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The first “The Equalizer” was the kind of film that either didn’t know or didn’t care that the tough guy walking away from the explosion while never looking back was a long played out, often satirized cliché (spoofed by the Lonely Island song “Cool Guys Don’t Look At Explosions”). Very possibly the former. And that might be the perfect metaphor of this antiquated macho thriller series seemingly plucked from the ’90s that doubled down on clichés and its lead character played by Denzel Washington, a man out of time in the modern world in a dated movie that thinks it’s badass. He’s your uncool dad unaware of the trends or the world around him, only highly-skilled and lethal af when it comes to his vigilante view of punishment and righting wrongs.
Despite all its silliness (the “Jack Reacher“-like predictive fight scenes) and outdated familiarity, Fuqua’s first entry in this franchise about fighting injustice was, at times, ludicrous, dumb fun; Denzel cracking skulls in a manner so gruesome and absurd, you couldn’t help, but giggle with a little bit of “omg, lol,” diversion.
Antoine - Fuqua - Training - Day - Southpaw
Directed once again by Antoine Fuqua (“Training Day,” “Southpaw”), with an even deeper sense of self-seriousness, “The Equalizer 2” features no such amusements and feels just as out of touch with the world. It’s essentially more of the same, but nastier and at the same time trying to inject soulfulness into the proceedings. Written by Richard Wenk (“The Expendables 2“) this sequelizer even tries to act like a solemn drama at times, but it’s largely humorless, banal and uninvolving.
In the unremarkable picture, instead of working at the local hardware store—where he royally and creatively maimed his enemies in the previous film—this time retired CIA black ops operative Robert McCall (Washington) moonlights as a Lyft driver and one that will keep...
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