Equalizer, The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -4

Denzel Washington, Chloe Grace Moretz. Action/crime/thriller.

FILM SYNOPSIS: A man believes he has put his mysterious past behind him and has dedicated himself to beginning a new, quiet life. But when he meets a young girl under the control of ultra-violent Russian gangsters, he can't stand idly by - he has to help her.

PREVIEW REVIEW: I loved the TV series back in the 1980s. It was a great concept and it certainly sits well with pulp fiction fans who wish a vigilante would bring havoc to those who brutalize the defenseless. But itís not the 1980s anymore, so such stories canít be told without the storytellers assaulting us near as much as the villains do to their victims. That said, todayís filmgoers are so accustomed to R-content that they merely sit there, stuffing themselves with popcorn while gore galore further desensitizes them.

Such is the case, with this reboot.

But along with the excessive violence and the brutal language, as well as some sexual references that center around a teenage call girl, there is also a certain amount of intrigue as we try to ascertain just who and what Robert McCall was and is. Thereís a certain cat and mouse mystery that invokes pulp fiction of the past (The Big Sleep, The Maltese Falcon).

As always, Denzel Washington brings a dynamic to the screen each time he appears. And young Chloe Grace Moretz (Hugo, Kick Ass) once again proves that she has talent beyond her years. We donít see that much of her in the film, which may have been a mistake on the filmmakerís part. Like Denzel, her screen persona is electric.

The film holds our attention (though it is too long at 131 minutes). Thereís some humor to balance out the brutality and some wit from the lead character who seems part James Bond, part Jason Bourne, and part Sherlock Holmes. But really? Did this film have to contain so much gore and 87 uses of the f-word?

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Columbia Pictures

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: Harsh language throughout, though none from the lead, who makes a point of telling his co-workers at his day job in a Home Depot-like store not to do so; at least 87 uses of the f-word alone.

Profanity: Two profane uses of Godís name, again, not from the lead.

Violence: Much strong, bloody violence; isnít it weird watching a teenage girl get beat up - itís not real, but weíre being entertained by it Ė bothers me; another young woman is strangled to death; lots of guys get killed in battle by brutal and graphic means.

Sex: Sexual references, but no sexual situations.

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Some brief drinking.

Other: None

Running Time: 131 minutes
Intended Audience: Mature

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.