The Equalizer 2

Writing Movie “WRONGS

By Jim West

The Equalizer 2

Directed by Antoine Fuqua

Written by Richard Wenk

Denzel and Fuqua have made some great films together.  Training Day won Denzel his Oscar.  In 2014, they gave us the first Equalizer film and it was a surprise hit to see a former agent with a penchant for timing his fights and pre-calculating every move like a chess player.  This was unique because the character Denzel plays, Robert McCall, uses everything in his surroundings as weapons.  It can be a teapot, a chair, or even bags of flour.  With a solid first film to build upon they just needed to have a worthy opponent/villain for McCall to take on.

Here comes the spoilers.

Robert McCall (Denzel) is settled into Massachusetts area.  He is a Lfyt driver who helps those passengers he feels have been wronged.  In one case he is given an obviously assaulted female to drive him.  He comes back to the building and delivers some justice to the people who assaulted her.  He helps a mother get her daughter back, and he even helps an old man reunite with his long lost sister.  He even takes a father type role in a young artist’s life to help him stay away from gangs and violence of the streets.  These elements are nice building blocks to show how he is still utilizing his skills to help those in need.  He meets his old friend, Susan Plummer, who is still ‘not’ working for the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency).  She visits him before being called out to Brussels to investigate a murder/suicide of a former DIA operative that worked for McCall’s former team.  While she is out there investigating, she begins to pick up that this was not a suicide.  She heads to her hotel room to prepare to fly back to the states when she is assaulted in her room by two men and eventually murdered.  Robert decides to investigate who murdered his friend.  He approaches his old teammate, Agent Dave York, to work with him to find who had her killed.

Now what they do is have Agent York end up being the buddy turned bad guy.  This is just too cliché.  Denzel meets him in his house with his family there.  Let there be redemption with Dave.  Instead of him being a ‘surprise’ bad guy, let him be a puppet.  Let there be some hidden unknown figure pulling strings and they turned McCall’s former team into guns for hire.  When they are sent to take out McCall they are reluctant, but following orders as they are all in too deep.  McCall tries to not kill anyone.  So he has to take the out, but just render each unconscious.  This still has personal stakes as they killed his friend, but McCall is learning forgiveness and redemption as his past is not so clean either and he is also trying to atone with the young artist kid.  He eventually saves his team, but then a second team is sent in to kill them ass as the hidden real bad guy didn’t trust the team to take out McCall.  Some of the team is killed, but we leave Dave and Robert alive to setup a third Equalizer film where we know they are going to hunt down this person pulling the strings.

This film could have been much better had it raised the emotional and personal stakes with his former team being forced to kill him instead of wanting to kill him.  Having him show mercy for the ones who killed his friend Susan would be a huge reaction for Robert as a character.  Finally this would setup an epic third film in the Equalizer franchise with him and members of his old team teaming up one more time to render justice not only for Susan, but to free them of whatever trapped them into committing crimes.  This would leave the audience wanting more.  Resolve some plotlines, but leave the big one unraveled for another film.  That would make this film great.

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