The Equalizer 2

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The Equalizer 2
The Equalizer 2 poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAntoine Fuqua
Produced by
Screenplay byRichard Wenk
Based onThe Equalizer
by Michael Sloan
Richard Lindheim
Starring
Music byHarry Gregson-Williams
CinematographyOliver Wood
Edited byConrad Buff IV
Production
company
Distributed bySony Pictures Releasing[1]
Release date
  • July 20, 2018 (2018-07-20) (United States)
Running time
121 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$62–79 million[2]
Box office$190.4 million[3]

The Equalizer 2 (sometimes promoted as The Equalizer II or EQ2) is a 2018 American action thriller film[4][5] directed by Antoine Fuqua. It is the sequel to the 2014 film The Equalizer, which was based on the TV series of the same name. The film stars Denzel Washington, Pedro Pascal, Ashton Sanders, Melissa Leo, and Bill Pullman. It follows retired United States Marine and ex-DIA agent Robert McCall as he sets out on a path of revenge after one of his friends is killed. The film is the fourth collaboration between Washington and Fuqua, following Training Day (2001), The Equalizer (2014), and The Magnificent Seven (2016).

Talks of an Equalizer sequel began seven months prior to the release of the first film. The project was officially announced in April 2015. Filming began in September 2017, and took place in Boston as well as other areas around Massachusetts. It also marks the first time Washington has starred in a sequel to one of his films.

The Equalizer 2 was released in the United States on July 20, 2018 by Sony Pictures Releasing. The film has grossed $190.5 million worldwide and received mixed reviews, with critics praising Washington's performance and the film's action sequences, but criticizing the pacing and number of subplots.[6]

Plot[edit]

Former Marine and Defense Intelligence Agency spy Robert McCall now lives in a diverse apartment complex in urban Massachusetts. He is working as a Lyft driver and assists the less fortunate with the help of his close friend and former DIA colleague, Susan Plummer. McCall travels to Istanbul by train to retrieve a local bookstore owner's daughter who was kidnapped by her father. He also helps Sam Rubinstein, an elderly Holocaust survivor who is looking for a painting of his sister; the two siblings were separated when they were transported to different camps by the Nazis, but the painting has been auctioned off and Sam cannot prove that he owns it. After discovering that the apartment courtyard has been vandalised, McCall accepts an offer from Miles Whittaker, a young resident with an artistic but troubled background, to repaint the walls. At some point, McCall rescues Miles, who had been lured away by a gang to commit crimes for them.

One day, Susan and DIA operative Dave York, McCall's former teammate, are called to investigate the apparent murder-suicide of an agency affiliate and his wife in Brussels. When the two separate after reaching their hotel, Susan is accosted and killed in an apparent robbery by two men who got off the elevator on her floor. When he receives the news, McCall begins to investigate both her death and the case she was working on. After reviewing CCTV footage, McCall determines that the suspects' foreknowledge of her floor and the expertly-delivered fatal stab suggest that she was targeted. He also confirms that the incident Susan was looking into was staged to look like a murder-suicide, and that Susan's death is probably connected to it. McCall makes contact with his former partner, York, who had thought him dead for years, and informs him of his findings.

During one of his shifts driving, McCall is attacked by a man posing as a passenger. McCall kills the assailant and retrieves his phone, discovering that York was on the phone's call list. He confronts York at his home, where York admits that he became a mercenary after feeling used and discarded by the government, and that he himself finished Susan off, as she would have figured out that he was behind the Brussels killing. McCall leaves the house where York's three teammates – Kovac, Ari, and Resnik – are arriving across the street. McCall promises to kill the entire team before escaping safely by getting a ride from York's unsuspecting wife and children.

Resnik and Ari head to Susan's house to kill her husband Brian, but McCall helps him escape. York and Kovac break into McCall's apartment, where Miles is starting another paint job he had proposed to McCall. Monitoring via webcams, McCall instructs Miles to hide in a hidden passage concealed behind a book case; when York seems to close in on the passage's two-way mirror, McCall phones him to taunt him. Miles emerges from hiding shortly after York and Kovac seem to leave, but is captured as he opens the apartment's front door.

Per his taunts to York, McCall returns to his seaside hometown, now evacuated as a hurricane approaches. Kovac, Ari, and Resnik arrive and begin searching the town in gale-force winds, as York situates himself on the town's watchtower in a sniper's position. Kovac enters a tackle shop and is killed with a harpoon gun. When Ari heads toward the seaside, he is disturbed by pictures of Susan that he sees along the way; catching him off guard, McCall butchers him with a knife. McCall then enters his late wife's old bakery to lure in Resnik, who is eviscerated in a flour explosion set off by his own stun grenade. Enraged, York reveals that he has Miles tied up in the trunk of his car and begins shooting at it to lure McCall out, but he runs out of bullets after McCall foils his last shot. With the storm growing heavier, York is knocked down by a gust of wind before being confronted by McCall atop the tower. McCall gets the upper hand, kills York, and tosses him onto the rocks below, where he is washed away by the ocean.

