By Adam Staten
While not every weekend in the summer means the release of a new superhero film, apparently that doesn’t mean the same for sequels. Again, Hollywood loves sequels and they continue to be released at a rapid pace but this newest sequel is extremely different from most. In addition to Hollywood’s obsession with sequels, action flicks are another film genre that gets churned out fairly regularly. People love action films, no matter how graphic or grotesque the violence. Combine action and sequels and you’ve got a win-win for everyone. Hollywood rakes in the cash and theater-going audiences are thoroughly entertained.
The Equalizer 2, as made fairly apparent by its title, is a sequel to 2014’s The Equalizer. In the latest entry in this series, Denzel Washington (in his first career sequel ever) returns as the calm, quiet and soft-spoken Robert McCall. While McCall appears on the surface to be a mild mannered and easygoing fella, he harbors a deep, dark and often deadly secret. After leaving a trail of death and destruction in the first film, McCall is back to living a quiet life as a Lyft driver transporting an eclectic group of passengers from point A to point B. However, a cataclysmic, life-shattering occurrence forces McCall to return to his more violent, deadly tendencies.
Someone extremely close to McCall ends up dead and much like the first film, McCall vows to stop at nothing to exact revenge against those responsible. While the body count begins piling up and the blood starts flowing, McCall is ultimately forced to confront his past and those who played a major part in it.
While The Equalizer 2 is the follow up to The Equalizer, a film seemingly filled with non-stop action and violence, expecting the sequel to be the same kind of film will result in big disappointment. The Equalizer 2 is somewhat of a character study as it delves into the character that is McCall: his past, his present and what makes him tick. As such, the film is much slower paced with blood-spattering action sequences interspersed throughout the sequel.
The film, while not nearly as action-filled, is kind of all over the place as far as the story is concerned. The story hops back and forth quite a bit between McCall and events taking place overseas. This makes for a film that is often scattered and unfocused, taking entirely too long to connect the dots.
The Equalizer 2 fails to rise to the level of its predecessor in nearly every way. It’s not a bad film, it just disappoints way too often. 3 out of 5.