I first saw Denzel Washington in the play “A Soldier’s Story” in New York City in 1981. The production was off-Broadway, presented by the world famous, Negro Ensemble Company. He was unknown at the time, but you could see that condition was soon going to change.
Later that year, he was in his first movie, “Carbon Copy.” He stole the show and anyone could tell this guy was for real. Until he made “Training Day”, a film that I consider a piece of trash and trash is not the word I really want to use, I enjoyed any film Denzel was a part of.
He deserved the Best Actor Academy Award for “Malcolm X”. But Al Pacino, who had not been rewarded for his impressive screen credits, received the honor from Academy voters that year. He had waited a long time and his body of work in the two “Godfather” films could not be ignored. Denzel was given the top award for his role in the trashy film to correct the previous voting imbalance.
Few actors can make do with just their first name, this fine performer is in that elite group with folks like Marlon, Humphrey, Sidney and Orson. Okay, this is supposed to be a review of “The Equalizer”. The main villain is a walking, talking personification of evil. Matron Csokas plays that role for all it is worth, you will hate him with a passion.
The film is a little too long, but knowing Denzel is obviously planning to make a trilogy of films playing his character, Robert McCall, it is no mystery that he will be victorious in this first outing. Plan on watching all three films, this is Mr. Washington’s version of the “Bourne” character that Matt Damon has cashed in on three times in recent films. I am sure Denzel took notice of that fact, and is off to a good start with this first solid action / adventure film.
By GEORGE GAFFNEY