Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Antoine Fuqua|
|Produced by||Todd Black
|Screenplay by||Richard Wenk|
|Based on||The Equalizer
by Michael Sloan and Richard Lindheim
Chloë Grace Moretz
|Music by||Harry Gregson-Williams|
|Edited by||John Refoua|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Running time||131 minutes|
|Box office||$54.9 million|
The Equalizer is a 2014 American thriller film directed by Antoine Fuqua and written by Richard Wenk, based on the television series of same name. The film stars Denzel Washington, Marton Csokas, Chloë Grace Moretz, David Harbour, Haley Bennett, Bill Pullman, and Melissa Leo.
Principal photography began in June 2013 on location and took place in different cities of Massachusetts. This was the first film to have Village Roadshow Pictures co-finance the deal with Sony Pictures Entertainment since Saving Silverman in 2001. The film was premiered at 2014 Toronto International Film Festival on September 7, 2014, and released worldwide on September 26.
Robert McCall (Denzel Washington) is a retired black ops government operative who lives in Boston, Massachusetts and works at a Home Mart hardware store, where he befriends many of his co-workers and also tries to help a Mexican security trainee named Ralph pass his qualification exam. McCall has promised his recently-deceased wife that he’d leave his old life behind, but is compelled to act after his teenage friend Teri (Chloë Grace Moretz) whose real name is Alina, was seen being mistreated by her pimp. Alina’s life was destroyed at the age of five or six when she was a victim of sex trafficking by the Russian Mafia and then became their sex slave and forced into prostitution.
Robert vows to save her after she is hospitalized after being brutally beaten by her pimp, Slavi (David Meunier). McCall enters the Russian mob territory and tries to convince Slavi to release Alina by paying him $9800 (a price Slavi constantly remarks as being ‘nine thousand dollars’ instead), but Slavi refuses, taking this as an insult to him. McCall pretends to walk away, but turns back and takes out Slavi and his men with their own weapons all in under half a minute. He leaves Slavi to drown in his own blood, telling him that he should had accepted the money. Leaving the scene, McCall removes the footage of all security cameras that had recorded him.
In retaliation, Vladimir Pushkin (Vladimir Kulich), sends his enforcer, Teddy (Marton Csokas), from Moscow to Boston to find and eliminate the culprit. Meanwhile, Ralph withdrew his application for being a security guard at Home Mart to help out his mother at his family restaurant, which was set fire to the day earlier by corrupt policemen as an act of extortion, something Ralph tries to withhold from McCall. McCall apprehends the corrupt policemen and forces them to pay back all the money they have gotten through extortion. Ralph passes his qualification test and becomes a security guard at Home Mart.
Teddy manages to pinpoint the culprit to be McCall, and is surprised by his skills and tries to capture him to use his skills instead of killing him. McCall, however, outsmarts all of his pursuers and Teddy’s attempt to capture him, while completing more acts of vigilantism. After evading several assassination and capture attempts, McCall visits fellow retired operatives Susan Plummer (Melissa Leo) and Brian Plummer (Bill Pullman) in Virginia, who help him acquire intelligence on Pushkin’s activities and Teddy, who is found to be ex-Spetnaz, and whose real name is Nikolai. After McCall left, Susan remarks to Brian that McCall was not actually looking for help, but was actually asking for permission.
From start to finish, we know very little about Denzel’s character, which is how it was meant to be. Who trained him, who taught him, we never learn, but that he is a “Badass,” we never get to question. The fact that he goes after the men who hurt a young girl he didn’t even know makes him a hero, and all the senseless killing is of Russian Mobsters caught up in the sex trade so it is excusable. Hollywood got this remake right! Denzel is a great equalizer. Fans of action/revenge movies will love this one!” – MR