ABC Film Challenge – Action – E – The Equalizer 2 (2018)

Director: Antoine Fuqua

Writer: Richard Wenk (Screenplay) Michael Sloan, Richard Lindheim (Television Show)

Starring: Denzel Washington, Pedro Pascal, Ashton Sanders, Orson Bean, Bill Pullman, Melissa Leo

 

Plot: Robert McCall serves an unflinching justice for the exploited and oppressed, but how far will he go when that is someone he loves?


Tagline – There will be consequences

Runtime: 2 Hours 1 Minute

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Slow Action Film

 

Story: The Equalizer 2 starts as we see how Robert McCall (Washington) driving around helping people when he learns they have been mistreated, just being a good guy around the neighbourhood. Robert still has his connection with the agency in Susan (Leo) who gives him the information to help with problems she can’t deal with.

After she is killed investigating a case, Robert reveals himself to his former partner Dave York (Pascal) who has believed he has been dead for years, to help get the people that killed their friend, all while trying to be a mentor to young man Miles (Sanders) who is being drawn into the gangster life.

 

Thoughts on The Equalizer 2

 

Characters – Robert McCall no longer works at Home Depot, he is a driver for hire around the town and he listens to the people’s stories and where he sees fit to step in to solve the problems. This time somebody makes it personal and he must come out from the shadows to get revenge. Dave York is the former partner of Robert’s who believed he was dead, he sees his new partner killed and is looking for answers to why his friend stayed away so long. Miles is a streetwise teenager on the brink of making a terrible decision to join a gang, Robert aims to guide him to make the right decision. Sam is an elderly client who Robert wants to help out, he is here to show just how good natured Robert is. Brian and Susan Plummer are the only connections with the agency Robert has, he will do anything to help them, as they help him with little matters he has.

PerformancesDenzel Washington is an actor that will always give us good performances, this is no different because we get to see the calm character and the deadly which he can switch between without blinking an eye. When we look at the rest of the cast, they are good without being anything overly memorable, with the villain being forgettable and the supporting arcs of the story not being given the time to truly focus on.

StoryThe story here continues to show how deadly, but fair Robert McCall can be, he wants to help people out, give them a chance to better their lives or admit to their mistakes. This time the story becomes personal after one of his friends in the agency is killed, sending him on a warpath against anybody involved. This side of the story is easy to watch, the more intense side of the story which is good to watch. The sentimental side of the story is interesting because we see how the problems in the world can be solved with moments of kindness which Robert shows different generations of people in his life, trying to teach people how to treat people, this is nice to watch, only for the two sides of the story struggling to connect to each other.

Action/CrimeThe action in the film is good when we get it, the final sequences being the highlight of the action, the crime side shows how one man can use his connections to get a job done to clean up the streets.

SettingsThe film shows Robert operating in a normal big city, this shows us how stories can be found in most corners for most people.


Scene of the Movie –
The showdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The pacing between the serious side stories and the action heavy main story.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable action film that does everything you would imagine, it isn’t going to be one of the greatest just one you can enjoy without worrying too much about what is going on.

 

Overall: Simple and enjoyable action.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – The Mechanic (2011)

Director: Simon West

Writer: Richard Wenk, Lewis John Carlino (Screenplay) Lewis John Carlino (Story)

Starring: Jason Statham, Ben Foster, Tony Goldwyn, Donald Sutherland, Jeff Chase, Mini Anden, James Logan

 

Plot: Follows an elite hit man as he teaches his trade to an apprentice who has a connection to one of his previous victims.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Easy to Watch Action Film

 

Story: The Mechanic starts as we learn how skilled Arthur Bishop (Statham) a mechanic better known as an assassin, he gets the job done and is one of the best, learning from his mentor Harry McKenna (Sutherland).

When the latest assignment gives Arthur the task of killing his mentor he starts by questioning things but goes along with the job anyway as the boss Dean (Goldwyn) has the proof of the dirty deeds Harry has been involved in.

Feeling guilty for his involvement in Harry’s death, Arthur takes his son Steve (Foster) under his wing teaching him the ways of the trade.

 

Thoughts on The Mechanic

 

Characters/PerformanceArthur Bishop is a mechanic, a fixer, an assassin and he is the very best, he can make kills look like accidents or even frame someone else. After his latest job he takes the son of the victim under his wing breaking but teaching the skills he has learnt. Steve is the song of Arthur’s mentor, he has been a loose cannon through his life and now he gets focus as he learns under Arthur. Dean runs this secret group, setting up the jobs for the mechanics, he doesn’t click as well with Arthur.

Performance wise, Jason Statham is one of the easiest go to guys for this type of film and here you can see why, not many lines and action-packed performance. Ben Foster once again shows us he can become any character. Tony Goldwyn is fine, but it would be fair to say we don’t see much from his character.

StoryWe are thrown into a world of hitmen, boss and victims which is good for the film, we can always enjoy this type of film because all the characters are usually shady even if they live by codes. We get what we expect without it being too much but in the world now we have an elite version of this style of film in John Wick.

