Home Film The Equalizer (2014) – Reviews round-up

The Equalizer (2014) – Reviews round-up

It take a full half-hour before the movie allows itself to show its violent colors!

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The Equalizer - Denzel Washington and Nash Edgerton
The Equalizer - McCall (Denzel Washington) takes out one of Slavi's thugs (Nash Edgerton) ©2013 CTMG

The violence in Director Antoine Fuqua’s The Equalizer (2014) is what concerns many reviewers of this remake of the 1980s TV show which starred Edward Woodward.

It take a full half-hour before The Equalizer (2014) allows itself to show its violent colors. However star Denzel Washington gets largely praised but there is general agreement that Chloë Grace Moretz talents are wasted.

Is Denzel Washington’s Robert McCall character so alluring that a franchise is mandatory? Some feel that the answer is yes…

New York Times The Equalizer review by AO Scott

Perhaps the best thing about “The Equalizer” is how long it takes to reveal what everyone watching it knows from the start.

For his part, Mr Fuqua, while not the world’s most subtle filmmaker, directs the action sequences with bluntness and clarity and effectively uses his star as an oasis of calm in a jumpy, nasty universe.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars, from our reading of the review

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LA Times The Equalizer review by Kenneth Turan

Unapologetic in its excessive, frequently grotesque violence, The Equalizer takes advantage of its star-director pairing to elevate its all-too-recognizable story of a man willing to do what it takes to even the odds for the world’s beleaguered underdogs.

Teri (Chloë Grace Moretz, largely wasted) all but disappears from the scene as The Equalizer — echoing Clint Eastwood’s brilliant “Unforgiven” — increasingly focuses on how irresistible the lure of violence is for those who’ve indulged in it in the past. Now that McCall is off the wagon, it will come as no surprise that an “Equalizer 2” is in the works.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars, from our reading of the review

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The Guardian (UK)The Equalizer review by Peter Bradshaw

There is something deeply ugly and crass in director Antoine Fuqua’s fatuous drama-thriller, based on the 80s TV show with Edward Woodward.

Women are entirely unimportant, and simpering Moretz turns out to be a minor character, to say the very least. As for Washington, he has no samurai charisma here, just a tiresome pudding-faced reluctance to smile.

Rating: 1 out of 5 Stars

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Entertainment Weekly The Equalizer review by Joe McGovern

The plot has been gerrymandered so that we sympathize with the protagonist’s plight no matter how many goons he gores through the chin with a corkscrew. But make no mistake: It’s as challenging as slaughterhouse footage — and about as watchable.

It’s the sign of an empty, depressing experience when the only tension is over Bob’s choice to use a power drill or a weed whacker for his next kill.

Rating: D (= 2 out of 5 Stars)

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Hollywood Reporter The Equalizer review by Todd McCarthy

It’s almost as if the good bad old days of the Cold War are here again in The Equalizer, in which Denzel Washington’s former intelligence op kicks more nasty Russian ass than anyone has onscreen since James Bond.

Ramping up his style to a more dynamic and elegant level than he’s achieved previously, [Director Antoine] Fuqua socks over the suspense and action but also takes the time for some quiet, even spare moments to emphasize the hero’s calm and apartness.

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars, from our reading of the review.

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