The “Equalizer 2”, out Friday, July 20, 2018, follows the 2014 thriller “The Equalizer”. Denzel Washington returns in his iconic role as retired CIA Black Ops operative turned vigilante, Robert McCall. The “Equalizer 2” finds McCall working as a for-hire Lyft driver. McCall spends his days watching out for his vulnerable clients, the elderly, to children, and young women, as he sees into the windows of their daily lives. McCall is a secret savior to the oppressed, serving lightning quick justice when no one else is looking. McCall is observant, never missing a subtle signal that something is just not right. His calm demeanor is trained and misleads with his powerful reflexes. McCall finds the perpetrators, serves justice, and disappears within moments, leaving the wake of destruction behind him. Against men years younger than himself, McCall is unmatched in skill and force. For McCall, helping the vulnerable people around him is more than just helping them, it is helping himself. He craves the action, needs to see the justice. On the outside, McCall is unassuming, but he is roiling with rage against injustices. Protecting the people around him is McCall’s way of staying out of trouble and maintaining balance.
When Susan Plummer (Melissa Leo) is endangered and attacked, McCall rises to the occasion to avenge his old friend. McCall’s quiet retirement becomes a mad race against time. McCall uses his near superhuman skill to stay and punish the attackers. McCall can no longer hide in the shadows—he is a known vigilante. Disguises, explosions, violent combat are all on the menu for McCall. McCall is hunted, fought, gunned down, and cornered, but never shows any sign of slowing. In the end, all that matters to McCall is doing what he deems is the “right thing,” no matter how high the cost. Revenge is justice in McCall’s perspective, but revenge often has a ripple effect. Will McCall see that ripple as he punishes? As a former CIA operative, McCall knows where limits are. The “Equalizer 2” pushes those limits far and beyond. Swift and destructive.
The film takes on an international spin, with scenes in Istanbul and the famed Orient Express. Bill Pullman also reprises his role as Brian Plummer. Pedro Pascal stars as McCall’s former CIA partner. Ashton Sanders portrays Miles, McCall’s neighbor, and a young friend. Jonathan Scarfe plays Resnick and Sakina Jaffrey plays Fatima.
The “Equalizer 2” is Denzel Washington’s first sequel in his storied career. According to returning director Antoine Fuqua, the sequel was only made at Washington’s agreement. Washington delivers a stunning performance that is at once thrilling and sympathetic. The “Equalizer 2” boasts a $62 million budget and is projected to debut with $33 million in box office sales. The “Equalizer” and The “Equalizer 2” are based on “The Equalizer” television series that ran from 1985-1989. With an entire television series of the source material, perhaps there is more that we may see of McCall and his world. Richard Wenk returned to write the “Equalizer 2” screenplay. The “Equalizer 2” is a fast-paced thriller that delivers on story and character, without sacrificing stunning action sequences.