Action/Crime The action is all big like you would expect, we have plenty of shoot outs and a brilliant escape off the side of a building. The crime side is the world we have be placed into, we know these are criminal assassins which makes us understand how they could be in everyday life.

SettingsEach setting is uses as almost a level for the character to overcome, we know just where they are going and the next fight will become more difficult.

Special EffectsAll the effects make this a fine enjoyable watch throughout with nothing not suiting the world we are in.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable action film that most action film fans will enjoy, it isn’t difficult to follow but does lack a villain you feel is menacing enough to challenge our lead.

 

Overall: This is late night action.

Rating

 

 

Original v Remake Weekend – The Magnificent Seven (2016)

Director: Antoine Fuqua

Writer: Nic Pizzolato, Richard Wenk (Screenplay) Akira Kurosawa, Shinobu Hashimoto, Hideo Oguni (Original Screenplay)

Starring: Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Byung-hun Lee, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Martin Sensmeier, Haley Bennett, Peter Sarsgaard

 

Plot: Seven gunmen in the old west gradually come together to help a poor village against savage thieves.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Remake

 

Story: The Magnificent Seven starts as we see how Bartholomew Bogue (Sarsgaard) is terrorising a small village that he wants to mine for gold, the residents have 3-weeks to pay his demands. Emma Cullen (Bennett) leaves her town in search for men to help the town fight back, first port of call is warrant officer Chisolm (Washington) who looks to port together men.

The men recruited include hustler Josh Faraday (Pratt), outlaw Vasquez (Garcia-Rulfo), quick shot Billy Rocks (Lee), Goodnight Robicheaux (Hawke) veteran soldier Jack Horne (D’Onofrio) and lone native American Red Harvest (Sensmeier). The men arrive in town and look to train the villagers for battle as they look to shut down Bartholomew’s group once and for all.

 

Thoughts on The Magnificent Seven

 

Characters – Chisolm is a warrant collector that gets recruited to protect the small town, we see how he can bring together the group of different backgrounds to unite them to fight for the right thing. Faraday is the hustler and usually the one ready for a joke. Goodnight Robicheaux is the legend in the field an expert marksman but still dealing with the consequences of what happened in the war. Jack Horne is the experienced soldier that will surprise his enemies. Billy Rocks is the knives expert that will kill you with a knife before you can get a shot off. Vasquez is the outlaw on the run but gets Chisolm off his back to join the tea, Red Harvest is a native American joining the team giving him a purpose in life after going away from his tribe. The seven don’t get too much character development outside of Chisolm, Faraday and Goodnight. Bartholomew Bogue is the villain of the piece, he will take what he wants not caring who he steps on to get rich.

PerformanceGoing into the performance we will only look at the bigger names, Denzel is as always, a great lead for any movie and fits his role, Chris Pratt is likewise because we all know he can be a joker. Ethan Hawke gets his reunion with Washington and the two show they have great screen chemistry together. Peter Sarsgaard does seem to be a go to guy for a villain role and you can believe him even if what we get is nothing overly fresh. The performances throughout the film are good from everyone involved.

StoryThe story is one that we know has been told before, be it in the original of the same name or even the original before that in Seven Samurai. Small village must recruit fighters to take on savages, that is the core of the story, I did like how this time we seem to get men from different backgrounds bringing their own styles to the fight. I did also find this one easier to follow than the 60’s one but I also don’t think this story goes quite as deep.

Action/Adventure/WesternThe action is everything you have come to know about the action side of a western movie, plenty of shoot outs, while this is main just one giant one that last about 45 minutes, the adventure side comes from the training the characters in the village go through and how the 7 strangers unite to protect the town.

SettingsEach setting looks great and makes you feel like you are part of this world, without feeling out of place.

Scene of the Movie – One-eyed Jacks.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I do feel the villain did better development.

Final ThoughtsWhen it comes to remakes we always get that one debate, did we need it? The answer I feel here is yes, the film need a makeover with a modern all-star cast with different cultural backgrounds and that all works here.

 

Overall: Enjoyable remake that could be enjoyed by the modern audience.

Rating

 

 

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016)

jackDirector: Edward Zwick

Writer: Richard Wenk, Edward Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz (Screenplay) Lee Child (Book)

Starring: Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders, Aldis Hodge, Danika Yarosh, Partick Heusinger, Holt McCallany, Judd Lormand, Robert Knepper

 

Plot: Jack Reacher must uncover the truth behind a major government conspiracy in order to clear his name. On the run as a fugitive from the law, Reacher uncovers a potential secret from his past that could change his life forever.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Action Thriller

 

Story: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back starts by showing us just how capable Jack Reacher (Cruise) is in a fight, solving crimes and getting out of trouble, we also get to see the building relationship between Reacher and Turner (Smulders) his connection in DC.

