The world has proven that it wanted to see Denzel Washington go full-Neeson on bad guys as The Equalizer has made over $100 million. The movie had solid reviews, a strong performance from Denzel and super excessive violence. Many critics compared it to Man on Fire or Taken, but my favorite review came from Hitfix’s Drew McWeeney. The headline of his review, “Denzel Washington’s Equalizer is more Home Alone than Man on Fire.” If you’ve only seen the trailer then that seems a little jarring to hear. What could this movie and the all-time kid’s classic have in common? Now that I’ve seen it I can confirm that the final act of the movie gives us the R-rated Home Alone we never knew we wanted. That being the case it’s only fitting that we compare the two and see which one did it best.
Setting: Home improvement store in Boston vs. House in Upper-class Chicago
The action in The Equalizer takes place in a wannabe Home Depot that Denzel’s character works at. This setting obviously offers a lot of tools and a large area for the action to play out. It even gives us the chance to see Denzel kill a guy as the sprinklers go off around them. Somehow though Kevin’s house seems to have almost as many tools available. Let’s not also skip over how it being an upper class neighborhood is how this thing even goes down. All the rich people are gone on vacation for Christmas. If this would’ve taken place in a rough area then the bad guys wouldn’t have even made it to the front door. Advantage: The Equalizer
Villains: Super generic Russians vs. Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern
This is the easiest of the categories. The Equalizer gives us a group of non-memorable Russian stereotypes. The main Russian loves choking prostitutes and getting back tattoos, but he has no chance going up against the duo of Pesci and Stern. They’re so good that I’m ashamed to admit that I was rooting for them to take down that jerk Kevin. Advantage: Home Alone
Sidekick: Overweight aspiring security guard vs. “Old Man” Marley
The toughest part of this category was that Kevin doesn’t truly have one main sidekick. There is the old guy from across the street, Buzz’s spider and the characters from the old movie he watches as options. I chose the old guy as his sidekick since he is a present human being. You would think since it was so tough to pick a sidekick from Home Alone that the win would automatically go to The Equalizer. That assumption would be incorrect because I can’t give my vote of confidence to a guy whose life’s dream is to be a security guard at slightly worse Home Depot. What would that say to all the kids out there? You guys can be whoever you want to be as long as it’s making less than $9.00 per hour. The worst part is that the movie makes us feel bad for him when he has to quit his job to help his mom run their family restaurant. Who would want to have your own business when you could protect wood and fertilizer? Advantage: Home Alone
Star: Denzel vs. Macaulay
When discussing these two legends we have to think of them at the time of these movies. It wouldn’t be right to think of current day Macaulay or Training Day Denzel. So we have a sixty-year old retired former CIA agent versus an eight-year old who probably still wets the bed. On the surface you would think neither one would be near his peak but unfortunately for him this was the pinnacle for Macaulay. Actually strike that I just remembered that he somehow dated Mila Kunis so it did get better. Despite that Denzel doesn’t get to pull out his full charms here and we’ve got to keep in mind that he has been trained to be a badass. For Kevin it’s just who he is. Advantage: Home Alone
What’s At Risk: The lives of many innocent people vs. Kevin’s toys and his mom’s jewelry
Denzel gets pulled into the adventures at bizzaro Home Depot because his coworkers are being held hostage. What a great start to Mr. Security Guard’s career. Denzel has no choice but to kill the bad guys. These people are the closest thing he has to family at this point other than the 16-year old hooker that he has a little too much sexual chemistry with (don’t get me started). Meanwhile Kevin has his own things to protect. What choice does he have? He can’t let Buzz’s playboys get taken. Or what about the leftover pizza with anchovies? His family might want to eat some of that when they get back. No pizza in Florida can compare to Chicago pizza even if it’s a week old. Advantage: The Equalizer
Execution of traps
Having the action take place at a home improvement store would seem to be a clear advantage for The Equalizer. Denzel definitely makes great use of the tools at his disposable. Just some of the items he kills people with: power drill, microwave, barbed wire, garden spear, nail gun and then just a regular ole gun. With all that being said creativity has to count for something. While somehow Kevin seems to have some of the same tools available as Denzel he has work a little harder. This kid took down wanted criminals with ornaments and toy cars. That’s a big deal. While there are a lot of factors here the tiebreaker has to be that Kevin didn’t kill anybody. Seriously what a miracle it is that he didn’t kill those two and end up being arrested for going overboard in protecting his property.
Home Alone 4, Denzel 2. I’m glad we could finally give Macaulay a win after all these years.