The Equalizer 2, is the sequel to the 2014 hit blockbuster, directed by Antoine Fuqua. The Equalizer was based on the TV series from the 1980s. It's fair to say that the new take on the story was well-received, taking nearly $200 Million dollars worldwide in the box-office. In fact, Fuqua is the first person to admit that he made the sequel due to the huge response from fans.
Yes, you guessed it, The Equalizer 2 picks up straight from the first film. The ex-marine and Special Agent is back and he has decided to apply his special talents full time now. Still presumed dead, Robert McCall has set up a new life as an app-based taxi driver, which is the perfect way to get to know those who need his assistance. This assistance can be just a good deed or it can be a total badass beating if you don't accept his offer to do the right thing. But, things really get messy when his only true friend, Susan Plummer is killed while investigating a case with a former colleague of McCall's, Dave York. All hell breaks loose when McCall finds out that York is no longer the man he once was. The result is a one-man war that has only one conclusion.
If you have read the review of the first Equalizer movie, it's easy to see that I was very impressed with the visceral action and incredible camera work. Director Antoine Fuqua hits us with exactly the same intensity with The Equalizer 2. A notable, but great addition is the bonkers opening scene that is a clear tip of the hat to the Bond franchise. There is the same intense focus on the main character, including the books he is reading. Plus there is just as much, if not more, outrageous violence packed into the two hours. The only downside is the endless list of sub-plots that are the main focus in the first half of the movie. These fade completely in the second half until they are referenced again at the very end of the film. Make sure you pay attention though because these would be easy to miss.
The first Equalizer movie would not be anywhere near as good as it was if it was not for the outstanding performance from Denzel Washington. And, yes, he is back again reprising this role as effectively as he did in the first. In fact, it's worth noting that The Equalizer 2 is the first sequel that Denzel Washington ever accepted and he brings something special to the Robert McCall character again.
On top of this, the brilliant Melissa Leo and Bill Pullman reprise their roles as Susan and Brian Plummer. Ashton Sanders does well with his role, but his character as a young black kid tempted by the wrong side of the tracks is a little predictable. Picking up the mantle of the baddie is Pedro Pascal, who is usually impressive. But, he seems to have difficulty with this conflicted character and never quite fits the role. He certainly does not create anywhere near as complex a character as the bad guy in the first film.
Now, there is a downside to The Equalizer 2. It is a little predictable and somehow there doesn't seem to be the same connection with the characters. This could be because there are so many subplots. But, generally, as a sequel goes The Equalizer 2 is well worth a watch. If you enjoyed the first film, then you should watch this. Is it as good as the first? For me, no. But I watched it in close succession after watching the first and I would recommend you do the same.