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The Equalizer 2

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The Equalizer 2
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAntoine Fuqua
Written byRichard Wenk
Based onThe Equalizer
by Michael Sloan
Richard Lindheim
Produced by
Starring
CinematographyOliver Wood
Edited byConrad Buff IV
Music byHarry Gregson-Williams
Production
companies
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 (also promoted as The Equalizer II and EQ2) is a 2018 American vigilante action-thriller film 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, as well as the second installment of The Equalizer trilogy. The film stars Denzel Washington in the lead role, Pedro Pascal, Ashton Sanders, Melissa Leo, Bill Pullman, and Orson Bean in his final film role. It follows ex-Marine and retired DIA officer Robert McCall as he sets out on a path of revenge after one of his friends is murdered. The film is the fourth collaboration between Washington and Fuqua, following Training Day (2001), The Equalizer (2014), and The Magnificent Seven (2016), and marks the first time Washington has starred in a sequel to one of his films.

Talks of a 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 and other areas in Massachusetts.

The Equalizer 2 was released in the United States on July 20, 2018, by Sony Pictures Releasing. The film received mixed reviews and was a commercial success, like its predecessor, grossing $190 million worldwide. Another sequel, The Equalizer 3, was released on September 1, 2023.

Plot[edit]

After taking down Pushkin's operations[a], Robert McCall works as a driver for Lyft and assists the less fortunate with the help of his close friend and former DIA colleague Susan Plummer. Robert travels to Istanbul to retrieve the kidnapped 9-year-old daughter of bookstore owner Grace Braelick. With the assistance of Susan, Robert gathers information for Sam Rubinstein, an elderly Holocaust survivor looking to recover a painting of his long-dead sister. After Robert returns home to find that his apartment's courtyard has been vandalized, he accepts an offer from Miles Whittaker, a troubled teen resident with artistic talent, to paint a mural on the walls.

Susan and DIA officer Dave York, Robert's former partner, are called to investigate the murder-suicide of an agency affiliate and his wife in Brussels. At their hotel, Susan is accosted in her room and killed during what seems to be a robbery. Robert determines that the expertly delivered fatal knifing means that Susan was targeted and that the murder-suicide was also staged, informing Dave of his findings. During one of his Lyft runs, Robert is attacked by an assassin posing as a passenger. He kills the man and retrieves his mobile phone, discovering Dave's number on the phone's call list.

Robert confronts Dave at his home, and Dave confesses that after his unit was disbanded by the government, he and the rest of the members of his team became contract killers. He confirms that he killed Susan because she would have figured out that he was behind the Brussels killings. Robert leaves the house and confronts Dave's teammates: Kovac, Ari, and Resnik. Before departing, he promises to kill them all to avenge Susan's death, and his only regret is that he can only kill them once. Resnik and Ari head to Susan's house to kill her husband Brian, but Robert helps him escape. Dave and Kovac break into Robert's apartment, where Miles is painting the walls. Monitoring the apartment via webcams, Robert directs Miles to hide in a secret safe room. He makes a call to Dave to lure him away. Miles emerges from hiding, only for Dave and Kovac to kidnap him as they are still waiting outside for him to leave the apartment.

Dave deduces that Robert has gone to his evacuated stormy seaside hometown (ostensibly, Brant Rock, Massachusetts). Once there, Kovac, Ari, and Resnik start searching the town in hurricane winds while Dave positions himself on top of the watchtower. Robert stealthily subdues Dave's teammates one by one. He assassinates and impales Kovac with a harpoon fired from a speargun before he stabs, cuts and slashes Ari to death in multiple places with two knives. Then, Robert lures Resnik to a trap in the bakery, setting off an explosion that dispatches Resnik with his own flash bang. Dave reveals that he has Miles tied up and gagged with duct tape in the trunk of his car and shoots at it in an attempt to lure Robert out. Dave accuses Robert of failing to save Susan and trying to save Miles, but Robert confronts Dave atop the tower and their fight ends with Robert stabbing Dave in the chest with his own knife, followed by cutting the back of his neck and then kicking Dave off the tower. Robert then rescues Miles and the two retreat into his home to bind their wounds and wait until the hurricane is over.

