Run Time: 120 Mins
What To Expect: A hazy lack of urgency, kind of mediocre
This film has good ingredients; Antoine Fuqua is a good director, Denzel Washington is a good actor, Pedro Pascal is a good actor and it’s an R-rated yarn about a vigilant killer. However although it’s not a bad film, it’s not a good one either. This get-together is an apparent celebration of the success of the first for the sake of it, with little purpose or direction.
The second time out, not much has changed for Robert McCall (Denzel Washington). Pissant kidnappers and rapists are still getting dismantled… surrounded by lefts and rights, they don’t know what has hit them (mind you, lesser directors than Fuqua would leave the audience in a similar predicament with their shaking and editing bullshit). But when an associate of McCall’s, Susan Plummer (Melissa Leo) dies in a robbery, McCall begins to suspect that a larger conspiracy is at play. With Dave York (Pedro Pascal), in the same line of work as McCall, being at the center of it. Elsewhere throughout the movie, McCall chases redemption by nurturing youngster Miles (Ashton Sanders) from the arms of gangsters.
This film runs for two hours. Over an hour in, I noticed nothing of note had actually happened, which is the main problem. Dare I say it, the lack of anything going on in this sequel makes it kind of… boring, at times anyway. I didn’t care about McCall’s friend, not my fault, rather she was just some badly written broad with a paper-thin ‘intrigue’ angle selling her death. Beyond that, we’re left to follow Washington around, mostly as he mentors the kid and gets involved in the occasional violent act. Pedro Pascal is also underused.
Another problem I have with the movie is McCall’s invulnerability, and the character’s lack of humor. When we sense a beat-down is coming, it’s all too clinical and sterile. McCall is never in peril and if old Arnold movies have taught us anything, unstoppable supermen have to at least wink at the camera or deliver a scathing one liner to a dispatched pissant. You know people like McCall don’t actually exist, not even in video games with cheats on. So ease up a bit with the straight-faced seriousness.
Well, all the same… Washington is an easy man to watch, even if they’ve handed him an overwrought two-hour pile of nothing, and sent Pascal to the bench. Shit dialogue is turned into shit-salad dialogue, through Denzel Washington. And if you liked the first, while you won’t like this one as much, you might want to proceed with caution. It’s kind of a waste, pretty average to be generous.
One of the tags for the film… There Is No Equal. Well, y’know, John Wick is kind of doing it better right now.