The Equalizer 2 marks the return of Denzel Washington as Robert McCall, a retired government assassin turned vigilante who uses his particular skillset to help people in need. Though Washington still has immense star power and tries his best to carry the film, the too-slow pacing and uninspired dialogue make this newest entry to the 'Old Man Action' genre a dud.
In this sequel to 2014’s surprise hit, McCall now works as a driver for ride-hail company Lyft. Still moonlighting as a sort of avenging angel for the less fortunate in the city of Boston, McCall is suddenly thrust back into the world of high-stakes espionage when his good friend and former boss Susan Plummer (Melissa Leo) is murdered.
Teaming up with his old partner and active government agent Dave York (Pedro Pascal), McCall must follow a dangerous trail of clues to uncover a deeper conspiracy behind Plummer’s death.
The main issue with The Equalizer 2 is the slow pacing and unfocused plot. There are frequently long shots of Denzel just staring at the sea, or a book, or his hands. Even during key action sequences, the flow is broken up by poor editing and overuse of tension-building music. There is also a side plot of McCall acting as a father figure to a troubled teen named Miles (Ashton Sanders), but it feels forced and tacked-on.
Viewers hoping for stellar set action pieces and awesome fight choreography will also be disappointed. Most of the good action scenes were already cut into the various trailers and the final showdown between McCall and a deadly team of trained killers is anticlimactic at best.
Unless you really really enjoy watching Denzel Washington stare at different things very deeply, you can give this sequel a pass.