Denzel Washington shines in latest action flick the Equalizer, but film fails to deliver

Neelofer Lodhy

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by Danny Arriaza, contributor

The Equalizer sees Denzel Washington resume his partnership with his Training Day director, Antoine Fuqua. But while Training Day is praised for its memorable script and superb acting on all counts, this movie is nowhere on par with the duo’s previous work.

Washington tackles the role of Robert McCall, a man with a mysterious past that gave him “a very unique set of skills,” and now lives in solitude in his apartment and spends the day working at a home improvement store.

For many nights, he goes to a local diner to read books and occasionally has conversations with a young girl named Teri (Chloe Grace Moretz), a call girl. When one of her clients nearly beats her to death, McCall springs into action in a story that starts from a small incident to a far-fetched outcome.

While Washington adds his usual gravitas to the role and tries rather valiantly to add life to this film, his obstacle is just too large, in the form of a stale script with unmemorable dialogue (except in a few select instances). Couple that with the fact that almost all the supporting characters are merely one-sided stepping stones in order to forward the plot. The exception is actor Marton Csokas’ as the villain, Teddy.

While the name does not exactly scream terror, that is exactly what Csokas achieves here. His character brings life to the film in the scenes where he embodies animalistic tendencies. From beating a man to death for wasting his time, to choking out someone for not telling him what he wants, Csokas has complete control of the screen.

One of the few highlights of the film are the scarce scenes where Washington and Csokas are interacting with each other. Unfortunately, those scenes are few in-between in the disjointed story that strings along this film.

At any point momentum starts to build, there are scenes that seem out of place, failing to establish a connection to the supporting characters whose names are forgettable.
The ailment of The Equalizer boils down to the choice of flash over substance being the over-the-top action instead of full character development. Even Coskas as the’ villain, while notable, is a run of the mill thug. He is another foreign villain, whom we don’t learn much about, though he is perceived to be the greatest threat. All in all, The Equalizer is a generic action film with few outstanding moments.