Tuesday, February 9, 2021

The Equalizer - The Equalizer

Queen Latifah stars in this reimagining of the late 80s TV-show as a retired intelligence officer who decides to put their skills to new use by helping out the innocent people in need. The show's first episode introduces us to Robyn McCall (Latifah), her rebellious daughter (Laya DeLeon Hayes), and some old associates (Adam Goldberg, Liza Lapira, and Chris Noth) Robyn calls on to help a young girl (Lorna Courtney) framed for murder to an astonishingly degree (complete with instantaneous altered video footage). We're also introduced to Tory Kittles as Detective Marcus Dante who becomes aware of Robyn's activities and may prove to be an ally within the NYPD.

The investigation traces back to a tech billionaire (Michael Rady) with motive and means to frame a hard working waitress (because that's what they do, right?). Of course all of these leads to a showdown where our hero takes down the bad guy's goons in his own home while toying with him (think Stephen Seagal in Hard to Kill) and saves the girl, while discovering a new calling. The sequence is one of the few times the show, and Latifah, seems to have fun with the more ridiculous aspects of the show's premise. If Robyn is to remain as stoic as she is for most of the episode (when not dealing with her daughter), the show is going to need rely on its support cast to lighten the mood.

The show's set-up offers the same kind of generic support team all series seem to have these days (complete with the world's best hacker, of course), and a good section of the episode also focuses on Robyn's home life. While the former helps inject some fun, the later helps to ground the character a bit more than just a woman of mystery (a choice which may or may not be ultimately a good thing). The series also chooses to incorporate the PTSD element of Denzel Washington's character from the recent movie adaptation. It will be interesting to see how large a role it plays over the course of the series and how much time the support cast gets every week.

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