The Equalizer 2

No one, and I mean no one, has ever killed with more fervent passion than Robert McCall.

Equalizer 2With The Equalizer 2, Denzel Washington reprises his role as Robert McCall, a modern-day angel of death.  Living in a small Boston apartment reading a list of books left for him by his late wife, he makes a living as a Lyft driver in order to stay unnoticed.

However, our killer archangel realizes on a moment’s notice when it is time to kick ass and help to right some of life’s wrongs.  For example, if he learns that an ex-husband has kidnapped his young daughter and taken her to Europe, Mr. McCall knows that there is vengeance to be meted out in order to return the child.  If some young men have gang raped a girl who ends up in his car, then justice needs to be handed out in a very violent fashion.

The film centers on the brutal death of his former government comrade Susan Plummer, played with expected grace by Melissa Leo.  It appears that a group of assassins intend to eliminate other government agents, and Washington’s McCall volunteers to make sure that every one of them will eventually regret not entering a Roman Catholic monastery.

Equalizer 2, directed with style by Antoine Fuqua, allows Mr. Washington to thankfully demonstrate his tremendous acting skills that all but disappeared with his recent performances in Roman J. Israel, Esq. (2017), the exceedingly dull Fences (2016) and 2 Guns (2013).  Though this movie is as vicious and violent as any film you are likely to see, Mr. Washington is able to show a soft side by helping Miles, a young African-American street artist.  Miles, played by Ashton Sanders who recently appeared in the Oscar winning Moonlight (2016), is able to avoid the magnetic pull of a group of drug dealers with McCall’s kind assistance.

If this film has a weakness, it lies in the fact that McCall can conquer any group of villains without suffering a serious injury.  Nonetheless, as noted above you quickly accept the reality that McCall is a modern-day version of God’s angels who quietly wiped out all of Egypt’s first born males to free Moses.  I doubt that any of them suffered any pangs of guilt upon returning to heaven.

McCall never did either.