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Like most action movies, The Equalizer 2 escalates its action to the point of a giant firefight in its third act... but the upcoming sequel has one thing that makes it special: the fact that the sequence is set during a raging hurricane. As you would expect, on the big screen it looks totally crazy, and when I recently sat down with director Antoine Fuqua and star Denzel Washington, they confirmed all of my suspicions:
The Los Angeles press day for The Equalizer 2 was held this past weekend, and it was appropriately at the end of my interview with the veteran actor-director duo that I asked about the movie's climactic battle. Antoine Fuqua noted that shooting the action was exactly as "not fun" as you'd expect, with Denzel Washington stressing that things definitely aren't made easier on the set of a film when things are all wet. His specific choice of word was "tedious," as they not only had the stress of doing multiple takes filming each scene, but everything was cranked up to 10 because of the uncomfortable wind and water effects making everything more difficult.
Without getting into too many details that might spoil the experience of actually watching The Equalizer 2, the pain and struggle filming the sequence legitimately does pay off -- as it legitimately looks like the last section of the movie was filmed during a serious Nor'easter. It makes for a thrilling and intense atmosphere, amping the stakes, and more importantly allows Denzel Washington's Robert McCall to effectively show off his crazy killing skills in a unique environment. It's definitely a whole lot different than the end of the first Equalizer, which you may remember concludes at the hardware superstore at which McCall worked (in the sequel the story picks up with him operating as a Lyft driver).
While it's usually not necessarily a great thing to be thinking about the filmmaking process while watching a movie, I will say that The Equalizer 2's finale is a bit of an exception. It's pretty crazy to see the cast of actors battling the elements while facing off in a life-or-death battle, but in the moment you also can't help but think about how they actually got the work done. Without seeing the behind-the-scenes footage, one can only imagine the scale of the sprinkler system and the size on the fans being used, and that image alone should put a smile on the face of any cinephile.
Fans of The Equalizer will soon be able to see the action for themselves. The Equalizer 2, which co-stars Pedro Pascal, Melissa Leo, Bill Pullman, Ashton Sanders, and more, arrives in theaters this Friday, July 20th. Stay tuned for more of our coverage here on CinemaBlend, including more from my interview with Denzel Washington and Antoine Fuqua.