Back in Boston, Susan's information about Sam's painting helps Robert reunite Sam with his long-lost sister. Miles finishes painting the mural on the apartment complex's brick wall, returns to school, and focuses on his art. Robert's neighbor, Fatima, notices Miles' new mural and studies it with a smile. Having moved back into his old house, Robert looks out towards the calm sea.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Development and casting[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.[4][5] 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.[6]

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.[7] 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.[8]

On August 21, 2017, Pedro Pascal was cast in an unspecified role.[9] 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.[10] On August 24, 2017, Ashton Sanders joined the film to play a character who comes to consider Washington's McCall a father figure.[11] On March 25, 2018, it was revealed that Sakina Jaffrey had also been added to the cast.[12]

Filming[edit]

Principal photography on the film began in the South End area of Boston, Massachusetts, on September 14, 2017.[10][13][14] Filming also took place on Lynn Shore Drive in Lynn, Massachusetts,[15] the Powder Point Bridge in Duxbury, Massachusetts,[16] as well as in Brant Rock, Massachusetts. The final action scene was filmed here. Interior scenes were filmed in a studio in Canton, 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]

Release[edit]

The Equalizer 2 was released on July 20, 2018, by Sony Pictures.[17] Sony had originally scheduled the film for a September 29, 2017, release,[18] but on November 3, 2016, the film was pushed to September 14, 2018,[19] and then on September 28, 2017, the release date was brought forward to August 3, 2018, but then on February 13, 2018, it got settled on its July 20, 2018 release.[20]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

The Equalizer 2 grossed $102.1 million in the United States and Canada, and $88.3 million in other territories, for a total worldwide total of $190.4 million, against a production budget of $62 million.[3]

In the United States and Canada, The Equalizer 2 was released alongside two other sequels, 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.[21] 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][22] 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 grossed $8.8 million, dropping to fifth place.[23][24]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 52% based on 211 reviews, with 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."[25] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 50 out of 100, based on 43 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[26] Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale, up from the first film's "A−", while those polled by PostTrak gave it an 86% overall positive score, with 69% saying they would definitely recommend it.[2]

David Ehrlich of IndieWire gave the film a "C−", saying: "The good news is that 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 the rest of us are too."[27]

Sequel[edit]

In August 2018, Fuqua announced his plans to continue the film series, expressing interest in the plot taking place in an international setting.[28]

By January 2022, a third Equalizer film was confirmed to be in development, with Washington to return in the titular role. Fuqua is slated to direct the film. Principal photography was scheduled to commence sometime in 2022, with Washington announcing that the film would be the next he makes.[29][30][31][32][33][34]

In April 2022, Sony confirmed that the film was set to be released on September 1, 2023.[35][36] Filming began in October 2022 on the Amalfi Coast in Italy.[37]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ As depicted in The Equalizer (2014)

