Starring: Denzel Washington, Marton Csokas, Chloë Grace Moretz, David Harbour, Haley Bennett, Bill Pullman, Melissa Leo, David Meunier, Johnny Skourtis, Alex Veadov, Vladimir Kulich, E. Roger Mitchell, James Wilcox, Mike O’Dea, Anastasia Mousis, Allen Maldonado, Rhet Kidd
OUR RATING: ★★★½
Vigilante action thriller reboot directed by Antoine Fuqua. Loosely based on the 1980s TV series, The Equalizer (2014) follows retired ex-special forces operative Robert McCall (Denzel Washington), who lives a life of quiet and routine working at a local hardware store during the day and reading at the local diner at night. However, McCall’s self-imposed quiet life is interrupted when a young prostitute he befriends, Teri (Chloë Grace Moretz), is beaten up by Russian mobsters and McCall finds his desire for justice is reawakened.
Where to Watch:
“The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.” – Mark Twain
Marcus: Yoh, Pops. Bet you didn’t have to push dollies at your old job, did you?
Robert McCall: Guilty as charged.
Ralphie: Potatoes are a vegetable. I like crunchy things.
Robert McCall: Carrots are crunchy. Dried seaweed is crunchy.
Ralphie: I’m a human, not a rabbit.
Robert McCall: You want to make security guard, you got to lose weight. You got a test in one week. Now, you asked me to help you, but if you’re not willing to apply yourself.
Robert McCall: Hey. Progress, not perfection.
Ralphie: No more chips.
Robert McCall: No more chips.
Ralphie: Who needs flavor? Right?
Teri: [referring to the book The Old Man and the Sea that McCall is reading] He catch that fish yet?
Robert McCall: Just hooked it.
Teri: It’s about damn time.
Robert McCall: Well, it’s a big fish. Don’t know if he can hang on though.
Teri: Oh, no.
Robert McCall: Tooth and nail right now.
Teri: Yeah, well, maybe he’s just too old.
Robert McCall: [as Teri eats her pie] Thought you were going to give up refined sugar.
Teri: I am.
Robert McCall: When?
Teri: Any day now.
Robert McCall: Yeah? Bad for your vocal cords. Body, mind, spirit, remember?
Teri: I bought a little machine for making demos.
Robert McCall: Yeah? I bet you’re good.
Teri: What makes you say that?
Robert McCall: Intuition.
Marcus: Hey, yoh, Pops. We’re betting on what you did before you got here.
Jay: Like for a living.
Marcus: I’m saying insurance, claims and s**t.
Jay: He was a stock dude, man. He was on Wall Street.
Robert McCall: I was a Pip.
Jay: Yoh, you were a pimp?
Robert McCall: No, not a pimp. A Pip. P-I-P. Pip.
Jay: What the f*** is a Pip?
Robert McCall: Why you got to curse so much? You know, like Gladys Knight and the Pips. Like this.
[he starts doing the dance moves]
Teri: [notices McCall reading a new book] He ever catch it? The fish.
Robert McCall: Oh, yeah. Yes. Yeah, he did.
Teri: It’s a happy ending.
Robert McCall: Well, not exactly. The old man tied the fish to the side of the boat, had to row back to shore. The fish bled in the water, sharks came and ate the whole fish till there was nothing left.
Teri: Well that’s just kind of a waste, isn’t it?
Robert McCall: No. Depends upon how you look at it. The old man met his greatest adversary just when he thought that part of his life was over. He saw himself in the fish. Came to respect it the more it fought.
Teri: Why didn’t he just let the fish go?
Robert McCall: The old man’s got to be the old man. Fish got to be the fish. Got to be who you are in this world, right? No matter what.
Robert McCall: How you going to pull me out of a burning building if you can’t pull a tire twenty yards?
Ralphie: I’m not strong enough.
Robert McCall: Hey, don’t doubt yourself, son. Doubt kills.
'When you pray for rain, you got to deal with the mud too.' - Robert McCall (The Equalizer) Click To Tweet
Teri: I’m Teri.
Robert McCall: Bob.
Robert McCall: [offers his fist in a friendly gesture, Teri punches it] Ow. It’s good.
Teri: You know, you don’t look like a Bob.
Robert McCall: Oh, yeah? You look like a Robert. Robert reads books like this, and Bob watches TV.
Robert McCall: Oh, wow. Alina the singer.
Teri: You and I know what I really am.
Robert McCall: I think you can be anything you want to be.
Teri: Maybe in your world, Robert. Doesn’t happen that way in mine.
Robert McCall: Change your world.
Teri: So no Mrs. Robert at home?
Robert McCall: No.
Teri: Was there ever?
Robert McCall: Once.
Teri: Did you break her heart?
Robert McCall: She broke mine.
Teri: You know, I see a lot of widowed guys. Something in your eyes. You know, it’s not sad. It’s just kind of lost, you know?
Teri: You always read books?
Robert McCall: My wife did. She was working through the One Hundred Books Everybody Should Read. She made it to ninety-seven, so I figured I’d give it a shot. And one day we’d have something to talk about when we get together.
Teri: Wow, a hundred books.
Robert McCall: Yeah.
Teri: Holy moley. How many have you read, Robert?
Robert McCall: Ninety-one.
Teri: Ninety-one books though. You’re almost done.
Robert McCall: Almost.
Teri: What are you going to do after that?
