A Denzel Washington-led The Equalizer 2 is on the way. You’d think that after saving the day and rescuing the girl in a grand display of worryingly satisfying violent manner, the Equalizer, or Robert McCall as we’ve come to know him, played by Denzel Washington, would have earned a well-deserved break.
Well, Sony has other plans and decided to give the old man another crack at equalizing odds with a sequel to the 2014 motion picture, which has grossed $192,3 million worldwide on a $55 million budget.
Reportedly, Sony had always intended for ‘The Equalizer’ to be a franchise vehicle for Washington ever since the movie had the highest rated test screening for any R-rated Sony movie.
Besides Denzel Washington the original film – which in turn is based on the 1985 TV show – starred ‘Kick-Ass’ star Chloe Grace Moretz and was directed by Antoine Fuqua, whom Washington had first teamed up with for his Academy-Award winning performance in ‘Training Day’ (2001).
With the upcoming ‘Magnificent Seven’, which reunites Fuqua and Washington with ‘Training Day’ co-star Ethan Hawke, ‘The Equalizer’ sequel – should both Fuqua and Washington return – would mark the duo’s fourth collaboration and Denzel Washington’s first sequel in his lengthy and accomplished career.
While Denzel Washington is expected to return, no word is out on the rest of the cast, nor on the man or woman behind the camera.
So where does that leave us for the time being? Do we want to see Denzel deliver more gruesome, DIY kills (as we saw in the first movies climax, which kind of felt like the R-rated, grown-up ‘Home Alone’ version we’d secretly been waiting for)? Yes and no. If Sony’s creatives stay, well, creative and come up with an original storyline, ‘The Equalizer’ has the potential to be a genuinely exciting Action franchise for adults. If not, there are legitimate worries to be had about this turning into another ‘Taken’ dilemma that leaves you wondering at what point one can really still care about washed-up storylines of kidnappings and rescue missions in action films that lack depth, yet try to fake it and only end up taking themselves too seriously.
Luckily though, Denzel Washington is not Liam Neeson and, apart from age, gender and profession, the closest thing the two have in common are the vague storylines of Washington’s ‘Man on Fire’ (a great movie) and Neeson’s aforementioned ‘Taken’ (well… it sold well).
Let’s just hope ‘Equalizer 2’ has more in common with the former, rather than the latter. I for one will be confident once I know that Washington and Fuqua are both securely on board for the sequel and aware they have a perceptive adult audience that is ready for more and better.
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