The Equalizer 2 is an action film and sequel to the 2014 film. This entry takes place sometime after the events of the first film, and other than a few minor supporting characters returning doesn’t connect. The main plot this time around focuses on Robert McCall, (Denzel Washington) as he investigates the death of his last remaining friend Susan, (Melissa Leto). What follows is a mostly predictable mystery. You will realise who is the villain about 20 minutes before the film reveals it; it is that obvious, in that, we are shown the main issue with the film- the writing.
The film’s first act is painfully slow; there are a few teases for things to come, and some very well-choreographed action sequences, but on the whole, there is nothing of substance for the first 30 minutes. As well as this we are introduced to a lot of supporting characters, all of whom have nothing to add to the main story, outside of showing that Mr McCall still helps people. As you can imagine they are all paper thin; serving as little more than filler.
Moreover, the film’s villain Dave York, (Pedro Pascal), is about as bland as they come, with his motivations never rising above the generic,” I’m doing it for the money”, his character also seems woefully insignificant when compared to McCall; making it hard to believe they are supposed to be on the same skill level.
That is another thing about this film, McCall’s skillset seems to vary wildly throughout the film, sometimes to almost a superhuman degree; being at points more than a little unbelievable. This film if you think about it too closely makes little sense, but that’s a good thing. In this case, a lot of the enjoyment comes from the cheesy, nonsensical things that happen, such as the strange almost at times out of place editing; at one point in the film as McCall walks down a street the camera flips upside down for no real reason. It is in these moments that the film shines, becoming something more akin to a cheesy action B movie, revelling in the weird and the bizarre. However, these moments are few and far between.
Denzel Washington gives a superb performance always elevating every scene he is in; being by far the best actor in the film.
To conclude there are moments where this film shines, where the B movieness slips out. However, the rest of the film rots within the confines of a generic action thriller. Featuring the most needless supporting characters possibly ever.
Reviewed by Luke