Hennessy V.S recently sponsored a cocktail reception for an advanced screening of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s The Equalizer, out todayEBONY.com was on hand to enjoy the specialty Hennessy V.S cocktails that played off of the theme of the movie with fun names such as the Hennessy Old Man in the Sea, Hennessy McCall a Medic and Hennessy the Equalizer.  

About The Equalizer …The film opens on a day like any other regular day. Employees at a home improvement store go about their business, stocking shelves and ringing up costumers. More youthful associates joke with one of the store’s old-timers, a fellow employee who they lovingly call “Pops,” guessing about what kind of mundane job he could have had in his earlier life.  He jokes with them, has a laugh. He even helps another fellow co-worker with a struggling diet, stay on task with hopes of landing a promotion.

Robert McCall seems like an old-guy-next-door type until you see that well, he isn’t. There’s a darker more brooding man under the surface. One who doesn’t sleep nights, who instead spends his slumbering hours awake in a shady diner reading old books and making slight, but pleasant conversation with a young scantily dressed call-girl named Teri (Chloe Grace Moretz), who dreams of being a singer if she wasn’t under the brutal thumb of Slavi (David Meunier) a Russian pimp running a sex trafficking ring with her as one of the young stallions in his stable.  

Robert minds his own business until one fateful night when he bears witness to just how brutal Slavi actually is with the young prostitute, thus eventually unleashing the truth about whom this mysterious soft hearted gentleman really is. The Equalizer is revealed. We learn through a series of bloody brutal events that Robert McCall is actually a retired spy with a special set of skills who is impelled out of hiding and set on a violent path when he slips into the middle of an illegal operation with far reaching ties that run straight into the hands of the Russian mafia.

They don’t take kindly to anyone interfering with their shady operation, therefore a terminator type (Marton Csokas) with a set of terrorific tattoos and drive for destruction is sent in to rid them of their problem. The battle is on. 

In his first teaming with Antoine Fuqua since their collaboration in Training Day, which snagged Denzel an Oscar and Fuqua his first box office smash, Washington is masterful in this role. In Training Day, it is without question from the onset that Alonzo Harris is all kinds of wrong.  He takes no time easing into his atrocities, however with The Equalizer, the audience is treated to a slow transformation, a pealing back of the deep layers until we’re at the hard, vicious core of who Robert MaCall truly is, and moreover, what he’s willing to do and how far he’s willing to go in the name of street justice. 

The Equalizer is a very loose adaptation of the 1980s spy series, which starred Edward Woodard. This films version takes the TV storyline and turns it on its ear. It’s snatched from the streets of New York City and instead eases into the tough dark exterior of Boston. It’s jam-packed with violence and masterfully crafted choreographed fight scenes that are brutally creative and promise to leave audiences picking their jaws up off the sticky theater floor. 

The ending is left wide open for a sequel, which could happen since Washington and Fuqua have already agreed to partner on the upcoming remake of The Magnificent Seven, so potential for this director-actor partnership is all but guaranteed if The Equalizer proves to be box office gold. 

Now, the film pays off with enough bloody fight scenes, some of that slick slip-of-the-tongue that only Denzel can deliver, a few unexpected laughs and an ending that doesn’t leave you hanging. But it does require a slight suspension of belief to hop on this ride. Once you’re willing to buy into the fact that one man is badass enough to take down the entire Russian Mafia, without so much as his own gun, then hold onto your seats, it’s going to be a gritty, bloody, relatively-gruesome, kick-ass trip, with Denzel Washington leading the way.