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DENZEL WASHINGTON IN THE EQUALIZER

2014 rating: ***
A combination of TAXI DRIVER and the 1980’s TV-series namesake, THE EQUALIZER pits Denzel Washington’s Robert McCall against practically the entire Russian mob in Boston...

They messed with the wrong hooker, who happens to be Bob's friend at a diner he frequents after working long days at a massive HOME MART (aka HOME DEPOT). But protecting the street urchin is only an excuse, really, to bring McCall out of "retirement" from his former gig we learn of later on…

With a cool, metronomic vibe matching the steady pace of our title character, the film eases into a mundane workaday life before his true colors are violently revealed: That’s when a resilient McCall takes out bad guys like clockwork, literally. And while most of the hits are a bit too casual and easily accomplished, there's a decent match with Russian killer Teddy, played by steely-eyed Marton Csokas, resulting in a slow-motion standoff thrusting our calculated vigilante into comic book hero status... Depending on the box office gross, this no-nonsense thriller, serving as a one-dimensional yet entertaining first issue, could jumpstart an EQUALIZER franchise... The fun part will see how many menial jobs McCall takes to cover his real identity – although a gun blazing finale at Taco Bell wouldn’t have the same punch.
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