The Equalizer is a new action thriller film directed by Antoine Fuqua and written by Richard Wenk, based on the award-winning television series of the same name, which starred Edward Woodward for four seasons on CBS between 1985 and 1989. The film stars Denzel Washington as Robert McCall, Marton Csokas as Teddy, Chloë Grace Moretz as Teri, David Harbour as Masters, Haley Bennett as Mandy, Bill Pullman as Brian Plummer, and Melissa Leo as Susan Plummer. Melissa Leo guest starred as Irina Dzershinsky in the third episode of The Equalizer TV series entitled ‘The Defector’ in 1985. She played Ellen Block in the critically-acclaimed 2012 film Flight, which starred Washington as pilot ‘Whip’ Whitaker.
Denzel Washington plays Robert ‘Bob’ McCall, a man who believes he has put his mysterious Special Forces past behind him and dedicated himself to beginning a new, quiet life. But when McCall meets Teri, played by Chloë Grace Moretz, a young girl under the control of ultra-violent Russian gangsters, he can’t stand sit idly by. He has to help her. Armed with hidden skills that allow him to serve vengeance on anyone who would brutalize the helpless, McCall comes out of his self-imposed retirement and finds his desire for justice reawakened. If someone has a problem, if the odds are stacked against them, if they have nowhere else to turn, McCall will help. He is The Equalizer.
The film runs 131 minutes and is paced very deliberately to give suspenseful moments time to build. Once they do, the payoffs are real and the violence is palpable. You want to know who this guy McCall is, what is behind the skill set he displays so effortlessly in dispatching his enemies, and why he changed paths. He comes across as an emotionally wounded, yet deeply spiritual warrior who has lost the need to fight physically, and is interested in rebuilding his spirit and the spirit of those around him in a non-violent way if possible. But when that fails, he doesn’t hesitate to calculatingly and professionally utilize whatever tools he has available to inflict maximum and sometimes lethal damage.
The Equalizer opens Friday, September 26. It is rated R for strong bloody violence and language throughout, including some sexual references. Do not bring young children. Sony Pictures and Escape Artists are already planning for a sequel to the film.
Here are some fun facts about the movie and its star, Denzel Washington:
Denzel’s first television/motion picture appearance was shot in Nashville, mostly on the campus of Tennessee State University. He played Robert Eldridge, boyfriend of Olympic superstar TSU Tigerbelle Wilma Rudolph, and father of their daughter Yolanda, in Wilma in 1977. He met his wife Pauletta on set when both had roles in the movie. They were wed five years later, and are still happily married. In The Equalizer, McCall hangs out in a diner that has been around “since 1954,” and Denzel Hayes Washington, Jr., was born on December 28, 1954. Denzel is only the second Black actor (after Sidney Poitier) to win the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. He won for his portrayal of Det. Alonzo Harris in Training Day (2001), directed by Antoine Fuqua, who also directed The Equalizer. Washington is the first African American actor to receive two Academy Awards. He won Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Pvt. Trip in Glory (1989).