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Film: The Equalizer

The Equalizer is a 2014 film directed by Antoine Fuqua and starring Denzel Washington. It is a remake of the 1980s show starring Edward Woodward in the titular role.


This film provides examples of:

  • And the Adventure Continues: The end of the movie has Robert sitting in his usual place at the diner, but this time he's on his laptop, having decided to offer his skills to those who are in need of help.
  • Badass Bookworm: Robert is seen working his way through the "Top 100 Books You Must Read" list.
  • Big Bad: Vladimir Pushkin, who actually spends most of the movie as a Bigger Bad, while his chief enforcer Teddy has a lot more screen time, making Teddy a Dragon-in-Chief. Pushkin doesn't make a full appearance until the epilogue.
  • Billing Displacement: Third-billed Chloe Grace Moretz has considerably less screen time than expected.
  • Brick Joke: When McCall is helping Ralphie lose weight, he tells him that one day he might have to drag his 180-lb ass out of a burning building. Later, when McCall is wounded after an intense brawl, Ralphie comes back to help drag him to safety.
    Ralphie; 180 pounds my ass.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Masters is particularly fond of these, almost to the point of it being the only curse word he uses.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Robert easily dispatches five Russian mobsters early in the film, in 19 seconds. (He was aiming for 16 seconds.)
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Boiled down, McCall wipes out the Russian mob in retaliation for... an escort being beat into the hospital.
  • The Dragon: Teddy for Pushkin.
  • Evil Counterpart: Nikolai to Robert. Both are Dangerously Genre Savvy and very, very good at killing people. The difference is that Nikolai is The Sociopath, while McCall is motivated by caring about the people around him.
  • Faking the Dead: Robert retired from his previous career by pretending to have been killed in a car bomb.
  • Improbable Weapon User: McCall finds innovate uses for a wine corkscrew, among other things.
  • Improvised Weapon: Robert's preference, especially in the last act when he uses the contents of the Home Mart he works at.
  • The Mafiya: The primary villains.
  • Mook Horror Show: The last big action sequence in the film features Robert stalking Nikolai's men through the Home Mart where he works after they've taken his co-workers hostage, and dispatching them one by one in various gruesome ways.
  • Nice Guy: McCall is well liked by his fellow colleagues at Home Mart.
  • Noodle Incident: After the burglar takes the till and then the cashier's grandmother's ring, Robert tells her not to resist, since it's not worth losing her life over it. Later, after giving the police the information he has, Robert calmly takes a sledgehammer from the shelf and leaves. Later, the woman finds the ring in her cash drawer, as Robert is calmly cleaning the hammer before returning it to the shelf.
  • Product Placement: The film is produced by Sony (through Columbia Pictures), and isn't keen on letting you forget that fact.
  • Retired Badass: Robert McCall. The movie is about him coming out of retirement.
  • Sherlock Scan: Used by McCall in a weaponized format, similarly to Robert Downey, Jr.'s Sherlock Holmes movies.
  • Spiritual Successor: A badass played by Denzel Washington? Check. A young girl? Check. Villains attack said girl only to invite the wrath of Washington's character? YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT! Hell, they might as well rename Robert McCall to John W. Creasy.
  • Super OCD: It's not explicit, but McCall shows traits of OCD here and there. The most extreme example of this being his self-timed beatdowns of the enemy.
  • We Help the Helpless: At the end of the movie, Robert has apparently decided to make a habit of this as he's seen responding to an online forum post asking for his help.
Edge of TomorrowFilms of the 2010sExodus: Gods and Kings

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