The Equalizer 2 (open spoilers)

TLDR: Washington gives a stand-out performance in a bad film. Some other good performances too.

This film was many shades of wrong. For a start, it spent far too long setting up Washington as a genuinely good guy. This is a sequel, after all. And a sequel of a reboot to boot. I wouldn’t be surprised if it wasted half an hour. All it really needed was a couple of scenes with the old guy and getting the young guy to paint. And show the uniform (and get it correct) earlier. Ditch the girl rescue completely. Ditch the prostitute scene or connect it with the bad guys. Ditch the extended Lyft advert. Ditch saving the lad from the gang. Etc. And why were the bad guys really killing off their mates? ‘Tying up loose ends’ doesn’t really cut it - there’s no money in it; involvement with that painting does. Big money with evil Nazi connection to boot! And the going home bit was cliche and no serious soldiers would try to fight someone like Washington on their home turf, nor would they split up. Total bad guy cliche failure. Bonus points for using flour as a fuel-air explosive, though. And the end? On top of a tower? Yes, there’s a reason for the bad guy to be there but the whole a cliche and how was Washington supposed to know that the guy had fallen over and it was safe to come up through the trap door? The pigeons establish that the place is disused so why not provide a spectacular finale to the fight by demolishing the tower with the bad guy on top?

And what happened to Bean / Rubinstein? The bad guy says that Washington is sure to have an ace in the hole, which leads the audience to think that it’s Rubinstein since we see the two driving together, but he just disappears. Yes, I know the guy’s 90.

Spend the time saved with expanding the painting plot. For a twist, make the current possessors of the painting genuinely good people and unaware of the past and it’s the immediate past possessor of the painting that’s the bad one. Or have it that the bad guys are hired by the auction house to clean things up. Just have a better plot!

Washington’s acting was as good as the plot was bad. It was an excellent performance given bad material. Had the film been better we might have been talking of an award. Sanders did a very good job of being scared in the home invasion scene but looked too old for the role.

I also liked the performance of Karst as the Turkish father.