I have to say that I remember really enjoying the Equalizer (2014) back when I saw it not that I didn’t complain but it was fun to see Denzel play an action hero. I have a major weakness for anti-heroes and Robert McCall (Denzel Washington) fit the bill. He was superhuman but without the cape and bats. He was Batman on steroids and I loved that he reminded me of my dad. McCall was an avenging angel taking revenge on men brutalizing a young white woman.
Now McCall was far from perfect since the punishment didn’t always fit the crime. Robbing a Home Depot doesn’t deserve the death penalty but it was nice to see a black man as the vigilante instead of the bad guy who gets comeuppence of a punishment at the end of a gun or baseball bat or whatever he could reach. Antoine Fuqua took the anti-hero action movie trope and bent it to his will from the slow walk away, explosions, carefully choreographed action scenes and great one liners.
But it’s four years later and I expected it to be bigger, badder and more equalizer. Instead it was a action spy movie with a super slow buildup that had a few surprises. It kept my attention but I didn’t walk out of the theatre thinking I’d love to see this again. I knew from the first smirk who was behind the murder of McCall’s BFF (et to Brutus) from the many commercials that gave away WAY too much!
It felt like everyone wanted some extra money in the bank and decided a sequel was a great idea but decided to half ass it with a meandering script and a ‘you can’t go home again’ backstory to ‘explain’. Also why does he pretty much only rescue white women from sexual violence? Black women get raped too and I gave the ‘save a white girl’ trope in the first movie but they just had to go back again and make a white woman the innocent victim who he HAS to play the knight in shining armor? They could have easily cast a black woman or a woman of color in the role and it would have been an interesting aside since a black woman accusing white men of rape being believe that they would rape her would have been an interesting storyline. I mean he’s a Lyft driver who mostly picks up non-POC I can say as one black woman all I use are ride share apps since cabs never want to pick me up. The Holocaust survivor’s (Orson Bean) fight for a family painting with a twist ending was so out of place I mean like startling out of place from the friendship to how he helped. Urghh did I mention that he saved TWO white girls? One (Rhys Olivia Cote) was from her ‘evil’ Turkish father (Adam Karst) gotta love the casual anti-Islamaphobia and the white worship that of COURSE he’d marry a white blond woman (Tamara Hickey) than get mad and abduct the child but yahoo Independent Bookshop???
Washington is a great actor surrounded by a cast that turn in a solid if by the numbers performance but I expected more. I wanted him to ‘save a black girl/woman’. I would have really liked more of an exploration of his life in the apt building and the friends (Sakina Jeffrey) he made. I really didn’t care for the gangbanger story (Ashton Sanders) since I’ve seen that before and done much better. Oh and that apt in NYC was HUGE more money than a Lyft driver could afford especially with the upgrades! The storm scene was really hard to see so it was kind of muddled. I wish they had spent a little money to make it look cleaner and closed up on his hand movements. Plus more hand to hand combat if you’re a badass former spy I expect you to fight better but I guess he’s getting old .
Now I don’t want to say that the movie didn’t have a few good quips and startling moments but not enough to justify the end that I would have liked to have more of a punch. Instead the film ends suddenly like running into a brick wall that you didn’t expect on a foggy day. It would have been better to avoid the face splat and spending my money to support a black lead actor and director who couldn’t be bothered to cast a black woman in a substantial role. McCall saved three white women, saved a white man, rescued a black kid and revenged the death of another white woman but I guess black women are again invisible to anti-hero McCall and Antoine Fuqua.
Watching the film I can’t help but wonder if they think this will be a Mission Impossible or Jason Bourne action series where they can churn out sequels or even pass off to a new hot actor. Well bless their hearts cause this is the last Equalizer movie ticket I’ll buy and will look side eye at Antoine AND Denzel’s next movie.
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Writer: Richard Wenk
Starring: Denzel Washington, Pedro Pascal, Ashton Sanders, Orson Bean, Melissa Leo, Bill Pullman
Release Date: July 20, 2018
Posted in Film, Los Angeles, Movie, Review Tagged with: Antoine Fuqua, Ashton Sanders, Bill Pullman, Cherry at the movies, Denzel Washington, EQ2, Equalizer, Equalizer 2, film, Melissa Leo, movie review, Orson Bean, Pedro Pascal, Review, Sakina Jaffrey, Tamara Hickey
GIVE BACK AND ENJOY GREAT MUSIC AND FOOD WITH CHEF BRUCE KALMAN AND MARIE PETULLA OF KNEAD & CO.
JOIN FORCES WITH GREEN WISH
TO SUPPORT FIVE LOCAL GREEN CHARITIES AT
FOOD AND MUSIC FEST IN DOWNTOWN LA
AT GRAND CENTRAL MARKET
Please join Celebrity Chef Bruce Kalman and Marie Petulla of KP Hospitality Group, Green Wish Founder actor Raphael Sbarge (TNT’s Murder in the First, ABC’s Once Upon a Time), and Green Wish President Scott Harris, COO Building Construction Group, and Green Wish Board Members Sharon Lawrence and Ed Begley, Jr. along with celebrity attendees including: Camille Balsamo (Murder in the First, Harbinger Down) & Reid Collums (Harbinger Down, GREEK), Currie Graham (Murder In The First), Lee Arenberg (Pirates of the Caribbean, Once Upon A Time), Lombardo Boyar (Murder in the First), Jamie McShane (Bloodlines, Murder In the First), Bill Pullman (Independence Day), Nicholas Guest ( Madam Secretary, Sleepy Hollow) & Pamela Guest (Cleopatra Backstage), KJ Smith (Queen Sugar, Family Time), James Anderson (NFL Player New Orleans Saints), International Model Carissa Rosario and Saga Elmotaseb (Spice It Up With Saga), among others at KNEAD to Give Food & Music Fest – Powered by Green Wish. With LIVE entertainmentby Winslet andChef Bruce Kalman’s band, Foie Grock and food by Knead & Co. Pasta Bar + Market, Ramen Hood, DTLA Cheese, Bar Moruno, Valerie Confections and Coolhaus.
