Denzel Washington is one of my favourite actors of all time, if he's in a film that will one of the deciding factors to whether I go and see it or not. I think the Equalizer was made with this in mind, it is far from great, it feels lazy and lacks any real depth but they know that a film with Denzel as the lead will draw in the audiences.
The script, pacing, storyline & character development all let this movie down in my opinion and when you add all of those to clichéd, predictable scenarios; it really doesn't make for a very good movie. The story is so over done that there is no way it can offer the viewer any surprises, we have seen this so many times before, from the plot to the characters to the scenarios, it all feels very repetitive. Denzel gives a good solid performance but he is hindered by the awful, basic, mind numbing script. He really wasn't given much to work with and the scenes where he was given large amounts of dialogue it just felt clichéd and predictable. I think it was trying to be one of those thinly plotted, action movies where you can switch your brain off and enjoy it for what it is. I think it does a good job at being this apart from one major fault: The pacing. The poor script and lack of depth to the plot make it drag somewhat. It is simply too long for what it is; with a run time of over 2 hours it really drags in the middle. The first 30-40 minutes are good and intriguing and the final 30 minutes offer good action and some good scenes, the middle 45-50 minutes simply doesn't have enough about it to keep your attention.
The Equalizer isn't without its positives though; Denzel Washington shows us another great, convincing performance, he really is a joy to watch. He plays a very likable character with ease; you always feel like you can connect with him as an actor, that is probably one of his greatest traits. The film looks brilliant; the settings are all faultless and expose a real gritty, atmosphere. Some of the scenes are very well done; the scenes at the start and the end scene in particular are well made and tense. The cinematography was given a lot of attention, the action scenes are very immersing, different approaches are used with slow motion shots and great music.
Overall, The Equalizer has plenty of issues but also has many things which I like. It is easy watching, but that is about all. It isn't going to be remembered as a classic and it certainly isn't one of Denzel Washington's better films but it is entertaining enough. Just don't expect too much.
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