If you’ve seen the trailer for “The Equalizer”, you know exactly what to expect. Max Payne-esque vigilante seeks justice in a world that’s mostly made up of foreign drug lords, crooked cops, strippers in imminent danger, and 24 hour diners. Things escalate. Russians get involves somehow. Lots of people die, and never in the same way. Stuff explodes and the guy who did it doesn’t turn around to look. A final showdown involving rain.
In short, it was a pretty dumb movie on the surface — and there was nothing but surface. But after months of seeing mostly “critically acclaimed” VOD releases during the August/September slump, a dumb fun movie was exactly what I needed. Denzel is insanely watchable, and even if he’s just doing a ridiculous Brother Mouzone / Boondock Saints / elevator-scene-in-Drive mashup, the dude really sells it. For a film whose only point of view consists of the word “justice” in various tattoo fonts, I was surprised how much I was rooting for its lead. The script does a great job of balancing action and tension, and the 2+ hour runtime flies by with a quick pace and stylish, music-video-esque camerawork. I’ll never say it was a great movie. I’m sure I’ll never watch it again. But I had a lot of fun the first time around.