A big screen movie very loosely based on the 1980s TV show of the same name, from the director of the 2011 art house film Drive, which featured Ryan Gosling.
The film version of The Equalizer has the same basic premise as the TV show, but takes off in its own way, tailored to Denzel Washington’s skills. He plays a solitary, monastic figure who hates injustice and devotes himself to helping people who are being victimized.
The TV series starred British actor Edward Woodward as The Equalizer, a veteran covert operative who, seeking redemption for his dark deeds, quits a CIA-like agency and puts a classified advertisement in the paper that reads simply: “Got a problem? Odds against you? Call the Equalizer.”
If you thought that the casting of Tom Cruise, who is barely 5′ 7″ tall, as the character Jack Reacher, who is 6′ 5″, was beyond credibility imagine your horror to discover Denzel Washington cast in the role made famous by a senior citizen, white, British actor.
If Hollywood wanted to make a movie with Denzel Washington in the lead as a sort of retired CIA agent… um, well, they did. It was called SAFE HOUSE.
The perfect actor for the role of The Equalizer would have been either; two-time Oscar nominee Tom Wilkinson, or Oscar winner Jim Broadbent, both of whom are the same age, race and nationality as the iconic character, Robert McCall, that Edward Woodward made famous on TV.
Just imagine the outcry from film lovers of all colors if there was ever a remake of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, with a cast of whites. Or Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner, remade with a ‘white’ lesbian in the role that Sidney Poitier made famous?