“What do you see when you look at me?” asks Teddy. Robert McCall responds, “What do you see when you look at me?”
The Equalizer was released on Sept. 26 starring Denzel Washington as Robert McCall (former CIA assassin), ChloÃ« Grace Moretz as Teri (russian-born hooker with the dreams of being a singer/songwriter), Marton Csokas as Teddy (takes care of any problems with the Russian mafia), Melissa Leo as Susan Plummer (former CIA agent with Robert), and Haley Bennett as Mandy (tries to help Teri get out of trouble along with Robert, also a russian hooker).
Robert McCall, played by Denzel Washington, is a low key manager at home depot, no one would suspect his previous job as an assassin for the CIA. He lives in a small apartment in walking distance of everything, including a diner that he goes to every night. There, he makes small talk with the people that come and go including Terry, played by ChloÃ« Grace Moretz, a girl who has some big dreams that are trying hard to stay alive despite her occupation. Soon those dreams come to a temporary stop when she is beaten badly by her boss (Teddy) and ends up in the hospital. Her friend, Mandy, played by Hayley Bennett, takes care of her and looks after her. Robert goes back to look for the people who beat her. Little does he know that they are the russian mafia. The people working for them are supposed to be the good guys, the cops, friends, and more. Only they’ve all turned sour. Robert decides to fight back. He first goes to his long time friend, Susan Plummer, played by Melissa Leo, where he seeks knowledge and permission to go back to the dark person he used to be.
The story/plot was very thought through it seemed. Director Antoine Fuqua seemed in no rush to get the action rolling and that’s what makes the movie so much more intriguing. You keep waiting and waiting for something to happen. Not until after you’ve just settled down and accepted the fact that nothing is coming, Fuqua decides to drastically change the story. This could be a positive or negative depending on your preference or style of movie. The way Fuqua designed it, always keeps you on your toes. The only downfall was that some parts of the movie you had to guess for information because there weren’t enough hints to guide you. Robert McCall is a widower but not enough hints are dropped to understand how his wife died. Robert’s friend, Susan Plummer is also not described well except for the fact that you know she worked for the CIA. Usually when you work for the CIA or were a former CIA agent, no one can know. Susan’s husband seems to know it all when clearly, he was never in the business.
The dialogue/ script was repetitive in its language and being a rated R movie, it certainly held up the title. The repetitive language added much humor to the movie but also was incredibly annoying after a while. There was not a variation of colorful language but instead the same word over and over. In some parts of the movie, the repetitiveness was a perfect insert, but in more serious moments, it seemed out of place. Many of the killing scenes seemed more graphic than needed, such as when Robert drills one of the henchmen in the back of the head with a drill, or when he uses a wine opener to spear another henchmen’s mouth. Those thoughts alone are enough to make you shudder, even without seeing the movie.
All in all, the movie was very thought out and at times, inspiring. “I promised that I would never go back to being that person but when somebody does something unspeakable, and to someone you barely even knew, you do something about it, because you can.”