Sunday Morning: Equalizer 2

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Jaybird

Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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9 Responses

  1. Avatar Oscar Gordon
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    says:

    One thing I liked about both Equalizer movies is that they don’t pretend McCall is some young guy who can go 10 rounds with someone. Nope, he plans, and uses ever single advantage his devious mind can dream up, and he doesn’t let the fight go any longer than it must.

    It’s like watching MacGyver, if MacGyver was older and pretty much done with trying to save everybody.

    That’s not to say Wick isn’t all sorts of fun as well (and Keanu is a hella hard working actor), but yeah, two different approaches, one is much more fantasy than the other.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Oscar Gordon
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      says:

      The scene in the bakery got a legit belly laugh.

      (You know, I now remember that Man On Fire was a Denzel movie too… Denzel as the Old Man Action Hero works even better than Liam Neeson. Neeson got lucky with scipts, though.)Report

      • Avatar Jesse in reply to Jaybird
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        says:

        Man on Fire & John Wick are both great because they have differently built and executed, but both awesome “I’m On Board For Whatever The Main Character Does After This” moments.

        With MoF, I think some people would say is too long, but the first basic hour is built to make you like and enjoy the Dakota Fanning character as much as Creasy does, so when she gets kidnapped, you’re like, “OK, tear Mexico City down. I don’t care, do whatever you need too. Let’s go.”

        With John Wick, it’s obviously the Dog Thing, which is quicker because you don’t need a bunch of build up to get people upset if something happens to a Dog, but there’s just enough and the whole connection to his dead wife, again, makes you go, “Yeah, this all seems like a proportionate response to what happened.”

        Equalizer almost gets there with the Chloe Moretz thing, but it to me, it just falls short. Still a fun action flick, but not quite at the Riproading Rampage of Revenge of those other two.

        My actual hot take is that Taken isn’t actually all that great, aside from the speech and one other moment, and that Walk Among the Tombstones is the best late-era Liam Neelson action flick because it’s actually a “broken down detective” movie, not a “Liam Neeson old man revenge” movie.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jesse
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          says:

          I saw Man on Fire the same week I saw the weird and bad Punisher movie. (The one where we had a 5 minute Punishermobile montage then Johnny Cash sang the Punisher a song in a diner and then Punisher left the diner and Johnny Cash crashed into the Punishermobile, totaling it.)

          Anyway, after seeing that Punisher movie, I saw Man on Fire and was blown away. Holy crap! That was the Punisher movie I wanted to see when I saw The Punisher!

          John Wick has you okay with John Wick shooting people in the head because John Wick is John Wick. (I wonder how many actors were shot in different scenes to save a little money. I wonder if any of them were also in John Wick 2… “I got killed seven times!”, one of them could brag at the bar.) The bad guys existed to demonstrate how competent John Wick was. Justice had nothing to do with it. It was Fate to be killed by him. (Well, sometimes he did the thing where he gave the baddies opportunities to walk away.) You didn’t *WANT* his opponents to die, necessarily. You didn’t even know who they were until you saw them get shot.

          In The Equalizer, they did a good job of getting you to want the bad things to happen to the bad people. Not necessarily to have Denzel Washington to do them… it’s just that, without him, maybe nobody would give what these guys had coming.

          I kinda disagree about Taken. (The sequels are another story.) It’s a Mel Gibson pre-revenge thriller that has been turned down to a 3 to let it appeal to the family crowd. (I agree about that one other moment. That was awesome.)

          I was too troubled by the bad guys in Walk Among the Tombstones. I liked that the bad guys were stupid and venial… but that meant that their crimes were more visceral.Report

  2. Avatar North
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    says:

    I enjoyed John Wick for the world which seemed dark but kind of fun with it’s whole Hotel Continental and its associated underworld economy and power structure. That said I couldn’t immerse into John Wick dues to the heavy 1000 useless ninjas theme of it along with the confounding factor of the ninjas having guns which, let’s face it, cuts against the core point of what a gun is.

    A gun is a noob weapon. The first guns were brutally inferior to bows but you could teach hordes of peasants to lug and fire guns en mass whereas a capable archer virtually needed to be grown from infancy. I grant, of course, that skill matters for guns as it does for everything but it matters a hell of a lot less. Pre-gun weapons were pretty skill intense; an incompetent with a bow or sword could barely kill anyone and was generally not even willing to try. Get a pistol into the hands of an incompetent, on the other hand, and they can hurtle a minimum of a single utterly lethal bit of speeding metal at the main character that is fully capable of splattering their internal organs all over the wall.
    Being a killer of a thousand useless ninjas in pre-gun eras is hard but at least plausible. Being a killer of a thousand useless ninjas with guns requires extra sensory prescience that gives you awareness of every single ninja, their location and their firing vectors. Miss even on of them and they’re gonna kill your ass.

    And that’s why I have trouble with John Wick even though it’s an interesting world.Report

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