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 vigilante crime action drama 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, Bill Pullman, and Orson Bean in his final film role. It follows retired U.S. Marine and former 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, 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. It received mixed reviews, with critics praising Washington's performance and the film's action sequences, but criticizing the pacing and number of subplots.[6] Nevertheless, the film was a commercial success, grossing $190 million worldwide on a production budget of $62 million.


Former Marine and DIA operative Robert McCall (Denzel Washington) now lives in a diverse apartment complex in Roxbury, Boston. He works as a Lyft driver and assists the less fortunate with the help of his close friend and former colleague at the DIA, Susan Plummer (Melissa Leo). McCall travels to Istanbul to retrieve the nine-year-old daughter (Rhys Cote) of a bookstore owner, Grace Braelick (Tamara Hickey), who was kidnapped by her abusive Turkish father (Adam Karst), as a means to punish Grace. He also helps Sam Rubinstein (Orson Bean), an elderly Holocaust survivor who is looking for a painting of his sister; the siblings were separated in the Nazi death camps and the painting had been auctioned off. After discovering the apartment's courtyard has been vandalized, McCall accepts an offer from Miles Whittaker (Ashton Sanders), a young resident with an artistic but troubled background, to repaint the walls.

Susan and DIA officer Dave York (Pedro Pascal), who is McCall'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; it is believed that she died during a 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. McCall determines that the suspects' foreknowledge of her floor and the expertly delivered fatal stab suggested 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 York while he is jogging in Washington and informs him of his findings. Later, McCall rescues Miles, who had been lured away by a local gang. Miles then visits McCall, and McCall agrees to pay Miles to repaint his kitchen if Miles reads Ta-Nehisi Coates' Between the World and Me.

During one of his Lyft runs, McCall is attacked by an assassin posing as a passenger. McCall kills the man and retrieves a mobile phone, dumping the car and burning it. He discovers that York's number is on the phone's call list and confronts York at his home. York admits that he became a mercenary after feeling used and discarded by the government and adds that he himself killed Susan, as she would have figured out that he was behind the Brussels killing. McCall leaves the house where the rest of McCall's former squad, who are also York's current teammates, Kovac (Gazy Golden), Ari (Kazy Tauginas), and Resnik (Jonathan Scarfe) are waiting. McCall promises to kill the entire team before departing 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 painting the walls. Monitoring the apartment via webcams, McCall directs Miles to a 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.

York deduces that McCall has gone to his seaside hometown, which has been evacuated as a hurricane approaches. Kovac, Ari, and Resnik begin searching the town in gale-force winds, while York situates himself on the town's watchtower in a sniper's position. Kovac enters a tackle shop, where McCall kills him 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 with knives.

McCall then enters his late wife's old bakery store to lure in Resnik, who is fatally injured in a flour explosion that is set up by McCall and set off by Resnik's own stun grenade. York reveals that he has Miles tied up in the trunk of his car and begins shooting at it to lure McCall out. 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 and kills York in the same manner in which Susan was killed with York's knife. McCall then kicks York's body off the tower onto the rocks below, where it is washed away by the ocean.

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


Denzel Washington, who plays the lead role in the film


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]


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 in Duxbury, Massachusetts,[19] as well as in Brant Rock, Massachusetts. Interior scenes were filmed in a studio in Randolph, 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.[20] Sony had originally scheduled the film for a September 29, 2017, release,[21] but on November 3, 2016, the film got pushed to September 14, 2018,[22] and then on September 28, 2017, the release date brought it forward to August 3, 2018, but then on February 13, 2018, it got settled on its July 20, 2018 release.[23]


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 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.[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 aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 51% based on 199 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 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."[30]


  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. ^ "'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 Corporation.
  6. ^ "'Equalizer 2' review: What critics have to say about Denzel's new film |". Retrieved 2020-10-07.
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  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. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  10. ^ "Denzel Washington's 'The Equalizer' to Get Sequel". Variety. April 22, 2015. 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. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  13. ^ a b Busch, Anita (August 23, 2017). "Melissa Leo & Bill Pullman Seal Deals For 'Equalizer' Sequel". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
  14. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (August 24, 2017). "'Moonlight's Ashton Sanders Lands A Lead In 'Equalizer 2'". Deadline Hollywood. 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". Mandatory. Retrieved February 14, 2018.
  21. ^ McNary, Dave (June 11, 2015). "'The Equalizer' Sequel Has a Release Date". Variety. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  22. ^ Perry, Spencer (November 3, 2016). "Sony Shifts Release Dates for Jumanji, The Equalizer 2". 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Retrieved August 8, 2018.
  28. ^ "Equalizer 2 (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  29. ^ "The Equalizer 2 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
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External links[edit]