Courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment
Four years after action oriented audiences were first introduced to Denzel Washington’s man with a mysterious past, it seems like the retired US Marine and DIA officer has more story to tell and more justice to serve as he returned to the big screen one more time in 2018.
When audiences last left off with Robert McCall, the content man found that a certain kind of satisfaction was found as long as he had a comfortable tea bag and a classic novel by his side all within the peaceful allure of twenty-four hour diners. He also found some purpose through working at a Home Mart and cutting sheets of plywood to fit customer needs.
To uphold the promise he made to his deceased wife long ago, he really tried to shed the skin of the person he once was. But the cunning and calculative soldier that was buried deep within his subconscious was forcibly brought to the forefront once more with the mere sight of innocent people being exploited. With his mind focused on the precision of time, his eyes on every possible danger around him and his hands becoming weapons to ward off those with ill based intentions, he not only successfully rescued a young girl away from the cruel hands of the Russian mob but ended up coming to terms with the skills he has and the person he can be - if he so desires.
With Equalizer 2, McCall seemingly steps deeper into the role of trying to be the everyman. He has found himself a small home within a cozy apartment complex that has a quaint courtyard and likable neighbors. With him not only living amongst others but also choosing to come across more varied individuals and their stories while driving for Lyft, the movie spends some time showing his dedication to mixing himself into a pocket sized society. But nothing ever stays the same for too long.
Being a friendly face to a neighbor who fancies herself a gardener and just listening to an elderly man who is searching for his family isn’t going to stop this storm.
Even though Robert McCall’s second coming is sorely mixed in with one too many subplots, the main story shines by going into territory that viewers have been dying to see. His previous life is catching up to the man he is now. Putting white collar predators into their places and bringing a youngster back to the right side of a youthful life isn’t going to come without breaking some chains that were on his own body.
McCall’s friend, Susan, is brutally beaten and killed while investigating the mysterious death of an agency member in Brussels. This sudden and shocking scene is very realistic and may be traumatizing for some. Actress Melissa Leo really brings forth the effect that age has on someone who is desperately trying to fight for their life at a moment’s notice.
At the same time, McCall’s team from his DIA past come back into the fold, most notable is DIA officer - David York, who is played by Pedro Pascal. When our main hero steps into this man’s kitchen and interacts cordially with his wife and daughters right before he confronts his former partner with collusion relating to Susan’s death is a scene to be remembered.
When all sides are revealed, the final battle between the two sides leads to McCall’s seaside hometown. A once beautiful setting that is now being ravaged by a hurricane is the backdrop for this climactic fight. Good with justical intentions against morally corrupt individuals who find themselves in the gray part of life, seeking validation with violence. With rain pouring down on the combatants and pictures of Susan all around them that haunt their movements, McCall once again takes down all of them, one by one just like he did with Nicolai’s men.
A once serene destination now plastered with death. The everyman and the altruistic nature of the sea work together in synchronicity to remedy all the sin that decided to step foot into the same realm that he once shared with his wife. With some time, everything is at peace once more.
While some elements are not needed in this man-on-a-mission sequel, the third act has McCall finding his past and finally facing it head on as his own. A great sequel for a very underrated franchise.