In the 80’s if you were a character on a television show, there was a good chance you placed a Private Investigator. With shows like Magnum P.I, Simon and Simon, and Hart to Hart, if you needed someone or something found you had plenty of choices. With so many to choose from one P.I. stood out from the rest, it wasn’t because of the way he jumped on moving cars, no it was the complete lack of fear in the face of danger that made him unique. His name was Robert McCall and he helped people with problems they didn’t know how to solve. Of all the series on back then, “The Equalizer” always sounded like it should be revived, and just like magic, it has returned.
Stepping into the shoes once worn by Edward Woodward, who played the mild manner McCall perfectly is one of the few people who could do it better, that would be Denzel Washington. In this version McCall is no longer a P.I, instead he works at a home improvement store, where instead of solving crimes he is helping solve what color to paint your living room. McCall lives a pretty boring life, spending his off time reading at a local dinner, where he chats up sometimes with another regular, a girl named Teri (Chloe Grace Moretz). When Teri comes in one day with a black eye, McCall takes an interest in who gave it to her, which leads him to her pimp. When things escalate and Teri ends up in the hospital, McCall’s true abilities come out, as he seeks revenge on Teri’s aggressor and everything else around him.
With no offense to Mr. Neeson, when you need someone to play a bad ass, there is only one man for that job and that would be Denzel. Few actors can carry themselves the way Denzel does, and the man is perfect for this role. As for the movie itself, while not as perfect as its star, it does keep you entertained. Written for the screen by Richard Wenk (The Mechanic) and directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day), the later who brought out the best in Washington already once and while there will be no award nomination this time, he still brings out the best. Where the film falters is its run time, which clocks in at just over two hours. While that is a minor thing, it keep “The Equalizer” from being a really good tightly wound, fast moving movie. Instead it’s just a film that is extremely entertaining on a action standpoint. Now since that is all we really want, it is easy to recommend this film, if for no other reason than to see Denzel at his finest. It if wasn’t for him it would be harder to sit through a film equally mundane as it is fun, as Hollywood continues to use stories that have been told already so many times. “The Equalizer” displays the power of Washington’s charisma that will get you through no matter what you think of the rest.