I enjoyed this film. It’s more leisurely paced than most of its genre but I didn’t mind. Probably because Denzel Washington possesses such a powerful screen presence that watching him simply walk around and check out the scenery is captivating. The character McCall is based on the hoary cliche of the deadly ex-member of the clandestine services who’s gone native (so to speak) and just wants to live a quiet normal life… until something pushes him too far. If I have a criticism it’s that he’s too cool (that stopwatch thing) and too skilled. Yeah, he takes some damage, but it doesn’t slow him down. Nobody has a chance against him. The lead bad guy is very bad and is dispatched with appropriate agony. The violence is sharp and to the point and the fight scenes don’t drag on. Recommended.
The Equalizer vs Repairman Jack: lots of readers have commented that McCall rips off Jack. Could be. I can’t say. The Tomb was a bestseller in the fall of 1984; “The Equalizer” TV show debuted in the fall of 1985. But the TV McCall is all the cliches I wanted to avoid with Jack, everything I didn’t want Jack to be. The 2014 McCall even more so: he has no subtlety, no trickery, no sense of humor. He’s all brute force, while Jack is “Let’s you and him fight.” Denzel’s McCall is a sledgehammer; Jack is a trip wire. Many readers made mention of the similarities between Jack’s improvisations in “Interlude at Duane’s” and Act 3 of the film. I can only shrug. McCall is not Jack, and The Equalizer is an entertaining film.