Sometimes, movies give you clues to tell the past of a character which affects the current story, and often times this happens in a sequel or prequel like the recent “Solo: A Star Wars Story”. Often times this is simply a plot device after a film is a success, but it is a challenge when they make a new film telling the whole story.
“The Equalizer 2” is the new film directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, The Magnificent Seven) and brings back Denzel Washington, Bill Pullman, an Melissa Leo while adding Pedro Pascal, Ashton Sanders, Orson Bean, Jonathan Scarfe, Sakina Jaffrey, and Kazy Tauginas. It has been a bit since Robert McCall (Washington) decided to start helping people in need, but he still tries to live a simple life in Boston as a Lyft driver. While investigating the death of his only real friend (Leo), he gets dragged into a bigger conspiracy that forces him to face his past on multiple fronts.
This film shows Boston well without being an ad for the local chamber of commerce. There are some dark scenes but they enhance the feel. One of the things that truly impressed me (minor spoiler alert) was how realistically the final act of the film takes place, as it happens during a huge storm and really gives the feel of what the characters are going through during it. Washington does the same caliber of acting from the original, and so does not only the returning supporting cast, but the new actors also make it all work well.
Although the pacing is good, there are a few moments where the story takes its time building to the climax, but the payoff makes up for it. I did like how this script goes more into the back story of McCall, dealing with who he is more and how his past really affects his present. Just like the first film, there is some violence and adult situations, and I will still recommend “The Equalizer 2” as an afternoon showing in the theaters.