• 04 Aug - 10 Aug, 2018
  • Mohammad Kamran Jawaid
  • Reviews

In the sequel to The Equalizer, Danzel Washington returns as Robert McCall, the vigilante who takes down low-key bad guys who may not show up on authorities’ radar. McCall, who now lives in Massachusetts, works as a Lyft driver (a service similar to Uber and Careem). The cases he undertakes are diverse and far-reaching.

In the beginning of the film he rescues a little girl kidnapped by her father from a moving train – and since it was a foreign trip, for some reason, Washington gets to play get-up as a Muslim (you can see almost the entire scene in the trailer). McCall’s Lyft service has him witnessing an abused internee – his second case – and then has him emotionally connect with an old holocaust survivor who is looking for the painting of the sister from whom he was separated during the second world war.

When not working on big problems, McCall finds peaceful ways to fight injustice. A neighbourhood Muslim woman’s garden is vandalised, and the wall is marked with bad language. Instead of bashing heads, McCall decides to repaint the wall.

This is where he decides to help a young wayward boy (Ashton Sanders) find his way as an artist, who is on the verge of becoming a gangster.

Antoine Fuqua, who aced the first part, re-teams with Washington for the fourth time (his last collaboration was The Magnificent Seven). The team-up has always been one of intelligence, with Fuqua finding ways to finesse his sense of camera and tone, and Washington maturing his standing as an actor who finds slight nuances to develop his character.

The seemingly-perfect combination doesn’t find much benefit from a disposable story that adds a revenge angle.

Washington and Fuqua, as best as they are, can’t do anything in this aspect but to roll with it. In all honesty though, in sequels one only has one of two choices: to create a loud, bombastic tale of high-stakes and bloated budgets, or make a low-key actioner that gives room to the actor and the director (if the latter has enough sense, that is). I am glad they stuck with the latter.•