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The Equalizer 2
私刑教育2

Format(s) Available
DIGITAL
IMAX
D-BOX
Opening Date
30 Aug 2018
Rating
NC16 Violence and Coarse Language
暴力画面及些许粗俗语言
Runtime
121 mins
Language
English with Chinese subtitles
Genre
Action, Thriller
Director
Antoine Fuqua
Cast
Denzel Washington, Pedro Pascal, Ashton Sanders, Bill Pullman, Melissa Leo
Synopsis
Denzel Washington returns to one of his signature roles in the first sequel of his career. Robert McCall serves an unflinching justice for the exploited and oppressed – but how far will he go when that is someone he loves?
Reviews
By Say Peng  30 Aug 2018
Widely touted as Denzel Washington’s first sequel in his nearly 40-year-long career, The Equalizer 2 sees Washington reprise his role as Robert McCall, an aging ex-military spy on a personal mission to correct the injustices of the world.
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Widely touted as Denzel Washington’s first sequel in his nearly 40-year-long career, The Equalizer 2 sees Washington reprise his role as Robert McCall, an aging, bookish, Lyft-driving ex-military spy on a personal mission to correct the injustices of the world. He saves a little girl from traffickers, sends a sexually assaulted intern to the hospital before brutally beating up her attackers, helps an elderly Holocaust survivor look for a missing painting of his sister and tries to keep Miles, a young artistically-talented African-American boy (Moonlight’s Ashton Sanders) from falling into the wrong crowd.

The film, which moves at a meditative pace reflecting McCall’s resigned and philosophical outlook on life, shifts into third gear when McCall’s closest friend, Susan Plummer (Melissa Leo), is brutally murdered in her hotel while investigating a murder-suicide case involving an agent and his wife. McCall is naturally spurred into action, determined to solve the murder of his friend and get revenge. He discovers a connection between Plummer’s murder and the case she was investigating. Recognising he needs help, McCall approaches his old military friend York (Pedro Pascal), who long thought that McCall was killed in combat.

In the film’s final showdown, McCall the lone soldier goes to battle with Susan’s murderers. The climatic sequence takes place on a highly cinematic set, but, unfortunately, it is not exciting to watch, much like a lot of the action sequences. McCall dispatches his enemies as easily as he breathes, barely suffering a scratch. While cool to watch at first, a nearly invincible character makes for an uninvolving action movie. It also makes for a unsympathetic character, not helped by a thin perfunctory backstory about the death of his wife. It’s the credit of Washington that his presence lends a semblance of humanity to McCall, whom, if played by someone else, would have been easily forgettable. The saving grace, and the most rounded character, of the film is Ashton Sanders, who plays Miles with the same sensitivity and vulnerability that he brought to his role in Moonlight.

With The Equalizer 2, Director Antoine Fuqua intends to bring to light weighty social issues, mainly about how African-American youths from broken families can be easily led astray as well as how the US military’s negligence towards former soldiers who struggle to find employment after their military service. While unsubtle and moralistic at times (McCall can be seen reading  Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me), Fuqua manages to weaves them seamlessly into the narrative. The Equalizer 2 is a genre film with a cause, and one that is obviously close to the heart of Fuqua and Washington (probably the reason for Washington’s unprecedented reprisal of a role). If only, they cared to make McCall a little less perfect, a little less self-righteous, a little more flawed; in other words, a little more human.
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