Scott Garfield
Stephan Lee
August 15, 2014 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Equalizer

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
131 minutes
Wide Release Date
09/26/14
performer
Melissa Leo, Chloe Grace Moretz, Denzel Washington
director
Antoine Fuqua
distributor
Sony Pictures Entertainment
genre
ActionAdventure

We gave it an D

Fans of the ’80s TV series The Equalizer probably won’t even recognize Denzel Washington’s take on vigilante justice-seeker Robert McCall. Remove the slick Jaguar and add a case of obsessive-compulsive disorder, for starters. The movie version of McCall — a mysteriously agile home-store employee who takes it upon himself to rescue a young prostitute (Chloë Grace Moretz) from Russian mobsters — was tailored to suit Washington. Director Antoine Fuqua (Olympus Has Fallen), who first worked with Washington in his Oscar-winning turn as LAPD Det. Alonzo Harris in 2001’s Training Day, knows the actor well. ”It’s always character, character, character [with him]. Then you build your action and drama around that.” Discussing this film, Fuqua says, ”Denzel had mentioned something about OCD — it was personal to him, a relative or something — and we started riffing off of that.”

The actor and director, now friends, share a boxing coach, which came in handy for the intensely violent hand-to-hand combat scenes. Washington’s McCall favors table legs and corkscrews over guns and knives. ”He hasn’t missed a beat,” says Fuqua of his 59-year-old star. ”He’s still in there training every day, going six or seven rounds.”

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