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The Equalizer (2014)

The Equalizer colour poster.jpg

When I went to see this with my dad, he had just one question afterwards:  where was Edward Woodward?! You might well ask. (Woodward died some time ago, sadly).  However Denzel Washington’s previous collaboration with writer/director Antoine Fuqua has been Oscar-winning (Training Day) and  dark moral dramas play to both their strengths so this reprise of the late great man’s 80s TV series was a logical generic step. Its screenplay is by  Richard Wenk, working from the long-running show written by Michael Sloan and Michael Lindheim. Robert McCall is working in a Macjob (probably Walmart) supervising shelf-stacking in security mode, he’s befriended an extremely young prostitute (Chloe Grace Moretz in a spiky performance) and this accidental association lures him out of his dark past in black ops to confront the balance of the scales of justice once again when she gets beaten up. She’s involved with a gang of horribly violent Russian brothel-keeping drugdealing thugs (not exactly a leap since every small town in Ireland has one) and they are fronted by fixer Teddy, played by Marton Csokas. What my dad should have been asking is, Who the hell is that?! Because Csokas has been hiding in plain sight for years, giving astonishing performances that make his co-stars look great. He plays sensual, damaged, abusive and empathetic in the same breath. Even when he’s trying to murder somebody. He is the reason that this film takes a different turn entirely into something extremely complex and difficult and strange and involving and sexy. He is an amazing actor, something I finally realised when I watched him in the TV mini-series Falcon (2012). Has nobody else noticed?! Someone give him a leading role. Please.

Marton Csokas

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About elainelennon

An occasional movie-watching diary.

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