Back in Massachusetts, Susan's information about Sam's sister's painting helps McCall to reunite Sam with his long-lost sister. Miles finishes repainting the apartment complex, returns to school and focuses on his art. Having moved back into his old house, McCall looks out towards the calm sea.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

On February 24, 2014, seven months before the release of The Equalizer, it was announced that Sony Pictures and Escape Artists were planning a sequel, with Richard Wenk penning the script again.[7][8] In early October 2014, Antoine Fuqua stated that there would be a sequel to the film only if audiences and Denzel Washington wanted it. He said it was an interesting character, and that the sequel could have more of an international flavor.[9]

On April 22, 2015, Sony officially announced a sequel, with Washington returning to his role as vigilante Robert McCall. Fuqua's returning was not yet confirmed.[10] In September 2016, producer Todd Black revealed that the script of the film was complete, and that Fuqua would return to direct, with shooting set to begin in September 2017.[11]

On August 21, 2017, Pedro Pascal was cast in an unspecified role.[12] Two days later, Melissa Leo and Bill Pullman were confirmed to reprise their roles from the first film, as Susan and Brian Plummer, and it was reported that the film would be produced by Jason Blumenthal, Black, Washington, Steve Tisch, Mace Neufeld, Alex Siskin and Tony Eldridge.[13] On August 24, 2017, Ashton Sanders joined the film to play a character who comes to consider Washington's McCall a father figure.[14] On March 25, 2018, it was revealed that Sakina Jaffrey had also been added to the cast.[15]

Filming[edit]

Principal photography on the film began in the South End area of Boston, Massachusetts, on September 14, 2017.[13][16][17] Filming also took place on Lynn Shore Drive in Lynn, Massachusetts,[18] the Powder Point Bridge,[19] as well as in Brant Rock, Massachusetts.

While Sony and other publications reported the film was made on a net production budget of $62 million, Deadline Hollywood stated their sources insisted the cost was "in the high [$70 million]" range after Massachusetts tax credits.[2]

Music[edit]

Harry Gregson-Williams returned to score this film. The soundtrack was released by Sony Classical.[citation needed]

Release[edit]

The Equalizer 2 was released on July 20, 2018, by Sony Pictures.[20] Sony had originally scheduled the film for a September 29, 2017, release,[21] and later pushed it back a year to September 14, 2018,[22] then brought it forward to August 3, 2018, before settling on its July 20 date.[23]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

The Equalizer 2 has grossed $102.1 million in the United States and Canada, and $88.4 million in other territories, for a total worldwide gross of $190.5 million, against a production budget of $62 million.[3]

In the United States and Canada, The Equalizer 2 was released alongside Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again and Unfriended: Dark Web, and was projected to gross $27–32 million from 3,388 theaters in its opening weekend.[24] It made $3.1 million from Thursday night previews, double the $1.45 million earned by the original film in 2014, and $13.5 million on its first day. It went on to debut to $35.8 million, finishing first at the box office. It also bested the opening of the first film ($34.1 million) and was the third-best domestic start for Washington.[2][25] It fell 61% to $14 million in its second weekend, finishing third behind newcomer Mission: Impossible – Fallout and Mamma Mia!, and in its third weekend the film grossed $8.8 million, dropping to fifth place.[26][27]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 51% based on 180 reviews, and an average rating of 5.6/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "The Equalizer 2 delivers the visceral charge of a standard vigilante thriller, but this reunion of trusted talents ultimately proves a disappointing case study in diminishing returns."[28] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 50 out of 100, based on 43 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[29] Audiences polled by PostTrak gave the film an 86% overall positive score and a 69% "definite recommend", while CinemaScore reported filmgoers gave it an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale, up from the first film's "A–".[2]

David Ehrlich of IndieWire gave the film a "C–", saying: "The good news is that the fans of Antoine Fuqua's The Equalizer—a bland and pulpy 2014 riff on the '80s TV series of the same name—are in for more of the same. The bad news is that the rest of us are, too."[30]

Possible sequel[edit]

