Checking out Denzel Washington's latest offering on IMAX

Actor Denzel Washington attends The Equalizer 2 Premiere at the TCL Chinese Theater.
Actor Denzel Washington attends The Equalizer 2 Premiere at the TCL Chinese Theater.

As a self-confessed Denzel Washington fan I couldn’t wait to see his latest offering, the only sequel he has ever done, on the big screen.

The sequel opened with $34-million (Washington’s second-biggest opening behind American Gangster) in the US and has so far grossed more than $162-million worldwide.

So, of course I was going to choose the best viewing experience for this blockbuster. When the invitation from Ster-Kinekor Mall of Africa for the IMAX viewing experience of the film dropped in my e-mail, I didn't hesitate to accept.

With everyone having to watch their spending due to the rising cost of living, paying a R131 for a ticket may not be everyone’s cup of tea; don’t even get me started on the prices for snacks. However, this experience has its perks.

The biggest thumbs-up for someone who has to wear prescription glasses regularly like me is the incredible clarity that comes with a 18.8-metres wide screen. You catch every element of the film and the sound is simply amazing. I also enjoyed the extra leg room the theatre offers. I would definitely recommend IMAX for films with lots of action sequences and movement; it really enhances one’s viewing experience. However, the verdict is still out on whether it is better than 3D.

I do feel that spending all that ticket money for a drama or rom-com would be a waste, regular theatre would do just fine for those.

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Review of the film

In The Equalizer 2 Denzel Washington still plays Robert McCall, a retired special operations agent who is driven on getting justice for the victims he encounters and dispensing swift punishment on a criminal scum. 

Loosely based on the same-named 1980s TV series and like its predecessor, The Equalizer, the film is very violent and suffers from some pacing issues, but the appealing main character and the inventive action scenes make it an entertaining watch and a touch above your typical action movie. 

This will be the fourth time Washington and director Antoine Fuqua have collaborated. Together they have worked on the original The Equalizer, Training Day and the remake of The Magnificent Seven.

While the first movie served as an origin story for McCall and how he started using his skills to help those in need, the second film serves to delve into the life he’d left behind including a dead wife, which serves to highlight Washington’s ability to convey a tortured personal history without a need to provide the specifics.

This battle with his past forms the core of the story as the one link to his past, his former Agency handler Susan Plummer (Melissa Leo), is brutally murdered and this sets him on the path of vengeance which involves shady assassins and elements from his past. Along the way, he starts to mentor a youth from the neighbourhood who is in danger of falling into a life of crime.

Washington brings a sense of humanity and dramatic force to the role of McCall that many other actors can’t hope to match. Despite the violence, there’s no one cooler to watch in action.