Film / Reviews

The Equalizer: 'Like an argument between a couple who have been married too long'

by Kaori Shoji
The Equalizer
Rating
Director Antoine Fuqua
Language English
Opens Now showing

When “Eastern Promises” came out in 2007, I felt like it signaled the end of an era for a certain kind of cinema gangster. The Italians were finished. The Chinese didn’t cut it anymore. The new kids on the block were the Russian Mafia and they were the meanest of the lot — neck deep in abduction and sex trafficking. Now we have “The Equalizer,” a sort of “Eastern Promises” transported from its London setting to a big-box hardware store in Boston.

Regretfully, the story didn’t travel well. Denzel Washington plays a mysterious, bookish guy named McCall who is always on the night shift at said hardware store. McCall’s other hangout is a diner where he likes to converse with Teri (Chloe Grace Moretz), a call girl controlled by the Russian mob. When Teri turns up beaten and battered, McCall decides it’s time to act. The quiet hardware store employee turns into an avenging angel, taking out the gangsters one by one with a big show of blood and explosives.

Washington and director Antoine Fuqua had teamed up before for “Training Day” and they probably wanted to reignite the spark. Unfortunately, everything feels familiar and stale — like an argument between a couple who have been married too long.