How do you get an actor (Denzel Washington) and a director (Antoine Fuqua) both known for their sequel aversion to do a sequel like The Equalizer 2? Convince them your doing a remake and tell them that it is a modern day western, even though only the final shootout is horse opera resonant— and it is a straight up revenge thriller.
For a good director of mayhem like Fuqua all it takes is the promise of a few good fight sequences. A train heading to Istanbul with a car load of child kidnappers makes for a great close quarters opener as well as a glitzy pad with sneering young corporate types who need a brutal lesson on how not to disrespect women.
For Washington make him a do good vigilante with a passion for reading Proust and Taneshi Coates, kill a few good friends, stir, and let the kick ass begin. A good special ops vet with a comfort zone in violence is all Washington needs to do some good character work.
Fuqua and Washington are both at that points in their careers where they don’t need to do this kind of work. Still, they will do it, to keep their fans happy. It’s also a decent gig until the next big socially significant project allows them to reunite.
The Equalizer 2 is good enough work for now.