The 10 Most Boston Things About The Equalizer

Number 4: A cop played by a Wahlberg.

the equalizer denzel washington

Denzel Washington in The Equalizer. / Sony

Denzel Washington has returned, folks. His newest flick The Equalizer—which isn’t his best work, but finally lets us bury the lackluster 2 Guns from 2013—is an action thriller filmed and set in Boston. Washington plays Robert McCall, a former member of special forces who ditches his quiet life to seek justice after a girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) is abused by Russian mobsters.

Don’t expect any bright daytime flyovers shots of Fenway. The Equalizer focuses on the seedy underbelly of the city. As for capturing the essence of Boston, the movie gets an “eh” for effort, relying on the same old cliches we’ve learned to know, love, and hate. Below is a list of 10 such references that pop up in the film. Let’s begin:

1. Scenic shots: The obligatory “This is what city we’re in right now” transition shots show us the city skyline and several helicopter flyovers of the Pru at night and Zakim Bridge.

2. McCall lives in Eastie: He has a nice view of the Tobin Bridge, and takes the T to get around—including the 117 bus to Maverick via Beach Street.

3. Corrupt BPD cops: Duh!

4. A cop played by a Wahlberg: In The Equalizer’s case, it’s Bob Wahlberg, and you bet your government cheese he’s dirty.

5. A reference to Somerville: After a thief robs McCall’s place of work, Home Mart, he finds out from the police afterward that the robber also recently hit a spot in Somerville. Poor Somerville!

6. McCall wears New Balance: And New Balance is Boston.

7. The Herald comes in like clockwork: In an early setup shot, a Boston Herald truck swings by the all-night diner that McCall frequents. Later, he uses the precise delivery schedule to trick the bad guys.

8. The Russians run the Waterfront: If the villain in The Equalizer circled the correct part of his Boston map, then that means you should never, ever, ever, go to the Waterfront ever again. The mob’s HQ has an excellent view of the Harbor Hotel arch.

9. The Fighting Irish: “Don’t call him ‘Little John,'” corrupt cop Masters warns psycho-villain Teddy when they visit a fellow bad guy for help. Little John goes on a tirade about how the Irish absolutely hate the Russians. Things get bloody after that.

10. Melissa Leo: You might recognize one of McCall’s old friends Susan, played by Melissa Leo, as the mom from The Fighter, a role for which Leo won an Oscar. No one’s winning Oscars for The Equalizer, but it’s still a solid action movie starring Denzel Washington.