Green Wish and Knead & Co. Pasta Bar + Market are teaming up for The KNEAD to Give Food & Music Fest – Powered by Green Wish, a food and music charity event which is a fusion of great food, live entertainment and passionate people who will come together to keep LA Green to support five local Los Angeles charities: Food Forward, HoneyLove, Muir Ranch Pasadena, Hollywood Orchard, and FoLAR.
KNEAD & CO. pasta bar + market @ Grand Central Market
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Food Forward rescues fresh local produce that would otherwise go to waste, connecting this abundance with people in need, and inspiring others to do the same.
– HoneyLove is a Los Angeles based non-profit conservation organization with a mission to protect the honeybees by educating our communities and inspiring new urban beekeepers.
Muir Ranch Pasadena
– In 2011, a dedicated team of volunteer teachers and students began converting 1.5 acres of the John Muir High School campus into an urban farm. Muir Ranch grows a variety of flowers, vegetables and fruit that are included in weekly CSA boxes as well as school cafeteria lunches. Students can complete community service or internship graduation requirements by enrolling in classes at the Ranch. Muir Ranch also provides paid internships to students, which are funded by private donations, special events, farmer’s market sales, and subscriptions to the produce box program (CSA).
– To better neighborhood quality of life by operating a community orchard that is a teaching model for sustainability through its workshops on growing fruit locally, and sharing the food in open-air events held in the Beachwood Canyon community, outreach communities, and food-charity organizations.
Is a non-profit organization founded in 1986, whose mission is to protect and restore the natural and historic heritage of the Los Angeles River and its riparian habitat through inclusive planning, education and wise stewardship. Once home to steelhead and grizzlies, the Los Angeles River meandered through wetlands, marshes, willow, alder and sycamore, providing desperately needed water for the region. Now running over 50 miles long – from the suburbs of the San Fernando Valley to the ocean in Long Beach – the Los Angeles River flows through 14 cities and countless neighborhoods. When the Army Corps of Engineers initiated a flood control project in the late 1930s, they began the process of paving 80% of the River, creating the world’s largest storm drain. Over the ensuing decades, the River that had been the sole water supply for the City of Los Angeles before the Los Angeles Aqueduct was completed in 1913 almost disappeared from public consciousness. With the cement came a perceptual shift: the River no longer existed. Instead, it was a “flood control channel,” a no-man’s land, surrounded by fences and signs.
– is a grassroots, non-profit organization that funds local, green organizations through customers’ small donations at local retailers. Put simply: We’re a charity that helps fund the green projects in your neighborhood!
Green Wish was founded in 2009 by actor/producer Raphael Sbarge, after the birth of his first child, “I was struck by how alive I suddenly felt as a father,” he explained. “Conversely, I also felt remarkably vulnerable and defenseless to protect this little person’s journey in a world as vast and complex as ours. I had to ask, ‘What can we do to contribute in any small way to leave the world a better place than when we found it?'”
The answer: Green Wish – we help people to support a movement – not just one organization, but multiple ones. When you donate to Green Wish, you’re actually helping numerous environmental groups, right in your own community.
Green Wish partners with local retailers, which place our donation cards right at their cash registers. Customers can “buy” and add Green Wish donations on to their purchase at the retailer.
These donations are collected by local Green Wish chapters and distributed regularly to area organizations that have been carefully vetted. The board of directors in each chapter evaluates and selects deserving organizations with track records of good work across the green spectrum, focusing on air, water, earth and environmental education. * Ninety cents of every dollar* goes to your local green groups.
We started in Los Angeles with a chapter supporting nine organizations in Southern California. We are spreading across the country with the ultimate goal to start Green Wish chapters across the country, all supporting groups in their communities.
Posted in festival, Good Cause, Los Angeles, music Tagged with: Bar Moruno, Bill Pullman, Bloodlines, Building Construction Group, Camille Balsamo, Carissa Rosario, Chef Bruce Kalman, Cleopatra Backstage, Concert, coolhaus, Currie Graham, D, DT, DTLA, DTLA Cheese, Ed Begley, Family Time), Foie Grock, Foodie, Green Wish, Green Wish Founder, Harbinger Down, Independence Day, James Anderson, Jamie McShane, Jr., KJ Smith, Knead & Co. Pasta Bar + Market, KNEAD to Give Food & Music Fest, KP Hospitality Group, Lee Arenberg, Lombardo Boyar, Los Angeles, Madam Secretary, Marie Petulla, Murder in the First, Music, New Orleans Saints, NFL, Nicholas Guest, Once Upon a Time, Pamela Guest, Pirates of the Caribbean, Queen Sugar, Ramen Hood, Raphael Sbarge, Reid Collums, Saga Elmotaseb, Scott Harris, Sharon Lawrence, sleepy hollow, Spice It Up With Saga, T, TNT, Valerie Confections