Denzel Washington in The Equalizer.

Denzel Washington plays Robert McCall, a quiet employee at a Home Depot-type store. Robert likes to drink tea at a local diner and read his book. When a young prostitute (Chloë Grace Moretz) gets into trouble with Russian mobsters, Robert springs into action—and major details of his past are slowly revealed.

Washington is pretty damn great in the role (based on a TV show from the 1980s), playing a sweet, gentle man who can tear your face off in an instant without blinking an eye. The film is directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day), and while he resorts to a lot of visual clichés (slow motion, rain), he owns those clichés. Marton Csokas is good and scary as Teddy, the film’s main bad guy. His confrontations with Robert are quite memorable.

The movie doesn’t offer much when it comes to new things, but it does provide solid entertainment throughout. I’m hoping Washington gets a franchise out of this one, because I’d like to see more of Robert McCall.

The Equalizer is playing at theaters across the valley.