ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL
I’ve yet to see Denzel Washington in a rubbish film. Even if it’s a ‘shoot ‘em up’ caper, his performance will always deliver. The title alone: ‘The Equaliser’ gives a pretty good indication of what’s on offer. So with this in mind, we settled down to catch it at the weekend.
The basic story concerns Bob McCall a guy who knows how to handle himself (and some). Turning his back on his past, he’s dedicated himself to a quiet life working in a mega hardware store. When trouble crosses his path his old instincts come into play and, one by one, he sets about taking out and eliminating the bad guys.
So far, so predictable but, in Washington’s hands, he brings something fresh to the table. In the opening sequence, not a word is spoken. The audience is given a sneak preview into what it’s like to be McCall in his own habitat. Without giving too much away, he is revealed as a very precise man, to the point of OCD. It provides the perfect set-up to his working ‘methods’ when taking on nasty Russians. Measured, considered and calm, he always gives his adversary an opt-out (which they always decline) before acting with thrilling ruthlessness. I say ‘thrilling’ because as violent as he is, the bad guys are as vicious as they come, which brings me to the all round ‘baddie’ in the form of actor Marton Csokas. Urbane and seductive one moment, brutal and positively psychotic the next, he’s mesmerising on-screen and a worthy antagonist. The artwork tattooed on his body alone is a sight to behold.
As in all stories in this genre, the denouement stacks the odds impossibly in the Russians’ favour, but of course they fail to factor in how handy McCall is with a power drill and nail gun. Never again will I step into B&Q and prowl the aisles in quite the same way!