It’s been four years since Antoine Fuqua introduced us to the new Robert McCall played by Denzel Washington in The Equalizer and now brings us a new adventure of the simple script and exciting action sequences in The Equalizer 2.
Denzel Washington has never starred in a superhero film, but The Equalizer could be the closest he has ever been to this genre, especially if we consider his role as an urban justice outside the law that prints his own code of ethics within a landscape of violence and moral corruption.
It is the first sequel of his career; the Equalizer 2 is much more than a vehicle for the showcase of Washington, who returns as Robert McCall, a retired CIA operative vigilante, who decides to return to his old ways to find and punish those responsible for murdering his friend.
In a way, he reflects many of his obsessions as an interpreter. On the one hand, he shines in the most hyper-violent choreographies of his entire career. On the other, he has the opportunity to configure a character full of light and shadow that contains a deep reflective burden around the decomposition of society and the need to instruct the new generations to maintain their integrity and not be left to drag on the side dark of the system.
The Equalizer 2 combines the cast to Pedro Pascal (Kingsman: The Golden Circle), and the young Ashton Sanders (Moonlight) in two important roles: the second is the new protege of McCall while the former shares with him a past that will be relevant in the plot.
It is evident that the great attraction of the film is the adrenaline component of the action as well as the development of the main character that goes from total ostracism to coexisting in a multicultural and diverse community in this second installment.
The script does not bother to hide or to stop hinting before time who is the real villain of the show. There are also no surprises about the final result of each battle and, incidentally, the use of the Guy Ritchie in Sherlock to show the action slowed down and in subjective, with the protagonist anticipating the movements of his opponent, is already perceived as very groped.
Despite these issues, The Equalizer 2 does have a couple of better-worked and surprising sequences: one of them develops inside a car when McCall gets rid of a hit man while driving at full speed and another extends in the inside of his house, at the moment when a couple of villain henchmen sneak into it. In both cases there is tension, and yes the danger is perceived.
The whole final part of the film takes place in a coastal town evacuated by the imminent scourge of a storm that tests Fuqua’s abilities as a director: getting so much texture due to water and particles moving in the air is nothing simple, although the result is quite lackluster.
The action seems awkward, the choreographies at this point are less imaginative, and the film gets muddy without any need in a gray and dirty cat and mouse game in which tools like the camera attached to the actors or the fisheye optics they do but “make the image.”
It is assumed that one of the characteristics of our protagonist is his strong moral, but here it is put to the test when families enter the middle (even with some funny moment). And then we have the leitmotif of the work of “In search of lost time,” a very obvious and repetitive resource that little adds to the whole.
At a technical level, The Equalizer 2 is quite inferior to its predecessor: it is true that roughly gives what promises, but there are even plans in which the focus is momentarily lost. Both Fuqua and Washington seem somewhat reluctant, the truth, hopefully, if they resume the saga do it with more energy.