In July 2018, when asked about the possibility of The Equalizer 3, Fuqua expressed interest in returning to direct.[31]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Film Releases". Variety Insight. Variety Media. Archived from the original on March 15, 2018. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d D'Alessandro, Anthony (July 22, 2018). "Shocker: 'Mamma Mia 2' Meets B.O. Waterloo As 'Equalizer 2' Is The No. 1 Winner That Takes It All With $35M+". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "The Equalizer 2 (2018)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  4. ^ "'The Equalizer 2' Film Review: Denzel Washington Returns as a Thinking Man's Action Hero". The Wrap.
  5. ^ "WATCH: Denzel Washington in new 'The Equalizer 2' trailer". ABS-CBN.
  6. ^ Slane, Kevin (July 19, 2018). "What critics have to say about the Boston-set 'Equalizer 2'". The Boston Globe. Boston Globe Media Partners. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  7. ^ Sneider, Jeff (February 24, 2014). "Sequel to Denzel Washington Thriller 'Equalizer' Moves Forward as Sony Brings Back Writer Richard Wenk". TheWrap. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  8. ^ Chitwood, Adam (February 24, 2014). "Sony Developing THE EQUALIZER 2 Following Positive Test Scores; Denzel Washington Expected to Return". Collider. Complex Media. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  9. ^ Lang, Brent (October 1, 2014). "'Equalizer' Director Antoine Fuqua: 'I Don't Believe I Should Filter the Violence'". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  10. ^ Variety Staff (April 22, 2015). "Denzel Washington's 'The Equalizer' to Get Sequel". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
  11. ^ Trumbore, Dave (September 22, 2016). "The Equalizer 2 Filming Starts in 2017; Antoine Fuqua Returns". Collider. Complex. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  12. ^ Ford, Rebecca (August 21, 2017). "'The Equalizer' Sequel Adds Pedro Pascal". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  13. ^ a b Busch, Anita (August 23, 2017). "Melissa Leo & Bill Pullman Seal Deals For 'Equalizer' Sequel". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
  14. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (August 24, 2017). "'Moonlight's Ashton Sanders Lands A Lead In 'Equalizer 2'". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved August 25, 2017.
  15. ^ India-West Staff Reporter (March 25, 2018). "Sakina Jaffrey Gets Role in Denzel Washington's Action-thriller 'The Equalizer 2'". India West. Retrieved March 31, 2018.
  16. ^ Jones, Tim (September 26, 2017). "Denzel Washington Is Filming a New Movie in Boston". New England Cable News. NBCUniversal. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
  17. ^ Goldstein, Meredith (September 20, 2017). "What movie is filming in the South End?". The Boston Globe. Boston Globe Media Partners. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
  18. ^ Grillo, Thomas (September 21, 2017). "So, have you seen Denzel Washington on Lynn shore drive?". The Daily Item. Essex Media Group. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
  19. ^ Goldstein, Meredith (October 24, 2017). "Duxbury's star: the Powder Point Bridge". The Boston Globe. Boston Globe Media Partners. Retrieved September 5, 2018.
  20. ^ Busch, Jenna (February 13, 2018). "Sony Release Dates for The Equalizer 2, Paul, Apostle of Christ". ComingSoon.net. Mandatory. Retrieved February 14, 2018.
  21. ^ McNary, Dave (June 11, 2015). "'The Equalizer' Sequel Has a Release Date". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  22. ^ Perry, Spencer (November 3, 2016). "Sony Shifts Release Dates for Jumanji, The Equalizer 2". ComingSoon.net. Mandatory. Retrieved November 5, 2016.
  23. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (September 21, 2017). "'The Equalizer 2' Pushes Up To August 2018; 'Paul, Apostle Of Christ' Eyes Easter Stretch". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
  24. ^ Rubin, Rebecca (July 18, 2018). "Box Office: 'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again' Dancing Past 'Equalizer 2' to $30 Million-Plus Opening". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  25. ^ Rubin, Rebecca (July 22, 2018). "Box Office: 'Equalizer 2' Narrowly Edges Past 'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again' to Land at No. 1". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  26. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (July 29, 2018). "'Mission' Accomplished: 'Fallout' $61M+ Opening Reps Record For Tom Cruise Franchise – Sunday". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  27. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (August 5, 2018). "'Mission' Notches Best 2nd Weekend For Franchise With $35M; 'Christopher Robin' No Eeyore With $25M – Sunday Box Office". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved August 8, 2018.
  28. ^ "Equalizer 2 (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
  29. ^ "The Equalizer 2 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
  30. ^ Ehrlich, David (July 18, 2018). "'The Equalizer 2' Review: Denzel Washington's First Sequel Is Hopefully Also His Last". IndieWire. Penske Business Media. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  31. ^ White, Bryan (July 30, 2018). "Antoine Fuqua on Possibility of 'Equalizer 3' and New Business Venture SoundFi". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved August 2, 2018.

External links[edit]