Quiet, meditative, sensitive, gradual. Not the first words that come to mind when considering 2014’s vigilante thriller The Equalizer – though they do apply at times – but certainly descriptors of its sequel, which we loved. Denzel Washington’s ex-spy, Robert McCall, who had managed to extricate himself from a life of state-sanctioned violence and murder, now works as a vigilante for hire, an avenger, conducts himself as a role model, mentor, and cheerleader for those whose lives with which he comes into contact.
We discuss The Equalizer 2‘s ethos of personal responsibility and self-improvement, and its meditative tone. José orates on his love of Denzel and his position as perhaps the most significant figure of black masculinity throughout the history of cinema. Mike adores Antoine Fuqua’s aesthetic of long lenses, shallow focus and moody lighting; a visual sensibility that looks wonderful and intimidating on the big screen, but somehow makes small screens seem big too.
While it’s certainly cut from the same cloth as the first film, The Equalizer 2 is more confident to bask in contemplation and even a kind of plotlessness, and it’s not quite what you’d expect. We think it’s great. Worth seeing while it’s in cinemas.
The podcast can be listened to in the players above or on iTunes.
Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here tells a story of vigilante justice with a tapestry of elliptical editing and interwoven flashbacks. We consider its themes, the deliberate way it depicts or conceals violence, the effect of trauma on its protagonist and his need for human connection. It’s a complex, almost ergodic film, that requires attention, rewards visual literacy, and yields great pleasures. We love it.
We also praise Amazon Studios for respecting the theatrical release window, and round off by discussing the recent Oscars.
The podcast can be listened to in the player above or on iTunes.