Well, actually, we’ve met The Equalizer before, way back in the 1980s when Edward Woodward played Robert McCall, ex government agent turned vigilante on TV.
And it was actually Russell Crowe’s idea to bring McCall to the big screen, but Denzel ultimately landed the gig. And The Equalizer is right in Denzel’s wheelhouse, echoing past solid hits for the actor like Safe House and The Book of Eli. It also echoes not only Neeson’s latest flicks, but The November Man and Jack Reacher. Yet The Equalizer has buzz – a lot of buzz. Sony already has its screenwriter Richard Wenk working on the sequel! So where’s all this buzz coming from? Well, first off, this movie has apparently tested through the roof – but that’s insider information unknown to the general public.
Yet The Equalizer is expected to open with around thirty-five million, high for your average Denzel pic, so what’s generating that interest? One reason might be that while Neeson is verging on over-exposed these days – he’s got four movies this year alone and had another four in 2012 -Denzel only graces the screen once or twice every other year or so.
Then he’s also reteaming here with Antoine Fuqua, a partnership that previously generated one of Denzel’s most iconic roles, Detective Alonzo Harris in Training Day – for which he won his second Oscar. In fact, there’s so much heat for The Equalizer that it’s already resulted in a third team-up for Denzel and Fuqua, before hitting theaters – MGM’s The Magnificent Seven remake. And while this is largely the Denzel and Fuqua show, The Equalizer has a strong supporting cast as well.
Chloe Grace Moretz skipped Comic Con 2013, and the opportunity to promote Kick Ass 2, to appear here, and Melissa Leo reteams with Fuqua after her turn in Olympus Has Fallen. And then there’s Marton Csokas who went totally overboard on the crazy in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but maybe he’s dialed it down just enough to play our big Russian bad here. But hey, made for just fifty million.
The Equalizer is one of Denzel’s cheapest actioners ever made, almost guaranteeing SOME level of profitability for the studio. Yes, the behind the scenes story here has evolved into one that’s pretty darn interesting. Can the actual movie possibly match it?
I can confirm that the Denzel-Fuqua magic is real! We’ve got Batman, we’ve got Jack Bauer! And now Denzel’s Robert McCall! I’ve never seen the original television show on which this movie is based so I can’t speak to whether or not Denzel and company do a good job adapting what Woodward and company did. But I do know that the original show never became a part of the pop culture landscape despite having a pretty strong following when it aired. But this NEW version of The Equalizer I think this has a genuine shot of achieving pop culture icon status.
We’ve had a few spiriting discussions here on Beyond The Trailer as to whether or not he’s too old to star in a comic book movie. And if you think he is well then you need to see The Equalizer! Because Denzel is at the top of his game, not just with his acting but his ability to pull off an action sequence. And with all due respect for what Stallone and company are doing with The Expendables I think that what Neeson and Denzel are doing with this kind of movie is much more exciting and constructive. Because let’s face it, The Expendables had its moment but now it’s starting to fade away. But these films, we have Taken 3 coming out next year and I think that The Equalizer is going to become Denzel’s Taken. And these films are much better do a much better job at getting not just Hollywood and audiences but I think the general public
to see not just actors but people sixty and up in a much more positive light.
So that’s a fantastic aspect of this film all on its own, despite it being a fantastic movie! Now as for the other half of our dynamic duo, Antoine Fuqua? Well there must be something about working with Denzel that really does bring out the best in him because truthfully his track record is really hit or miss and we’re not just talking “all his movies aren’t great” some are actually not that good but this one, very very good And it’s very clear this is a low budget film.
I mean, 50 million isn’t cheap but for this type of movie it is. You can see the economical choices when you’re watching the film But Fuqua does such a good job with camera movement and the way he stages scenes not just in terms of action but the overall visual choices he makes that he elevates the material to be worthy of being seen on the big screen. So yes, both Denzel and Fuqua are fantastic here! But it’s not just their show there really is a fantastic supporting cast in place here which really does make this a special little movie. For instance, oh, on a side note before I get into my two favorite standouts I would just like to note that the security guard friend of Denzel’s to me kept reminding me of a Hispanic Jay Leno! And I was super distracted! I was like, maybe he’s related to Jay Leno?
I’m just curious if anyone else picked up on that. But the two standouts overall, and that actor
was quite good, but the REAL standouts were Chloe Moretz she does a fantastic job, it’s the best I’ve seen her since the first Kick Ass and she and her management team might want to consider that she’s actually a character actress instead of a leading lady because we all know she hasn’t found a lot of success heading up movies on her own. But she’s a big part of why the first part of this film works even though it’s a little slow. She does such a good job developing her character and making you understand why Denzel would care about her that you really become pulled into the film which is important because as I said it’s a VERY slow burn in the beginning.
Then the other stand out, oh my! Marton Csokas! So good here! I saw some people say he’s like a James Bond villain here and I really think he IS worthy of that title! Every good hero needs a good villain and I think that Robert McCall has a fantastic villain. Marton Csokas has been acting for quite a long time but we’ve never seen him in something this good he might finally have found his breakout role. He is just exemplary here! lso on another fun side note, he used to date, for quite a long time Eva Green!
So talk about a really attractive, crazy couple! They do kind of fit together when you think about it! Maybe they’re still friends because if you saw Sin City va Green’s latest film Sin City 2 A Dame to Kill For Marton Csokas had a very small part in that as well. So I couldn’t recommend The Equalizer highly enough! It’s a fantastic movie I do think it deserves to be seen on the big screen it makes me much more excited now for The Magnificent Seven remake because it proves their IS a Denzel-Fuqua magic! And then also, I’d just like to say I think this movie is a great example of a really well-constructed film it’s as lean and mean and professional as Robert McCall himself.And it does good!
It does good for Hollywood and audiences. Alright, so have YOU seen The Equalizer? If so, leave your own thoughts down below and thank you so much for tuning into my review and you can check out some more episodes right now!