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Film / The Equalizer 2

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"The mistake you made was you killed my friend. So, I'm gonna kill each and every one of you. And the only disappointment in it for me is that I only get to do it once."
Robert McCall

The Equalizer 2 is a 2018 action thriller film and the sequel to 2014's The Equalizer which is itself based off of the television series of the same name. The same director from the first movie, Antoine Fuqua, returned. The film stars Denzel Washington, Pedro Pascal, Ashton Sanders, Bill Pullman, and Melissa Leo, and it was released on July 20, 2018.

Robert McCall (Washington) serves an unflinching justice for the exploited and oppressed - but how far will he go when one of his beloved friends is killed?

Previews: Trailer 1, Trailer 2.


The Equalizer 2 contains examples of:

  • A Real Man Is a Killer: Robert confronts Miles with this idea and proves it wrong when Miles refuses to shoot him.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • When Miles comes to Robert's house, the scene is played out like he is going to kill him in order to make bones with a gang, especially since McCall had just taken Miles back. Turns out, he was there to give him thanks and offers McCall to re-paint his kitchen walls.
    • The scene at York's house implies that the villains are going to attack him, further implied by his wife taking a long time to answer the front door, but it turns out to just be Robert. The bad guys were there to meet with York because he's their boss.
  • Batman Cold Open: The film begins with Robert on a train in Turkey, disguised as a Muslim man, to rescue a girl who had been kidnapped by her father.
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  • Battle in the Rain: Robert's showdown with the Big Bad's crew occurs outdoors in the middle of a hurricane.
  • Beard of Evil: One of the main villains sports a big bushy beard.
  • Big Bad: Dave York is revealed to be the mastermind behind Susan's murder.
  • Boom, Headshot!: The first of the main villains Robert kills in the climax is shot through the cheek with a harpoon gun.
  • Call-Back:
    • McCall is finishing up the "Top 100 Books You Must Read" list.
    • The finale is set during the hurricane season in a seaside community. In the first movie, McCall can be seen reading The Old Man and the Sea.
  • Cassandra Truth: In the potluck deleted scene, Robert confides to his neighbor Ernie that he's an ex-government assassin. Ernie doesn't believe him and has a good laugh.
  • Central Theme: The film focuses on grief and coping with loss which is seen in the secondary characters as well as Robert's struggle to deal with his wife's death.
  • Disney Villain Death: After gouging his eye out and stabbing him in the throat, Robert finishes off York by throwing him off the tower to his death.
  • Cavalry Betrayal: A still-breathing Susan is relieved to see York finding her in her room, only for York to finish the job by stabbing her fatally.
  • Car Fu: In a less common version of the trope, it's used against another passenger of the car.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Before most fight scenes, Robert will flash on a few nearby objects that he will use to attack his enemies. In one scene, he admires a man's fancy metal credit card, which he then uses as a weapon.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Robert notices the fatal stab wound on Susan was positioned behind the third rib, a precise close-quarters strike that tells him this was no random robbery gone wrong, but a professional hit. When Robert finds out York is behind Susan's murder, he also knows that York, a mercenary in McCall's company, certainly delivered the killing blow and not the tweakers who attacked her. When Robert fatally wounds York in the end, he repays the favor with the same kind of stab.
  • Creator Thumbprint: In-Universe, Miles has a signature that's a caricature of his deceased older brother labelled as "The Hand of God."
  • Crime Reconstruction: In order to figure out the "how"s of the murdered Belgian family, Robert mentally places himself in the seat of the husband and tries to piece it together using the information he has, including body positions, exit wounds, damage or lack of in the room, and where the shell casings landed.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: York is the Big Bad, managing his and Robert's former teammates in assassination missions. But he, along with the other team members, are courteous enough to not start anything while York's family is nearby.
  • Evil Former Friend: York to McCall.
  • Eye Scream: One of the things Robert does to finish off York is to gouge one of his eyes out.
  • Faking the Dead: It's revealed that Robert faked his death to retire to a quiet life. York himself was ecstatic to discover his old partner alive and well. Until realizing he's investigating Susan's murder.
  • Gallows Humor: When York finds Susan beaten and bloodied by her assassins in her hotel room, she weakly asks him if he brought the Belgium chocolates they talked about earlier.
  • Guns Akimbo: Robert briefly dual-wields two pistols as well as a handgun and machine gun when threatening a gang Miles nearly joins.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The villains' strategy of using flashbangs backfires when Robert fills the room one of them is entering with flour dust (which is flammable).
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: In the finale, York's aiming skills border on the supernatural. Hitting a target from an elevated position using a rifle equipped with good optics isn't difficult. However, bulls-eyeing targets the size of an index card or smaller, without a miss, at a couple hundred meters while fighting strong and erratic winds in the middle of a hurricane? Calling that "improbable" is being very generous indeed.
  • Improvised Weapon: As with the first film, Robert primarily uses objects in the environment to attack his enemies, this time including a metal credit card.
  • Informed Ability: York and his crew are supposed to be elite operatives, nearly on a level with Robert. They don't show any of this, except for Dave York who is a good shot with a sniper rifle. During the climax they let their opponent pick the battlefield, split up instead of sticking together, look only at what is directly in front of them, enter buildings and rooms without properly clearing them, etc. Even with having York in a "sniper's nest" position, they can't even take advantage of it. Robert must have spent his entire career carrying these incompetents.
