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The Equalizer Review

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The Equalizer


R 131 min


Well you may remember the TV show called THE EQUALIZER that ran from approximately 85 through 89. Yes? No?

It starred the seemingly mild mannered Edward Woodward as a character named McCall an ex member of some very dangerous government organization or other who has since retired from that line of work. His present avocation seems to be something very similar to a superhero yet possessing no actual powers besides those one might learn in the special of the military.

On certain occasions when decent people are being threatened by bigger meaner and stronger ones our hero may decide to use his unique talents to level the playing field or, as the title suggests, play the role of equalizer.



In this updated version McCall is played by Denzel Washington and the damsel in distress for this episode is Teri (Chloe Grace Martez) a young woman caught up in a dangerous and brutal prostitution ring run by some very nasty Russian gangsters.

(In case you haven't notice the Russian mob is a part of a dwindling group considered politically correct enough to be the bad guys in movies.)

Frankly I was a little put off by the casting of Denzel in the lead role since part of the charm, if you can call it that, of the original show was that Woodward’s McCall really did not seem very threatening while Washington, having played police, soldiers etc., can be an imposing figure. I think the film did a pretty good job of downplaying that by giving him a day job as a quiet working stiff in a big box home improvement store.

There really isn't anything fresh, new or groundbreaking about this film as it is what it is: a somewhat formulaic series of plot devices designed to tug on the emotions of the audience. To be honest I have absolutely no problem with that plan as long as the plan is executed well and it certainly is here.

The victims are worthy of empathy, the villains despicable and the two fisted justice satisfying and fun.

So what if they drops a few clichés along the path to the climax and who cares if the climax is a little, well actually a lot, farfetched.

Well-crafted periods of tension are topped off with bursts of violence, one of which is actually the penultimate climax and harkens back to the work of Sam Peckinpah and Tim the Tool man Taylor.

It is actually the final scene that makes you chuckle and shake your head in disbelief but don't worry, it's still fun.



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I liked it too - I remember Denzel Washington from the St. Elsewhere tv series... and really enjoyed his films since.


The Equalizer reminded me of another escalated rage film of his - Man on Fire....


who can forget the line from Walken -





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used to watch the series equalizer in the 80's. the character woodward played was almost crippled but he had his handymen in other associates who on their own parts have gone on to star in movies or bit parts.


should check the series out to see the actors i'm talking about.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...

saw it yesterday.


great revenge flick. did a trifecta:


1. equalizer

2. john wick

3. 3 days to kill


great afternoon. just make sure you have enough ingredients for cocktails before sitting back for that 11 hour affair.


great stuff though. girlfriend won't understand so send her out to the cheesecake factory and then to go se frozen for the 3rd time.

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