The Equalizer (2014)

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The Equalizer (2014) poster

Former β€œAgency” operative and widower finds peace in civilian life through a combination of bibliotherapy, community engagement, and vigilantism.

This version of Robert McCall—bearing virtually no similarities to the Edward Woodward television series—eschews firearms, instead employing a variety of improvised weapons to carry out his many kills. By the climax, the movie effectively becomes a slasher film, with Washington as the offscreen-teleporting remorseless killer, picking off doomed Russian mobsters one by one. (He contemplates a man he’s just hanged with razor wire as dispassionately as The Shape admired his handiwork in Halloween.)

The film is absurdly overlong for its thin premise, but it only really drags when Fuqua overindulges in the slow-motion power walks. All the actors, from Washington on down, give better performances than the material deserves.