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A Quick ‘Equalizer’ Recap Before You See ‘Equalizer 2’

Here's what happened before!

Colombia Pictures

Scenario. You’re stoked to go see Equalizer 2 and in your head, you remind yourself of all the reasons why. First, Denzel Washington is in it; second, the trailers look awesome; and third, Antoine Fuqua is directing, and that guy directed Training Day. You also don’t care about bad reviews. Only only one problem: you have only vague memories of Denzel Washington doing a bunch of cool shit while fighting the Russian Mafia in the first movie. Now, that’s not the worst summary of what happened in the last movie, but if you really want to get the most out of Equalizer 2, let’s make sure you’re totally filled in. Here’s a quick recap of Equalizer Uno.

In Equalizer, Denzel Washington stars as Robert McCall, a mild-mannered man living a quiet life in Boston, Massachusetts. He works at a hardware store where he’s respected for his discipline and generosity. He’s even helping a co-worker study for a security guard exam. Recently widowed, he spends his nights reading alone in a 24/7 diner where he meets a teenaged prostitute named Alina, played by Chloë Grace Moretz, who also starred in both Kick-Ass movies. The two quickly become friends and McCall becomes protective of Alina, which is particularly bad news for Alina’s abusive employers – the Russian Mafia.

After Alina is brutalized and sent to the hospital, McCall goes to her pimp to bargain for her freedom. The pimp laughs at McCall and refuses. And for the next hour and a half, McCall’s dark side is set free. Turns out, the mild-mannered hardware store manager is a retired CIA black ops agent who hasn’t lost any of his deadly skills. He kills the pimp and his armed men with the calm efficiency of the stopwatch he used to time himself as he did it. It took 19 seconds.

Now on the mafia’s radar, McCall gets tailed by his counterpart, a brutal ex-Russian special forces agent named Itchenko, played by Marton Csokas. As soon as Itchenko lands in Boston, he immediately starts killing people as he hunts for McCall who, at this point, has secretly become a bone cracking vigilante. As McCall fights corrupt cops and petty criminals, Itchenko gets closer and closer to him. Eventually Itchenko and the mafia close in on McCall and, knowing he’s too skilled to go against head-on, take his friends from the hardware store hostage, setting the stage for a final showdown inside of a warehouse. By the end of the movie, Itchenko leads a squadron of Russians armed with assault rifles against a solo, hyper-focused McCall. McCall wins, his friends are set free, and all the Russian mafia guys eat it.

Right before the credits roll, McCall goes back to his favorite 24/7 diner, drinks a coffee, and puts a personal ad online for anyone in need of their own personal ass kicker. Which brings us up to date and ready for Equalizer 2 where we can expect McCall to continue his vigilantism defending the oppressed and protecting the ones he loves. To watch him do it, go see it in theaters this weekend.