Boston Traffic and The Equalizer 2
In the 80s The Equalizer television show was one television show that I watched with my father. On Sunday nights when I was in high school, my father and I both enjoyed Edward Woodward as Robert McCall and his lovely car, a green Jag. (To this day, I still think about getting one of those now collectible Jags even though that was the era where those cars famously broke down in the rain.)
Never mind that after reading a lot more books, I can see both the cold war and patriarchal underpinnings of the series, and I might be less enthusiastic about a white man in an expensive car as the one solving problems.
While I missed the first film in this reboot, in the Equalizer 2 I was happy to find Denzel Washington as former government agent Robert McCall, who is going about the world putting his skills to good use, improving the common good.
In the original series, the car was a major character. Now the film updates our Equalizer as a rideshare driver in greater Boston. Tho, confusingly, Denzel Washington seems to move easily about Boston during daylight hours, and he never seems to hit Boston traffic! All those hours in the car and we never see a toll booth? Hello?
People who like to spend a lot of time analyzing things might wonder how the plot that is revealed in the second half of the movie came to be, especially given our current geopolitical situation. Yet this is still a very serviceable film, mostly made so by the near-constant onscreen presence of Denzel Washington.
While the show has caught up from the 80s, it’s a long way from woke. There is only one really prominent female character. And while Denzel Washington takes a young man under his wing–to save him from heading into a life of crime– he is no radical in fixing the problems of the world.
The end of the film takes place outside of Boston proper, in a beach town on the coast. There’s sand and a bakery and a big storm coming. The end of the film involves so many knives and flour that I’ll never look at a bakery again without thinking about “tactical flour” now!
I couldn’t help thinking about the film when I was recently in a drugstore in Kennebunkport, Maine, and a drunken tourist wondered in. She was asking how hard it was to get an uber. The clerk told her that they were all up in Portland.
There is always a chance that your New England rideshare driver might be a ex-government agent, putting the world to rights as a rideshare driver.