Denzel Washington returns as Robert McCall, the retired CIA black ops operative turned vigilante who makes it his business to right the wrongs done to the exploited and oppressed. Now working day-to-day as a taxi driver, McCall springs into action, seeking justice and vengeance, when a friend of his is murdered.
While it can't really hold a candle to the blockbuster of the summer (and possibly the year) that is 'Mission: Impossible - Fallout', 'The Equalizer 2' delivers on all the action and thrills you want, hitting the pedal in pacing from the get-go (in fact, the plot runs almost too fast and it can be hard to keep up).
Denzel Washington is one of few actors who have taken on the older-guy-action-hero trend started by Liam Neeson in 'Taken' with ease, making it his own. His character's signature move is to time how quickly he can defeat the assailants he is surrounded by, and at one point he breathlessly takes out three guys in under 30 seconds. It is pretty awesome.
There is an attempt to bring in a social commentary as there is talk about the economy and race but it's more background than integrated into the storyline. Fans of 'Moonlight' will be delighted to see its young star Ashton Sanders turn up and give another great performance as a neighbour who befriends Robert named Miles. The scenes between Sanders' and Washington's characters are the most memorable and a key emotional point for the film.
One can't help but feel that 'The Equaliser 2' could have exploited the taxi driver set-up in a more intense manner akin to 'Collateral'. Additionally, the special effects in its hurricane-set finale are cringey. The situation is so over-the-top that it feels like 'The Hurricane Heist', the best bad movie of the year, except it's playing it straight. Generally speaking though, the film is as good as the first 'Equalizer' (which you don't need to have seen to watch this one, by the way), and if you can put logic and comprehension to the side, and just enjoy it for the action, you'll be satisfied by what's on offer.