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
Music byHarry Gregson-Williams
CinematographyOliver Wood
Edited byConrad Buff IV
Distributed bySony Pictures Releasing[1]
Release date
  • July 20, 2018 (2018-07-20) (United States)
Running time
121 minutes
CountryUnited States
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 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 $190.4 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]


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 friend, Susan Plummer. McCall anonymously 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 is found to be auctioned off and Sam cannot prove that he owns it. After discovering that the apartment courtyard has been vandalized, McCall accepts an offer from Miles Whittaker, a young resident with an artistic but troubled background, to repaint the walls.

One day, Susan and DIA operative Dave York, McCall's former teammate, are called to investigate an apparent murder-suicide of an agent and his wife in Brussels. When the two separate after reaching their hotel, Susan is murdered in an apparent robbery. When he receives the news, McCall begins to investigate both her death and the case she was investigating. After reviewing elevator CCTVs, McCall determines that the assailants were hired to kill Susan since they knew on which floor her room was located. He also confirms that the incident into which Susan was looking was, in fact, a murder, and that Susan's death is connected to it. McCall informs York of his findings.

During one of his shifts driving, McCall is attacked by someone posing as a passenger. McCall kills the assailant and retrieves his phone to collect information on who had sent him. Breaking through a military grade encryption, McCall discovers that York ordered a hit on both him and Susan. York admits having done this and divulges on the phone that he himself finished Susan off, as she would have figured out that he was behind the Brussels killing. McCall meets with the three remaining teammates--Resnik, Ari, and Kovac--and threats are exchanged. Resnik and Ari head to Susan's house to kill her husband Brian. However, McCall intercepts Brian before the team can find him. York and Kovac later infiltrate McCall's apartment, capture Miles and deduce where McCall will go next.

As a hurricane moves in, McCall returns to his seaside hometown and readies himself for York and his team. The town has been evacuated and cordoned off, but York shoots the State Trooper guard to get in. Kovac, Ari, and Resnik go after McCall 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 stabs him and leaves him mortally wounded. McCall then enters his wife's old bakery to lure in Resnik, who is killed by a trap set for him. Enraged, York shoots at his car, which has Miles tied up in the trunk, and uses him as a hostage 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 before being confronted by McCall atop the tower. McCall gets the upper hand, stabs York and shoves him over the edge, killing him.

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 now calm sea.



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.[4][7] 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.[8]

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.[5] 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.[9]

On August 21, 2017, Pedro Pascal was cast in an unspecified role.[10] 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.[11] On August 24, 2017, Ashton Sanders joined the film to play a character who comes to consider Washington's McCall a father figure.[12] On March 25, 2018, it was revealed that Sakina Jaffrey had also been added to the cast.[13]


Principal photography on the film began in the South End area of Boston, Massachusetts, on September 14, 2017.[11][14][15] Filming also took place on Lynn Shore Drive in Lynn, Massachusetts,[16] the Powder Point Bridge,[17], 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]


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


The Equalizer 2 was released on July 20, 2018, by Sony Pictures.[18] Sony had originally scheduled the film for a September 29, 2017 release,[19] and later pushed it back a year to September 14, 2018,[20] then brought it forward to August 3, 2018, before settling on its July 20 date.[21]


Box office[edit]

The Equalizer 2 has grossed $102.1 million in the United States and Canada, and $88.3 million in other territories, for a total worldwide gross of $190.4 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.[22] 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][23] 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.[24][25]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 51% based on 175 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."[26] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 50 out of 100, based on 43 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[27] 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."[28]

Possible sequel[edit]

In July 2018, when asked about the possibility of The Equalizer 3, Fuqua expressed interest in returning to direct.[29]


  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.
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  10. ^ Ford, Rebecca (August 21, 2017). "'The Equalizer' Sequel Adds Pedro Pascal". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ 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.
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  17. ^ Goldstein, Meredith (October 24, 2017). "Duxbury's star: the Powder Point Bridge". The Boston Globe. Boston Globe Media Partners. Retrieved September 5, 2018.
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  23. ^ 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.
  24. ^ 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.
  25. ^ 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.
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