No offense to Liam Neeson, but Denzel Washington is still the king of the mid-budget action thriller, with the screen legend churning them out long before Neeson reinvented his career a dozen years ago with Taken. Washington has been a fixture of crime stories, shoot em’ ups and cat and mouse chases for three decades, and looking at the consistent box office numbers, his fans have never grown tired of it.
In the last fifteen years alone, the two-time Academy Award winner has starred in Inside Man, Deja Vu, The Taking of Pelham 123, The Book of Eli, Unstoppable, Safe House and 2 Guns, all of which turned a sizeable profit and scored decent enough reviews. However, despite his standing and reputation in the action genre, the only sequel he’s ever made in his life is The Equalizer 2.
The big screen reboot of the 1980s TV series saw the leading man on very familiar turf as a former soldier who ends up taking down the Russian mob. It hauled in almost four times its budget at the box office, too, as the majority of Denzel Washington‘s actioners tend to do, and he’s admitted that the only reason he’s made a solitary sequel is because it’s the only time he’s been asked.
The Equalizer 2 hardly deviated from the formula that worked so well for the original, but once again it was another reinforcement of the actor’s credentials as a bona fide draw when it hauled in almost $200 million on a budget hovering around the $60 million mark. It’s now experiencing a resurgence on Netflix as well, which might have to do with fans deciding if he makes a better Equalizer than Queen Latifah on CBS’ recently-launched reboot of the original show.