The Equalizer 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review
Robert McCall (Washington) doesn’t seem like a ruthless killing machine. He’s one of the hardest working employees of his big box home improvement store, he’s a bit of a neat freak and he’s willing to help out his fellow employees. His calm demeanor as he buries his nose into a book, would imply he’s just an ordinary nice guy who loves his job, but behind that pearly white smile, are calculating eyes, and a pension for blood filled justice.
McCall has no problem dispatching petty criminals or threatening corrupt police. He knows when to strike and how to. He’s actually pretty good at remaining unseen while righting the wrongs of life, but he may have crossed paths with someone even more ruthless and unrelenting, the Russian mob. While frequenting his favorite diner, McCall has befriend Teri (Moretz), a teenage prostitute, who from a very young age, has been used, abused and slapped around by the Russians and their disgusting clientele. Unfortunately for the mafia fiends, they’ve put her in the hospital for the last time.
What makes McCall likeable is that he doesn’t automatically resort to killing. If anything, killing is the immediate go to when his terms cannot be agreed upon. And it’s not like his terms are outrageous. They’re typically very simple. Quit being an awful person. A lot of times, the people will agree to it after some bone breaking persuasion, but those who don’t meet a gruesome end. And the Russian mob isn’t one to bow down to the wishes of one single man.
While the violence can be shocking, such as one man who’s hung by barbed wire, it’s not gratuitous or graphic. Of course gruesome moments like that are saved for the end. Up until that point, McCall disposes of people like you would see in any run-of-the-mill action movie. The ending is the true house of horrors for anyone who might have a weak stomach or prone to peering at the screen through fingers.
And even if you don’t like how McCall handles justice, it’s hard to hate Denzel. He’s always been a fine actor and a much underrated action star. Playing an unstoppable force just seems like a role he was born to play, but his charm adds a necessary level. Without that natural concern and love he shows for his friends and co-workers, his end of the movie slaughter fest wouldn’t feel necessary, but he’s also someone who realizes that he may not like that part about him.
The first half of the movie establishes a life he wants, but when need be, he falls back into what he used to be to help correct the injustices of the world. It makes you a little curious about what happened in his earlier career as a trained killer for the government which made him turn over a new leaf. Maybe he’s a just firm believer in fairness for all people on Earth and prefers using a nail gun and bold threats to impose it.
Note: the 4K portion of the review was written by Brad Sturdivant
4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: Sony has been on point with their 4K UHD discs of late and THE EQUALIZER is another solid addition to their recent lineup. The Blu-ray was fine, but the UHD offers some improvements, mostly during the darker night scenes. The rain soaked finale looks a little better as it’s easier to distinguish raindrops thanks to the increased detail. Night scenes (which is the majority of the film) have some added color definition thanks to the HDR, but the biggest differences are in the closeups and background details. Fans of the film will be pleased with the improvements.
Audio: The Dolby Atmos track is a nice upgrade over the DTS track from the Blu-ray. A lot of the film has a modest soundtrack, but when the surround and overhead channels are utilized, the film really comes to life.
This title was reviewed using a Samsung UBD-K8500 with a Sony XBR75X850C TV.
In a rare departure from the norm, THE EQUALIZER 4K disc actually has several new features:
Deleted Scenes (6:10): Five scenes in total, one of which sets up the sequel quite nicely.
Featurettes: Six new featurettes are included, the longest of which is just over five minutes long. These are more of the fluff variety and none of the new featurettes cover the actual making of the film.
Apart from the new features, you also get a Blu-ray of the film which has all of the content from the original release.