There is definitely something fun about watching Denzel Washington tear his way across a movie screen like a human wrecking ball, and The Equalizer 2 has that in spades. Washington snaps bones, gouges eyes, and breaks necks like the rest of us scratch itches. It's a blast, and gets the adrenaline pumping. The problem is, that is just about the only entertaining thing about this movie.
The Equalizer 2 is just about the dumbest "high-brow" action movie I've seen in quite some time, and it's too bad, because the talent involved is top notch. Washington is excellent, as always; his calm, cheery demeanor hiding deep anger and barely contained rage. It's his movie, and his alone. There is a group of four villains from his past, and only one bothers to get a name you'll remember. In fact, I don't recall any of the others even having lines other than some screaming. The one villain we do get to know is telegraphed so obviously that the minute he shows up I called it. Kind of destroys the drama in a movie that could use more surprises.
The plot itself is also a dead fish - I challenge anyone to explain the movitations of the characters in this film. We need a MacGuffin to care about, and this movie doesn't have one. Washington's character, a seeming superman of foresight, does one of the dumbest things I've ever seen in a film, a mistake that does nothing except up the stakes in the overblown (literally) climax. Internal logic is thrown out the window for "emotional stakes" that ring very hollow.
The Equalizer 2 plays like a string of fight scenes that no one bothered to stitch together with a coherent story. Locations pop up that make no sense, locations supposedly abandoned for years yet left fully stocked with everyday items that can be used for plot-advancing purposes. Sloppy editing, with some whole scenes lasting 30 seconds and making little impact on the momentum of the story, is also evident, making me think this entire film was pasted together in the editing bay, with much story left on the floor.
This one is a mess, guys.