THE EQUALIZER 2
Time to McCall it quits?
Denzel Washington has avoided sequels his whole career. Antoine Fuqua’s limp follow-up to his 2014 original suggests he should not have changed tack. Reprising his role as agent-turned-vigilante Robert McCall, Washington is back righting wrongs and taking down a roomful of woman-beating spoilt rich kids.
Back in his Boston apartment block, he encourages at-risk teen Miles (Ashton Sanders) to do the right thing; there’s even time to help Orson Bean’s Holocaust survivor. But the plot (penned by returning scriptwriter Richard Wenk) properly kicks in when his former CIA contact Susan Plummer (Melissa Leo) is murdered and McCall is next on the hit list. The result is a generic action-thriller that rarely gets out of second gear (and like the first film, bears little relation to the original Edward Woodward-starring ’80s show).
Admittedly, Washington is always watchable, even if his role as the enigmatic do-gooder with a violent streak is poorly fleshed out. And there are decent set-pieces: McCall evading goons in his own panic room exudes palpable tension. But the showdown in a hurricane is just one of many silly ideas that cause this to stumble. James Mottram
A dull sequel. Aside from the ever-reliable Washington, there’s little to see here.
the Sony lot had seen better days… CertifiCate 15 DireCtor Antoine Fuqua Starring Denzel Washington, Pedro Pascal, Melissa Leo, Bill Pullman SCreenplay Richard Wenk DiStributor Sony running time 121 mins