When Turner gets arrested for espionage Reacher wants to search for answers but his life has a bigger surprise when he is informed that he has a daughter Samantha (Yarosh). When Reacher becomes framed within the same conspiracy he must break Turner out and work with her to find the truth and this time they are an even more ruthless assassin known as The Hunter (Heusinger) looking to clean up the militaries mess.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is the second instalment of a potential mega spy series as we see Jack Reacher become the target this time rather than just helping an innocent soldier. The idea that there is a government conspiracy going on that stronger soldiers in the military want to expose have to escape before they become the latest victims, simple, and of yeah there is an awkward road trip with an annoying teenager feel about this film. The comic tone just doesn’t seem to fit on the levels it should do either because we need this to really be a series film only.

Cruise is great in this role which he really has made his own while Cobie Smulders show she is just as kick ass in the leading role with in an action film. Patrick Heusinger is a step up from the rival from the Jai Courtney role last time around but it is the inclusion of the daughter character which really drags this down. The inclusion makes everything come off more user friendly rather than the rough around the edge story which it needs to be.

 

Overall: Doesn’t reach the levels of the first film but is still a fun action mystery film.

Ratingcard

 

 

The Equalizer (2014)

logoDirector: Antoine Fuqua

Writer: Richard Wenk (Screenplay) Michael Sloan, Richard Lindheim (Television Show)

Starring: Denzel Washington, Marton Csokas, Chloe Grace Moretz, David Harbour, Haley Bennett, Bill Pullman, Melissa Leo

 

Plot: A man believes he has put his mysterious past behind him and has dedicated himself to beginning a new, quiet life. But when he meets a young girl under the control of ultra-violent Russian gangsters, he can’t stand idly by – he has to help her.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Modern Vigilantism

 

Story: The Equalizer starts by showing Robert McCall (Washington) going about his daily routine in his OCD ways. Robert works in a hardware factory called Home Mart where he is loved by the fellow employees. Robert has a very secretive past that the fellow workers try to figure out about Robert also has a friendship with prostitute Teri (Moretz) who he ends up meeting in a late night diner every night.

After Teri gets beaten up by her pimp Robert decides to take a stand by trying to save her, but when the deal doesn’t happen Robert takes matters into his own hands and making enemies with a Russian mob. The Russians send in Teddy (Csokas) a fixer to investigate what happened and after figuring out it wasn’t a rival gang they start looking elsewhere. Robert finds himself turning into a vigilante and trying to stop corrupt cops but the investigation that involves looking for Teri could put the Russians on a path with Robert. Robert having completed his two good deeds Robert goes onto returning to his normal life with little excitement.

Robert continues his good deeds after the store he works at is robbed but he is unaware that the Russian’s are looking for him. After he finds out about the Russian’s Robert decides to take them down along with the corrupt cops once and fall all using his connection with the agency.

The Equalizer takes us into a story that is easy to follow but hard to believe as we follow the one man crusade against a whole mob. The pace of the film comes off nicely as certain other films with a similar subject had slow patches which lost the intense level they could have had. This keeps everything running by showing both sides knowing and keeping Robert’s past hidden long enough to leave us wondering. My negative about this film is how Robert managed to take on all those people without suffering any injuries when we know how ruthless the Russian are. In the end this is an extremely watchable film that could be enjoyed by all the fans. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Denzel Washington: Robert McCall quiet man who is loved by the people he works with but keeps everything about his personal life very secretive, but when he befriends a young prostitute he gets beaten up by her pimp and Robert returns to his former life taking out the Russians. Denzel gives a good performance in the leading role dominating the screen every time he is on it. (8/10)

 robert

Marton Csokas: Teddy ruthless fixer for the Russians who ends up entering into a cat and mouse battle for one up man ship against Robert. Marton makes for a good villain but in the end comes off very much generic. (6/10)

teddy

Chloe Grace Moretz: Teri prostitute who gets beaten up that leads to the start of Robert’s vigilante run against the Russians. Chloe does a good job in the supporting role but could have been used for a longer time. (6/10)

teri

Support Cast: The Equalizer has a supporting cast of work colleagues who don’t know about Robert’s secret but who he keeps safe. It also has the corrupt cops working for the Russians who get what is coming to them.

 

Director Review: Antoine Fuqua – Antoine does a good job directing this vigilante thriller. (8/10)

 

Action: The Equalizer has good combat scenes that are more about flashy moves to win quickly. (8/10)

Thriller: The Equalizer pulls you in to what will happen next but slowly paced before big final fight. (7/10)

Settings: The Equalizer uses the settings well to show how each character enters into different worlds to their own normal one. (7/10)

Suggestion: The Equalizer is one for the action fans to enjoy. (Action Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Final showdown.

Worst Part: Seems a bit too much for one man to do.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final showdown.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $192 Million

Budget: $55 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 12 Minutes

Tagline: What do you see when you look at me?

Trivia: Actress Chloe Grace Moretz fought for the role of Teri when she found out it was written for someone of the age of 24. She presented herself so well, the director immediately made the change.

 

Overall: Good Action Thriller

Rating 75