- Denzel Washington's confident performance manages to sell his character for the most part
- Entertaining action scenes and cool ways how foes are dispatched
(- The entire atmosphere surprisingly enough evokes flashbacks of cheesy 80s action flicks)
- Littered with uninventive genre clichees ala "the quiet badass"
- The movie's message is not nearly as deep or meaningful as it wants to be
- Some pacing issues with slow scenes that drag on for too long and become repetitive
- Even at a running time of roughly over 2 hours, the movie feels unnecessarily long
- It's 2014 and the movie is still making use of the stale "I'm going to kill you all in under X seconds."-threat.
Based on the classic CBS TV series of the same name, The Equalizer, starring Denzel Washington in the titular role, is a movie that turns out to miss its own main goal in terms of a serious tone and deeper message, yet funnily enough at the same time resultingly evokes somewhat charming flashbacks to cheesy Schwarzenegger- and Stallone action flicks from the 1980s ala Over The Top and Commando that turn out to be the movie's biggest strength.
Though powerhouse actor Denzel Washington does fairly well in selling the retired black ops soldier McCall for the most part, nearly all of the movie's characters quickly show to have little else to offer than their clicheed one-dimensional character traits. With that said, The Equalizer is an incredibly predicatble movie that nevertheless can still be very entertaining if viewers go into it being aware of its silly overly serious nature and simply embrace it.
Ultimately, The Equalizer is a clicheed, full-on style over substance revenge-plot action movie, that takes itself quite too seriously but therefore becomes somewhat of a nice "retro-action-cheese-fest" in the process. The Equalizer is far away from being original in any sense, but viewers simply looking for another mindless lone hero action story could get a nice evening out of it with accordingly adjusted expectations. If it makes sense, The Equalizer could rank up to being an "entertaining bad movie" if you give it the chance,...but then it's still really nothing more.
Final Verdict: 3 out of 10