Film Review: The Equalizer 2

With multiple long-awaited sequels living up to the unbelievable hype they had surrounding them, a second chapter that was greenlit before its predecessor even hit theaters, and others, I think that 2018 has been a great year for sequels so far… However, I may change my mind if we get anymore like The Equalizer 2, which is worse than the first in every way.

The Equalizer 2 begins with retired CIA agent Robert McCall (played by Denzel Washington, who seemed to be having as much fun on screen as I did watching) as he goes back and forth between anonymously helping victims of all sorts of crimes and driving for Lyft. Unfortunately, McCall’s “only friend” is murdered, so he begins tracking down and murdering those responsible. That’s about as cliche as an action film’s plot can be, and The Equalizer 2 does nothing to stand out among all the other revenge stories out there.

Heck, even The Equalizer 2’s subplot is just as cliche. At home, Robert becomes father figure to a teenager in his complex (Ashton Sanders) who is stuck between choosing to become a criminal in order to make ends meet and focusing on his education as an aspiring artist. Oh, and his brother was killed before the events of the movie. I was worried about permanently damaging my vision from rolling my eyes so hard every time the movie shifted its focus toward their relationship.

Making matters even worse was absolutely painful pacing. The waiting in between the very few action sequences had me checking my watch more times than almost any other film this year. At least I was able to keep myself somewhat occupied by asking questions like “Why is McCall acting like he lost his only friend in the world when he has his ex-partner and virtually every supporting character from both films to help him out?” “Why did McCall leave his old home and job?” and “Why is Bill Pullman’s almost completely unnecessary character the best part of this movie!?”

And it’s not like the action was worth all this wait. Sure, it was brutal, but it was also far too quick. I really do appreciate the choreography and the fact that McCall’s take-downs were efficient, but so were John Wick’s, and his were long enough to actually enjoy.

The Equalizer 2 isn’t the worst sequel this year, but it’s definitely close. It has none of the qualities that made The Equalizer fun to watch, but has its flaws in spades. Even with all the great sequels in 2018, The Equalizer 2 might… Equalize it.

I’m sorry, I’ll let myself out.

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