Robert McCall: Take singing lessons. And then I’m going to open a donut factory. What? Why are you laughing?
'Got to be who you are in this world. No matter what.' - Robert McCall (The Equalizer) Click To Tweet
Teri: You know, I love being up at this hour.
Robert McCall: Yeah?
Teri: Yeah. You know everything’s so dark. It makes everything seem possible again.
Robert McCall: I can’t sleep at night.
Teri: Yeah, well, I get to hear your stories. What’s your new one about?
Robert McCall: Oh, it’s about a guy who thinks he’s a knight in shining armor. The only thing is, he lives in a world where knights don’t exist anymore.
Teri: Kind of sounds like my world.
Mandy: [to McCall, as he visits Teri at the hospital] They brought Teri over very young. I think she got to the point where she thought her life could be hers one day. Slavi reminded her it never would be. He said he’d cut her throat next time. He said a whore who f***s and can’t talk might be worth twice as much.
Robert McCall: Okay. Look, I understand. These girls that you represent. I understand it’s like they’re an investment. So, I can give you ninety-eight hundred dollars. It’s cash.
Slavi: You’re wanting to give me nine thousand dollars?
Robert McCall: Ninety-eight hundred. Cash.
Slavi: For what?
Robert McCall: [referring to Teri] Her freedom.
Slavi: [to McCall] One month. That’s it. What? You think this is one time payment? I make this off this girl in two weeks. That girl is still child. I still can sell her as virgin, huh? This makes prime earner for good while. Take your f***ing money, and go back to your house, and jerk yourself off nine thousand and eight hundred times. And then you come crawling back here and talk to me, huh? She will be used up by then for sure. Maybe then I will let you have her for nothing.
'Don't doubt yourself. Doubt kills.' - Robert McCall (The Equalizer) Click To Tweet
Slavi: You forget something?
Robert McCall: Sixteen seconds.
Robert McCall: [sets the timer on his watch and starts walking towards Slavi] One one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one-thousand.
[he then proceeds to beat up Slavi and his men]
Robert McCall: Your heart’s beating three times the normal rate. It’s because you’re losing so much blood. About thirty seconds, your body’s going to shut down and you’re going to suffocate. Alina, the girl you beat half to death, her life’s going to go on. Yours is going to end right here, on this funky floor over ninety-eight hundred dollars. You should have taken the money.
Slavi: [as he’s about to die] Who are you?
Ralphie: [notices the bruises on McCall’s knuckles] What happened?
Robert McCall: Hit it on something stupid.
Teddy: [to Masters] You have taken Mr. Pushkin’s money for years. Money that comes with conditions. Non-negotiable conditions. Problem you’re having with me is you think you still matter. You don’t. I am all that matters. And so we’re clear. I’m not here to say “please”. I’m here to tell you what to do.
‘Sometimes we make the wrong choices to get to the right place.’ - Susan Plummer (The Equalizer) Click To Tweet
Little John Looney: See, I hate you f***ing Russians. You’re all crazy and you’re arrogant. Now, the Irish, we came here for a piece of the American dream. You people come over here to steal it. So, f*** all of you.
Teddy: Well, Mr. Looney, I appreciate your candor. It’s refreshing, and lets me understand that you’re not smart enough to have done this.
Little John Looney: What the f***?
Teddy: We pay you fifteen percent to do business here. The additional ten percent you steal, we ignore. We anticipated it, as you people are such clichés. And the fact that you’re a rat to the Feds is also tolerable, Little John.
Little John Looney: What the f***?
Teddy: What we will not tolerate is getting nothing for our money. No information, no protection, no assurances. You understand, Little Johnny?
Little John Looney: Who do you think you are coming down here…?
Teddy: Who I am, or what I am? Who I am is complicated. What I am is easier. I’m a threat. I alter outcomes.
Masters: [after Looney beats Teddy unconscious] This is my town. Do you understand me? This is my home. You cannot run around like a f***ing wild animal. What the f*** was that?
Teddy: It’s a message. It says, “I’m here.”
Ralphie: [to McCall] My mom doesn’t have much except this place. And, you know, when stuff like this happens, I just got to put everything on hold for a while and help her out, you know? What was I thinking? I wasn’t going to pass the security guard test anyway.
‘Sometimes the answer's right in front of you.’ - Robert McCall (The Equalizer) Click To Tweet
Vladimir Pushkin: Now enough of what you don’t know. Tell me what you do know.
Teddy: Well, I’m still sifting through things, but the killings were spontaneous. Whoever did this specialized in killing. I’ve rarely seen skills like this. I don’t think it’s someone we’ve encountered before.
Vladimir Pushkin: Whoever it is, just find him, Teddy.
Robert McCall: [over phone, to Gilly] Why waste city services when I got two corrupt cops right in front of me?
Robert McCall: Those people you took the money from, maybe you should give it back.
Detective Gilly: Why would we do that?
Robert McCall: Well, it would be in the best interest of everyone involved.
Detective Harris: Really?
Robert McCall: Yeah.
Detective Harris: Well, maybe our best interest is to tie a cinder block around your waist and throw you in the f***ing Mystic, huh?
Robert McCall: You’re supposed to stand for something, punk.
Detective Harris: F***.
Robert McCall: Protect and serve. Uphold the law. Justice. Remember?
Detective Harris: Who the f*** are you?