It was a good run, Liam Neeson. The 62-year-old who was Oskar Schindler and Alfred Kinsey spent the last seven years kicking the crap out of much younger bad guys in bone-crushing B-movies, best epitomized by the Taken films. But as of this past weekend, there’s a new sheriff in town. Two-time Oscar winner Denzel Washington, one of the biggest movie stars of the past 25 years, and almost always, the coolest guy in the room, delivered his 12th No. 1 film, The Equalizer.
Directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day), The Equalizer is a Neeson-ized adaptation of the 1980s CBS detective drama series that starred Edward Woodward. Washington plays Robert McCall, a former spy/assassin with a sentimental soul who puts his deadly skills back in action when the Russian mob steps on the neck of some of his poor Boston friends. The Equalizer is a Bourne film for your parents’ generation, a taut but straight-ahead thriller where the old guy not only dispatches Russian gangsters with a creative assortment of Home Depot style tools, but offers life-lessons to a younger generation that hangs on his every word of wisdom. The Equalizer grossed more than $34 million in its opening weekend, Washington’s third biggest debut ever, and a sequel is already on the drawing board.
At 59, Washington is just entering his Neeson-season prime, and the man who brought “geri-action”—to quote my colleague Hillary Busis—back in vogue, might suddenly have some serious competition. READ FULL STORY