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Review: “The Equalizer” is Every Black Parent Ever

Denzel Washington returns to his role as Robert McCall, former militiaman turned Lyft driver by day and vigilante by night, The Equalizer. He teams up with director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) for a third time, the result, a strangely heartwarming, yet flinchingly violent pseudo-parable of reaping and sowing. While the film’s trademark is the fast paced fight scenes, they are, in my opinion, often upstaged by the unique way in which McCall expresses his care and concern for the community and the persons therein.

McCall’s tough love is communicated in awkward, intentional silences, acts of retributive justice, and hilarious told-you-so style phrases delivered right before a serious ass-whooping. These mini lectures are funny because they so closely resemble those of a parent ready to bring forth punishment on a disobedient child. At times McCall sounds like a father, other times the old school neighbor from the up the block. Overall, the connecting thread is that he says what he says out of love and a desire for you to make better choices.

One of the relationships in the film that lends itself to these humorous displays of extended parenting is that between McCall and his teenage neighbor, Miles. Miles and McCall’s first interaction is in the common outdoor area of their shared apartment building. Vandals have destroyed neighbor Fatima’s garden and graffitied over the mural her brother painted; McCall is attempting to paint over their tagging and restore the mural. Miles voices his confusion as to why McCall would take it upon himself to do such labor when it is the landlord’s responsibility, to which the do-gooder responds with something along the lines of, “Everybody sees it and anybody could do it, but no one will.” This response sounds so simple that it tows the line between common sense and profundity.READ MORE........