Under the Radar

'The Equalizer': Tools Don't Kill People, Retired Operators Do

Denzel Washington stars in "The Equalizer." (Sony)

"The Equalizer 2" was hit movie in theaters this summer and it's good to see Denzel Washington reprise his role as retired spy Robert McCall, but the real classic remains the original. 2014's "The Equalizer" has just been reissued on 4K and the remastered version is aces.

McCall is keeping a low profile, working in a Boston home improvement superstore. A young prostitute named Teri (Chloe Grace Moretz) befriends him at the late-night diner they both frequent and his ass-kicking mojo is reactivated after the Russian mob she's working for beats her up.

Denzel doesn't carry a gun, so he carefully scans each situation for makeshift weapons he can use to handle the dirty work. He tries to buy Teri's freedom from the mobsters and kills them all when they won't let her go.

That leads the Russian boss to send his fixer Teddy (Martin Csokas) to Boston to find out who killed his men. Things get messy and end with a giant showdown in the home improvement warehouse.

It's not the plot that makes this one so good: It's Denzel's performance and Antoine Fuqua's direction. They know what they want to do here and don't waste a frame in creating McCall's character and motivation. The original TV series was set in NYC and the move to Boston was a great one. They take full advantage of the New England locations and it's always great to see a movie shot in the actual city where it's supposed to take place.

The 4K transfer is stunning, worth the upgrade if you already love the movie. There are a handful of previously unreleased deleted scenes and some high-quality making-of featurettes repeated from the earlier Blu-ray release.

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