The Equalizer

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(2014) ★★★

Sky Movies Premiere: PREMIERE Friday 5 June, 15.30pm and 20.00pm

Solitary insomniac Denzel Washington arranges the place-settings just so in the all-night Boston diner. He’s the helpful stockman in a warehouse-sized HomeMart store. A stockman like Steven Seagal was a cook in Under Siege or Jason Statham a binman in Safe. He’s a black-ops commando who took himself out of the game for a quiet life in Boston. Minding his own business until his business comes to mind when it’s shoved in his face by mouthy Russian goons who beat up hookers. Washington’s Robert McCall is a paragon of virtue compared to the John Creasy role Denzel played a decade before in Man on Fire. But he’s still a man on fire. Push him and he’ll bust heads that are
begging to be broken and he’ll time himself on a stopwatch while he’s doing it. The Russian sex traffickers he disposes of weren’t just pimps in a plush office decorated with the Madonna and Child. They were part of a global network of industrial-scale corruption run by an untouchable Russian oligarch. Who sends Spetsnaz sociopath Marton Csokas to sniff out McCall. “Everything about him is wrong,” says Csokas after their first meeting. But then Csokas wouldn’t recognise integrity if it punched him in the face (which it will). This is a man so bad even his tattoos are evil. The implacable McCall stands his ground. He’s The Punisher with principles. And power tools, courtesy of HomeMart. That’s where the climactic showdown takes place. Handy, because HomeMart stocks everything, even high-tensile barbed wire. Edward Woodward’s old TV show never went in for anything like that. It wouldn’t have been cricket. Denzel’s Training Day director Antoine Fuqua follows his lively White House thriller Olympus Has Fallen with another steady exercise in organised violence, circling around the diner that seems be modelled on an iconic Edward Hopper painting. Not sure, though, what to make of their next collaboration: Fuqua’s directing Denzel in a remake of The Magnificent Seven. Compared to a project like The Equalizer, that could be an own goal. But this film stands or falls on Washington’s shoulders, and they’re plenty broad enough. He’s good at the quiet stuff, too.

Certificate: 15
Duration: 132min

Other Showings Date & Time
Sky Movies Premiere Saturday, 6 June at 3:30PM
Sky Movies Premiere Saturday, 6 June at 8:00PM
Sky Movies Premiere Sunday, 7 June at 3:30PM
Sky Movies Premiere Sunday, 7 June at 8:00PM
Sky Movies Premiere Monday, 8 June at 3:30PM
Sky Movies Premiere Monday, 8 June at 8:00PM
Sky Movies Premiere Tuesday, 9 June at 1:30PM
Sky Movies Premiere Tuesday, 9 June at 8:00PM
Sky Movies Premiere Wednesday, 10 June at 3:30PM
Sky Movies Premiere Wednesday, 10 June at 8:00PM
Sky Movies Premiere Thursday, 11 June at 3:30PM
Sky Movies Premiere Thursday, 11 June at 8:00PM