The Equalizer, a loose adaptation of CBS’s late-’80s procedural, is the first time Denzel Washington and director Antoine Fuqua have worked together since Training Day, and the fact that this isn’t a bigger deal has more to do with Fuqua’s latter-day miscues than anything else. In fact, looking at Fuqua’s so-so output since — which includes Tears of the Sun, Shooter, and, most recently, Olympus Has Fallen — we may have to go back and retroactively give even more credit to Denzel (and his buddy Jake Hoyt, of course) for elevating that street-crime material to its beatific heights.
But luckily, elevating material is just what Denzel does: Take a look at the trailer for The Equalizer and let me know if you’d even give it a second thought if anyone but Washington (and, OK, maybe the increasingly immortal Liam Neeson) was starring in it. Like Man on Fire, once again, Denzel is spurred into lethal action by the endangerment of a young girl (this time, though, it’s one he barely knows); like 2 Guns, once again, the eradication of this problem will involve more than one gun. Yes, we’ve seen him do it before. No, we do not have a problem with that.