#TheEqualizer2 (2018): 6/10
The Equalizer 2 is officially Denzel’s first ever sequel. Could that be because none of his previous efforts have ever warranted one? You could argue that ‘The Equalizer’ also fits seamlessly into that bracket, and yet here we are. This time, those closest to McCall (Washington) are put in harms way. Bill Pullman (‘Independence Day’, ‘Spaceballs’) and Melissa Leo (‘The Fighter’, ‘Oblivion’) both return in their respective roles to compliment a cast that includes Pedro Pascal (‘Game Of Thrones’, ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’) and ‘Moonlight’s’ Ashton Sanders.
The opening scenes and third of the film have no real bearing on the outcome of the plot, but rather ease us back into the tone of these films, which feels very similar to the first. Avid fans of McCall sizing up his targets before taking them out in one fell swoop will feel right at home, and love it. In fact, a lot of the plot early on is rather slow and more character-driven, showing McCall’s human side as he lends a hand to those less fortunate, picked up during his taxi runs.
In truth, it’s only really the second half of the runtime where the film picks up any kind of pace, has any real conviction and plot direction and feels even mildly exhilarating, which is disappointing given the first ‘Equalizer’ was so well received. And no amount of sporadic badass scenes beforehand can mask over the fact that the sequel feels strangely lethargic and devoid of any real ideas, despite some moments of enjoyable fight choreography and action. With that in mind, don’t expect to see an ‘Equalizer 3’ anytime soon.
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