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The Equalizer 2 : Denzel's First Sequel Was a Wise Choice (Movie Review and Spoilers)

Antoine Fuqua, Director/Producer, Ashton Sanders and Denzel Washington, Producer/Actor, attend the Los Angeles premiere of Columbia Pictures’ THE EQUALIZER 2 at TCL Chinese Theatre, supported in part by Lyft --- Photo Credit: Eric Charbonneau; © 2018 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


If you have a problem and nowhere else to turn, Robert McCall will help - he is The Equalizer. McCall has been aiding the beaten, exploited, and oppressed by serving an unflinching justice. However, when McCall's dangerous past cuts especially close to home, he will need all of his skills to settle the score. This time, he must come face to face with highly trained assassins who will stop at nothing to destroy him. Denzel Washington returns to one of his signature roles in the first sequel of his career.


“I think people enjoy the idea, the myth, that a guy like Robert McCall exists. McCall is a kind of dark angel – the angel we all wish would come down and serve justice to people who deserve it,” says Antoine Fuqua, who returns to re-team with Denzel Washington for a fourth time in The Equalizer 2, following their successful collaborations on Training Day, The Magnificent Seven, and the first Equalizer film. “He’s found his purpose, becoming a force for justice. Until now, that has been for strangers. However, when someone close to McCall is killed, he seeks vengeance for his friend – and for himself.”

For Washington, the appeal of McCall is simple: “He’s hiding in plain sight, an everyman,” says the two-time Oscar®-winning actor. This time around, he’s moved on; instead of selling someone home improvement goods, he’s your Lyft driver – but the avenging angel who has fought for justice for strangers finds himself fighting a more personal battle than ever before. “When we first see McCall, he’s trying to help other people who can’t help themselves, but it becomes very personal.”

The remarkable thing about The Equalizer 2 is the 2: it is the first sequel of Denzel Washington’s career. “I’ve been in this business for forty years, and I’ve never done anything a second time,” he says. “The excitement for me comes when I do something new. When it came to this screenplay, the new territory was the relationship with Susan, Melissa Leo’s character, and the relationship with the young boy, Miles, played by Ashton Sanders. This film is more of a personal journey for McCall because it is about what happens to people that he’s allowed into his life. He was a man who wasn’t going to allow anyone in his life, and now, when he opens up to a couple of people, it’s not good.”

Denzel bringing his character Robert McCall back for seconds was the wisest decision he could have made in his career! The Equalizer 2 was unlike any sequel we at THAheadline have ever seen. It's rare when a sequel defeats an original film. Not only was the movie action-packed, but it also sparked emotion. Denzel made us wish that a Mr. McCall existed to overcome the evils of the world.

As for Fuqua and the producers of the film, giving McCall that personal stake in his battles became the driving force. “With the first film, I wasn’t surprised that people showed up to see Denzel – but I was surprised at how they responded to the idea of justice more than anything else in the film,” says Fuqua. “I think people are feeling like outsiders who have no control over their lives, and we all wish we had a McCall who could swoop in and put us on the right path – not necessarily solve all our problems but give us a chance to move in the right direction.

“The Equalizer was an origin story,” says producer Jason Blumenthal. “Robert McCall had successfully taken himself off the grid and was willing to live that existence until he could no longer turn a blind eye to the injustices around him.”

“But we know that the past doesn’t stay in the past,” says producer Todd Black, picking up the thought. “If the first film was about a man finding the purpose that will guide the rest of his life, this film is about that man applying that purpose, and, seeking revenge, and coming to terms with his past. When we started talking about The Equalizer 2, we had the idea to explore who Robert McCall was – his background. Fortunately, our writer, Richard Wenk, came up with a very good plot that was organic for this next chapter.”

“Oddly, one of the things that the audiences loved about the first movie was that there was a lot of mystery to it, so I always planned that we would get more personal with McCall when it came to the second one,” says Wenk.

Miles (ASHTON SANDERS) is protected by Robert McCall (DENZEL WASHINGTON) in Columbia Pictures’ THE EQUALIZER 2. --- Photo Credit: Glen Wilson ©2018

In The Equalizer 2, many of McCall’s secrets are revealed – his training, his skills, his wife, his relationship with Susan Plummer. “McCall is still struggling with his past, his path, the death of his wife, with what he used to be,” says Fuqua. “He finds himself on a path that leads him back home, and as the saying goes, the path home is sometimes the hardest. And sometimes, you literally have to go through a storm to find peace.”

The Equalizer 2 is a must-see for the summer! The fact that this is Washington's first sequel in a more than 50-film career should tell you everything you need to know. The deciding factor to create a sequel was not only genius but merely entertaining. Denzel Washington is excellent as McCall, and he brings out the best in Richard Wenk's script. If you are a fan of the original film, you will appreciate this latest chapter.

Yes, we can go on and on about how amazing an actor Denzel is but, let us not forget to show love and appreciation to the upcoming actor, Ashton Sanders (Moonlight). Sanders' talent on screen was second to none. He indeed made us believe in his character, Miles and had us rooting for him throughout the movie not to be the next statistic of being a young black male, raised in the inner city with the no direction. The relationship he and Denzel shared in the movie was beautiful. In classic Denzel fashion, there was a heart touching moment between him and young Sanders. We will not go too far into detail but trust and believe us when we say; you may need a tissue at hand to catch the crocodile tears that fall when Robert McCall gives the best advice to Miles that every young black man needs to hear.

About the Film:

Starring Denzel Washington, Pedro Pascal, Ashton Sanders, with Bill Pullman and Melissa Leo. Directed by Antoine Fuqua. Produced by Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, Denzel Washington, Antoine Fuqua, Alex Siskin, Steve Tisch, Mace Neufeld, Tony Eldridge, and Michael Sloan. Written by Richard Wenk. Based on the television series created by Michael Sloan and Richard Lindheim. Executive Producers are Molly Allen and David Bloomfield. Director of Photography is Oliver Wood. Production Designer is Naomi Shohan. The editor is Conrad Buff, ACE. Costume Designer is Jenny Gering. The music is by Harry Gregson-Williams. Music Supervision by Jabari Ali.

The Equalizer 2 has been rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America for brutal violence throughout, language, and some drug content. The film will be released in theaters nationwide on July 20, 2018.

Rotten Tomatoes Current Score: 36%

THAheadline Score (THAscore): 7/10

Check out the trailer below:

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