The Equalizer

Da-da-da-da-dah, da-da-da-da-da-da-dum.


They don't play the theme. What's the point?
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Reported on 12th of October, 2014

Despite what the critics would have us believe or seek, there’s a certain pleasure to be had from watching films. It should surprise us, therefore, that The Equalizer is only a medium critical success, as it is so hell bent on frustrating any pleasure one might have. No, ‘hell’ is too strong, since it involves burning in an eternal fire pit of damnation, which, while freezing in theater 7 of the Brighton Odeon seems a rather satisfying prospect indeed. Purgatory Bent? George Bernard Shaw’s Version of Heaven Bent?

Semi-literary reference and proxy invocation of endless petty bourgeois civility. Perfect.

The Equalizer

2 October 2014 @ The Brighton Odeon


-$0.31 or, if one must be jejune, and one must... 
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

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This is best explained by the film’s extremely irritating refusal to play the theme. Come on. It’s the theme to The Equalizer. Bump-ba-ba-dah, Bump-ba-ba-dah, Bump-ba-ba-dah-dah-dum. Why it could, and did, make The Equalizer look good. But, says Mr. Fuqua, I want to rework a series that no one remembers (except for the theme of course), and make it mine. You know, like JJ Abrams.

Cliché abhors a tired simile.

Okay. I’m man enough to admit when I’ve gone too far. Sorry, Mr. Fuqua. But as you made the pretty decent Training Day, and the first 95 minutes of Shooter, I will instead present the following as constructive criticism as to where the theme might play.

During the extremely prolonged, and weirdly expensive opening. This is obvious, play it at the beginning. More so for the fact that herr director has built Boston and Mr. Washington’s apartment in a computer to show how cool it would be to totally go over the kitchen counter. Rather than film, I don’t know, a kitchen counter that didn’t have the right raytrace. Is that how we see reality now? Not real enough? Such effort for a negligible, nay unnoticeable result, presaged what was to come. Thusly…

During the even further prolonged expositional scene Nothing says ‘I’m doing a great job cleaning my dishes’ than the ‘Theme to the Equalizer’. You could play it while he rides the bus, walks from the bus stop to the store, stocks inventory, walks back to the bus, and eats food. And then cleans the dishes. Any of those. There are good twenty minutes of Mr. Denzel Washington doing pretty much nothing as he goes back and forth at our Home Depot-a-like. The theme would be wonderful over the inventory stocking scenes.

There are a lot of those.

No. Really. There are a lot of those.

During Mr. Washington’s Explanation of The Old Man and the Sea. Never mind. Nothing could save the inclusion of that.

Russian Tattoo Guy!  Having desperately attempted avoid cliché by not filming anything interesting or fun, Mr. Fuqua discovers that cliché abhors a tired simile, and soon finds its embodiment in our extremely silly villain, whose tattoos, I admit were pretty rad. That being said, when he stretches out to show how much work the make-up artists have done, and kudos to make-up artists everywhere, we learn this is as good as the film is going to get. If all you got is art design, play the theme.

Music Box Scene ‘It is a beautiful music box that I will play in counterpoint whilst a strangle you. And speaking of counterpoint, the strains of a bump-ba-ba-dah, mayhap in a minor key, would go rather well here’.

Fine it was Theater 6 and not 7. But no one forgets AC in winter.

Fine it was Theater 6 and not 7. But no one forgets AC in winter.

During the exceptionally violent, and correlatively dull, climax Strangling, however eeeeeeevvvvvvvviiiiiiillllllll, is nothing compared to the various acts of violence that one Mr. Washington doles out during the Home Depot Wouldn’t Give Us Enough Money For Product Placement climax. That’s the thing about themes. James Bond is a bit of a sick fuck (though to be fair, nowhere as sick a fucker as this incarnation of Robert McCall). But dum-da-da-da-dum-da-da-da-duh-da-da-dum, and voilà we don’t seem to mind that he’s had sex with and then murdered some busty lass. That’s disgust….cool!

Likewise, The Equalizer has quietly crossed what may be in future regarded as an historical threshold of what violence might be acceptable for a hero. We’ve seen the ol’ pneumatic nailgun bit (and would somebody please tell somebody else that nailguns don’t shoot nails at any distance longer than one inch. And yes, my major problem with The Equalizer is that it’s not realistic), so we know that however gross that may be, it’s okay for the good guy, especially if he feels bad and stuff. However, drill through the skull seems a bit Freddy, n’est-ce pas? The theme here would totally say, I in no way secretly like violence. I just forgot how to use a gun. And a barbed wire noose trap with the baddie flailing around dripping blood and screaming in agony was just the only way…to give pleasure to revenge stoked audience.

The whole time There is a lot of standing around and pausing and not doing much in this film. Even the darkly lit and gruesome final scene takes a good twenty minutes, and we’re talking five bad guys (I was especially sad to see beardy guy go). Plus, you know they’re going to denouement the shit of the movie, and they do. This is not a short film. You need music. To fill in the fact that there’s not enough material here for an episode of…The ‘A’ Team.

And now you’ll be singing that all day. You’re welcome.

The Take

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Profits!
If I had seen Gone Girl cold, I probably would have found it only tolerable, instead of mildly extant. That’s something.
$1.00
Total Profits
$1.00
Losses!
Minutes where the theme was not played, @ 1¢ per minute:
$1.31
Total Losses
$1.31

-$0.31

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