FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #56 – “The Equalizer” (dir. Antoine Fuqua)

Poster for "The Equalizer"

This week on the podcast, Glenn and Daniel witness the reunion of Denzel Washington with Training Day director Antoine Fuqua – as well as a return to general badassdom – in The Equalizer. This will be the second film in as many weeks we end up comparing to Taken, and this time, it may not be to the film’s advantage (28:52).

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating: 5.5 out of 10

Show notes:

  • Music for tonight’s episode is “Sixteen” by The Heavy, from the film’s soundtrack.
  • The Philadelphia diner painting we referred to is Nighthawks, by Edward Hopper.
  • We referred to the 2000 John Singleton film Shaft, starring Samuel L. Jackson. Check out a Showtime featurette here – gives a good sense of the film.
  • We discussed the slow-motion fights in the 2009 Guy Ritchie version of Sherlock Holmes – check that out here (slow-mo begins at about 1:30).
  • Brace yourself, because we’re about to get our CinemaSins on here. One of the various improvised weapons we see McCall use in the film is a powder-actuated nail gun – i.e. a nail gun that uses gunpowder as its mechanism of propulsion to shoot construction nails. We correctly noted that this is the equivalent of a 22-caliber bullet (in fact, in some cases, actual .22 Short cartridges – minus the bullets – are used to power the mechanism). We found several videos testing the lethality of nail guns at a distance, including one from Mythbusters, and another fairly robust (albeit windy) test from YouTuber pilgrimfarmer. While these videos definitively show that a nail gun powered by compressed air is not an effective distance weapon, we were unable to find a video that demonstrated the same limitation for a powder-actuated tool. And one consistent factor for any type of nail gun is that the safety catch prevents the gun from firing unless it is pressed against a surface – a mechanism that can be easily bypassed by the user, but doesn’t allow for the cool one-handed shooting that McCall pulls off in the film. Don’t try this at home, kids. We’re professional podcasters.
  • With apologies to Ronda Rousey – Glenn’s just not an MMA guy. But he knows who Gina Carano is!

Listen above, or download: The Equalizer (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play on a non-flash browser)