  • It's Personal: Robert was only helping out someone in trouble in the last film, but in the sequel, he's going after people who've caused the death of a close friend.
  • Never Suicide: The plot is kicked off by Susan Plummer investigating an assassination that is covered up to appear as a murder-suicide.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: The film was released in July 2018 and takes place in September 2018, during North America's hurricane season. This comes into play as the film's climax takes place in the middle of a hurricane.
  • Nice Guy: Robert, of course. Despite being a highly trained and deadly killer, he's a kind, friendly and helpful man who is always looking out for people he likes, and is absolutely adored by his friends and neighbours.
    • Miles can count as well. He's a very respectful young man who always addresses Robert as "Mr McCall" and helps out his neighbours with odd jobs, and even when he almost descends into a life of crime, he gives his reason (other than vengeance for his brother) as wanting to be able to support his mother. He also loves to draw and paint.
  • No Kill Like Overkill: York has his eye gouged out, is slashed several times, stabbed in the chest, has the back of his neck sliced open, is thrown off the tower he's on, and then his body is washed away by the waves.
  • Product Placement: Need a ride? Call for one on your Lyft app today, Robert McCall thinks it's decent work.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Robert breaks his rule of giving bad guys a chance to give up when confronting a group of men who drugged and raped their intern.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Robert has since moved from his home and quit his job at Home Mart from the first film, probably due to the fact that he revealed that he was an ex-spy to his co-workers and because he had to destroy Home Mart in the process of saving his friends. He does the same thing in this film's ending, moving back into the home he shared with his wife.
    • At the climax, York takes a sniping position on a watchtower in the town Robert lived in with his wife. This ends up being a disadvantage because since he's fighting in a hurricane and is up so high, the wind knocks him off his feet and he hits his head, allowing Robert to get the drop on him.
    • Susan is a capable agent and manages to get some wounded shots in, but at a size and numbers disadvantage against her attackers, they eventually overpower her.
  • Reverse Who Dunnit: Subverted in both instances. It's made clear that a group of assassins are responsible for them, but the question of who hired them to nudge events into motion is the mystery.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Robert goes on this when his old friend Susan is murdered.
  • Scare 'Em Straight: How Robert discourages Miles from joining a local gang: by first telling him to use him as his first hold-up then pointing a gun at him to scare him shitless.
  • Serial Escalation: While the first film pits Robert against gangsters, this time he's fighting ex-spooks just like him. The climax of the previous film takes place in a hardware store, while in this film it's an abandoned town during a hurricane. Also, while in the first film Robert never fires a handgun, in this film he fires captured handguns twice.
  • Sherlock Scan: Much like the first film, Robert utilizes this in his first two fights.
  • Shout-Out:
  • A Sinister Clue: Robert realizes that the covered-up murder wasn't a suicide because the victim is right-handed and the person who shot his wife is left-handed.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: Like the end of the first film, this music makes its triumphant return at the end of the final battle just before Robert finishes off York.
  • Take That!: Robert aims one at domestic abusers in the beginning, saying that the man he's looking for is abusive, so he's not a real man.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: As hinted at with the first movie, Susan is a soup lover. McCall and York even have a laugh that of course it was soup York and Susan shared when the latter helped him through a dark period.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The money shot in the trailer was a body being flung off the tower during the hurricane, so once York perches up there in sniper position, it's a pretty easy guess how he'll exit the movie.
  • Tranquil Fury: Robert barely shows any anger or distress over Susan's death or when he's going out to do his thing.
  • Uncomfortable Elevator Moment: Two suspicious-looking young men ride the elevator with Susan before later trying to kill her.
  • Villainous Breakdown: York undergoes one once he realizes Robert had taken out the rest of his team. And once his attempts on Miles' life fails, he starts ranting at Robert and mocks him for his wife's death.
  • Villainous BSoD: York at the end just before McCall kills him. McCall makes a point of holding York's head up and forcing him to look him in the eye just before he kills York. The look on York's face is one of stunned horror and shock at the realization that his former friend is about to send him off to hell.
  • We Used to Be Friends: McCall and York share a good friendship until McCall realizes York was behind the murders.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Neither York's family nor their reactions to his actions and death are shown after their first and only scene.
  • What the Hell Are You?: Miles, confused and clearly traumatized by the events of the film, asks Robert "who are you?" as a Call-Back to the previous installment.
  • Would Hurt a Child: In a deleted scene, the bad guys kill the Calberts' son after he returns home to find his parents dead. In the finished cut, the mercenaries still make it perfectly clear they are going to kill him upon arrival.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The Belgian tweakers who were hired to kill Susan are blown up by their employers.
  • You Killed My Father: Miles was ready to kill some rivals for a local gang, motivated by the fact that the rival gang killed his brother.

"They're going to war with me."

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