Patrick B. McGuigan
'The Equalizer,' now in first-run release, is poignant and violent.
For adults who can stomach shocking on-screen killing, this is an important and socially redeeming addition to the incredible body of work Denzel Washington is crafting in Hollywood.
The main point of the film is not deaths so harsh that the film fully merits its “R” rating. Rather, the narrative soul of this film centers around how we should help each other in daily living.
Robert McCall (Washington) once served in U.S. black operations (“black ops”), beneath the radar of public scrutiny. Serving America, he learned how to do awful things -- efficiently.
This story pivots not on his deathly abilities, but on how he treats other people.
McCall mentors a young man with whom he works at “Home-Mart,” someone who is underestimated and taken for granted.
Unable to sleep at night, McCall haunts a short-order joint to drink tea and read literary classics. There he chastely befriends a young prostitute.
Love for others leads McCall to abandon dreams of peace.
'The Equalizer' is really about friendship and decency, and loving one another, with or without government sanction.
A parable on human decency and the limits of government, this is one of the best-crafted movies of 2014.
Note: This review is also appearing at The City Sentinel, a weekly newspaper in Oklahoma City.