Tue | Dec 1, 2020

Denzel saves everyone but slow, stale script

Published:Sunday | July 22, 2018 | 12:00 AMDamian Levy/Gleaner Writer
Denzel Washington returns as a skilled assassin in 'The Equalizer 2'.

It seems that whenever you go to the movies these days, you're never too far from the latest comic book epic. It's comforting to know that when the cinema gets saturated with superheroism, there are films made by great actors like Denzel Washington to balance things out - equalise them, if you will. Sometimes you get tired of watching the same old story of a hero roaming the streets, using their abilities to help people who can't help themselves. Enter The Equalizer 2, the sequel which sees Denzel Washington's Robert McCall roaming the streets, using his abilities to help people who can't help themselves.

Yes, this film follows the bare-bones structure of a superhero movie, right down to the hero's tragic motivation in the death of his family. Still, it's a superhero movie with Denzel Washington, which gives it a special amount of flair. There's a reason he's lasted as one of the greatest actors alive, and it's evident as he elevates a script that is unfortunately rudimentary.

One thing The Equalizer 2 does well is it's a very stylised film. The action is swift, brutal and, to put it mildly, doesn't pull any punches. Bones break and people get severe punishment at McCall's hands. If only the movie could apply that philosophy to its pacing. Long stretches of time feel aimless, with promises of an ending that will satisfy the wait. When that ending comes, it's hard not to feel like the wait was for nothing at all - not to mention how poorly paced the film is. There's nothing wrong with a slow burn, but The Equalizer 2 takes it's not-so-sweet time just to get the fire wood.

A few moments in the film shine through brilliantly. Whenever Denzel Washington gets a scene where he can sink his teeth into it, it provides a jolt to the audience. Unfortunately, these moments are far too few. The rest is, sadly, a generic and uneventful action film. It tries to be a thoughtful action thriller, but ultimately feels like a charade. It looks ponderous, but really there's nothing there.

Rating: Catch It On Cable