equalizer 2 gets four out of five stars. While it is highly entertaining, and driven by a strong leading performance, it has too many flaws to truly call it great.