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Columbia Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures in association with Escape Artists present…
Based on the crime drama television series which starred the late Edward Woodward, Director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) brings this film adaptation to life with the help of an old friend Denzel Washington (Man on Fire)!
The protagonist, Robert McCall was a retired black ops operative who has finally found peace as a recluse from society. He gets up for work on the dot, as we see him bantering with work colleagues, well mannered and basically an all around help! But before he goes home he drops by at this diner where he finds some quiet time reading his book until he meets Alina also known as “Teri” being based on her late night occupation.
Chloë Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass) is one of the many women who are under the sex trafficking of the Russian Mafia. She has the same waiting place with Robert where she gets acquainted trying to find a reason in her life but more importantly maybe a friend that can help her get out of this dire situation she’s living in! Her character depiction moved up a notch practically from her younger days but still hailed as one of the promising young actresses of her generation.
The film resonate the very same plot and premise of the original series that involves abusive behavior, police procedural, human rights and vigilantism. Note that in every turn of the story Robert finds a way to provide help or better justice for those who were oppressed and how ironic that most of them came from police harassment. Even without the permission of these people, he just cannot turn a blind eye to what’s happening around him and for those he cares for!
Enter main baddie Teddy played by Marton Csokas (The Debt) calm and collected as he is brutal to the core! Teddy is the right hand man of a Russian elite businessman named Pushkin, he takes care of loose ends and while doing so tramples on anyone who gets in his way even for the police whom we learn also under their illicit transactions! It was very intriguing how to opposing forces collide knowing one will only go down most notably seeing Robert go back to his former self and visited his friends Melissa Leo (Olympus Has Fallen) and Bill Pullman (Bringing UP Bobby) who plays husband and wife Susan and Brian Plummer who were also former agents of the government who were able to provide specific background information of who he was up against.
The violence is very evident considering that he has to take down gangsters, robbers and even mercenaries in full combat gear! Dialogue was enough to convey the objectives while at some point having intermittent situations before reaching the final boss and it was worth it! While the action was gratifying all throughout knowing that Denzel delivers his best to please the audiences (especially for the fans).
The story was straight forward and much anticipated since it was extradited from a previous well accepted origin. Plus Denzel once again has done a terrific job to make this film more exciting to watch (even Russell Crowe who was approached first can match the said performance) I doubt it will be a box office failure. He has given the role much more levity and precision although people still criticized this aspect to be less in terms of developing his character but there can ways in order to expand and depth of his portrayal if given a chance to give the film its own franchise like the “The Bourne Trilogy” with Matt Damon and recently the “Taken Trilogy” top billed by Liam Neeson!