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. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "The Equalizer 2 (2018)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ Lang, Brent (October 1, 2014). "'Equalizer' Director Antoine Fuqua: 'I Don't Believe I Should Filter the Violence'". Variety. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  7. ^ "Denzel Washington's 'The Equalizer' to Get Sequel". Variety. April 22, 2015. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
  8. ^ Trumbore, Dave (September 22, 2016). "The Equalizer 2 Filming Starts in 2017; Antoine Fuqua Returns". Collider. Complex. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  9. ^ Ford, Rebecca (August 21, 2017). "'The Equalizer' Sequel Adds Pedro Pascal". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  10. ^ a b Busch, Anita (August 23, 2017). "Melissa Leo & Bill Pullman Seal Deals For 'Equalizer' Sequel". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
  11. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (August 24, 2017). "'Moonlight's Ashton Sanders Lands A Lead In 'Equalizer 2'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 25, 2017.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ Jones, Tim (September 26, 2017). "Denzel Washington Is Filming a New Movie in Boston". New England Cable News. NBCUniversal. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
  14. ^ Goldstein, Meredith (September 20, 2017). "What movie is filming in the South End?". The Boston Globe. Boston Globe Media Partners. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ Goldstein, Meredith (October 24, 2017). "Duxbury's star: the Powder Point Bridge". The Boston Globe. Boston Globe Media Partners. Retrieved September 5, 2018.
  17. ^ Busch, Jenna (February 13, 2018). "Sony Release Dates for The Equalizer 2, Paul, Apostle of Christ". ComingSoon.net. Mandatory. Retrieved February 14, 2018.
  18. ^ McNary, Dave (June 11, 2015). "'The Equalizer' Sequel Has a Release Date". Variety. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  19. ^ Perry, Spencer (November 3, 2016). "Sony Shifts Release Dates for Jumanji, The Equalizer 2". ComingSoon.net. Mandatory. Retrieved November 5, 2016.
  20. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (September 21, 2017). "'The Equalizer 2' Pushes Up To August 2018; 'Paul, Apostle Of Christ' Eyes Easter Stretch". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
  21. ^ Rubin, Rebecca (July 18, 2018). "Box Office: 'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again' Dancing Past 'Equalizer 2' to $30 Million-Plus Opening". Variety. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  22. ^ Rubin, Rebecca (July 22, 2018). "Box Office: 'Equalizer 2' Narrowly Edges Past 'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again' to Land at No. 1". Variety. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  23. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (July 29, 2018). "'Mission' Accomplished: 'Fallout' $61M+ Opening Reps Record For Tom Cruise Franchise – Sunday". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  24. ^ 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. Retrieved August 8, 2018.
  25. ^ "The Equalizer 2 (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved October 10, 2021.
  26. ^ "The Equalizer 2 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
  27. ^ Ehrlich, David (July 18, 2018). "'The Equalizer 2' Review: Denzel Washington's First Sequel Is Hopefully Also His Last". IndieWire. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  28. ^ Holmes, Adam (August 2, 2018). "Will The Equalizer 3 Happen? Here's What Antoine Fuqua Says". CinemaBlend. Retrieved January 13, 2022.
  29. ^ Morales, Wilson (January 12, 2022). "Exclusive: Denzel Washington Will Start Shooting The Equalizer 3 With Antoine Fuqua In 2022". Black Film and TV. Retrieved January 12, 2022.
  30. ^ Welk, Brian (January 12, 2022). "Denzel Washington to Return for 'The Equalizer 3,' Antoine Fuqua in Talks to Direct". The Wrap. Retrieved January 13, 2022.
  31. ^ Colangelo, BJ (January 12, 2022). "The Equalizer 3 Already Has A Script, And Denzel Washington Is Returning To Star". Slash Film. Retrieved January 13, 2022.
  32. ^ Dick, Jeremy (January 12, 2022). "The Equalizer 3 Is Denzel Washington's Next Film: 'I Get to Beat People Up Again'". MovieWeb. Retrieved January 13, 2022.
  33. ^ Holmes, Adam (January 12, 2022). "Denzel Washington Has An Exciting Update On What's Happening With The Equalizer 3". CinemaBlend. Retrieved January 21, 2022.
  34. ^ Northrup, Ryan (January 12, 2022). "Denzel Washington Confirms The Equalizer 3 Starts Filming This Year". Screen Rant. Retrieved January 13, 2022.
  35. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (April 20, 2022). "'Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse' Heads To Summer 2023; Sony Dates 'Equalizer 3' Among Other Release Changes". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on April 21, 2022. Retrieved April 20, 2022.
  36. ^ Perry, Spencer (April 20, 2022). "Sony Sets The Equalizer 3 Release Date With Denzel Washington". ComicBook.com. Retrieved April 21, 2022.
  37. ^ "Denzel Washington, 67, walks with a cane as he's seen for the first time on the set of The Equalizer 3 in Italy reprising his role as a vigilante". October 11, 2022. Retrieved October 13, 2022.

External links[edit]