"Oh my God! My back and neck pain...gone! Thank you, mysterious traveling chiropractor!"


"Oh my God! My back and neck pain...gone! Thank you, mysterious traveling chiropractor!"

THE EQUALIZER

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

INT. DINER

CHLOE GRACE MORETZ runs into DENZEL WASHINGTON.

CHLOE GRACE MORETZ

Hiya, Denzel, what are you up to?

DENZEL WASHINGTON

Oh, you know, the usual. Leading a quiet life of almost monklike austerity. Being friendly with everybody but at the same time maintaining a polite distance. Keeping my past shrouded in secrecy. Everyday stuff for a harmless-seeming man of peace such as myself.

CHLOE GRACE MORETZ

Or to put it another way: “Clearly I used to be some kind of super-skilled ninja-spy-assassin, I have killed a bajillion people and am about to kill a bajillion more”.

DENZEL WASHINGTON

Yeah, we didn’t make that very hard to figure out, did we?

CHLOE GRACE MORETZ

Gotta say, I feel sorry for whatever hapless individual has to get murdered or kidnapped or otherwise put in sufficient peril to trigger your descent back into the violent lifestyle you swore to leave behind.

(checks watch)

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m late for my job as a teen prostitute under the thumb of the Russian mafia AW FUCK IT’S ME ISN’T IT

After about half an hour of the movie doing basically NOTHING, CHLOE’S PIMP DAVID MEUNIER beats her into HOSPITAL and out of the majority of the FILM.

INT. PRIVATE BAR

DENZEL enters the BAR above DAVID’S RESTAURANT.

DAVID MEUNIER

How did you get into my private little enclave?

DENZEL WASHINGTON

That’s not important. Largely because the screenwriters have no idea. Listen, I’ll give you ten grand to let Chloe out of your employ forever.

DAVID MEUNIER

Surely you realize that from my point of view that’s a ridiculously shitty offer. You don’t actually expect me to agree to this, do you?

DENZEL WASHINGTON

Nah, but as long as I make some attempt to deal with you peacefully, no matter how half-assed, when you say no I get to throw up my hands and say “Welp, I tried! No choice but to make with the spontaneous splenectomies!”

The single solitary one of DAVID’S GUARDS who is carrying a GUN tries to SHOOT DENZEL, but DENZEL grabs his GUN and shoots DAVID with it.

DENZEL WASHINGTON

Now, I could despatch the rest of the guards by shooting them with this gun that I’m currently holding in my hands at this very moment. But I think we can aim a little more needlessly grisly than that, don’t you? Today’s theme is: “bar stuff”!

He disassembles the GUARDS using CORKSCREWS, BROKEN BOTTLES, SHOT GLASSES and a KNIFE.

DENZEL WASHINGTON

They use knives in bars. Still counts.

(leaves)

EXT. CONSTRUCTION SITE

Russian mafioso MARTON CSOKAS meets with corrupt cop DAVID HARBOUR.

MARTON CSOKAS

My employer Vladimir Kulich heard that some idiot got overexcited and killed every last bad guy in the movie, so he’s subbed me in as the new top psychopath.

DAVID HARBOUR

Indeed. Anyway, here we are where the head of the local Irish mob works, but he’s cool, I already know he wasn’t behind the murders.

MARTON CSOKAS

Good to know.

(beats Irish mob boss to death)

DAVID HARBOUR

...Um, okay, that... what? You just started a mob war for no reason whatsoever.

MARTON CSOKAS

It’s all right, this incident is never going to be referred to again. Besides, I had to do something to make me seem like a threat. After this I basically hop aboard the failure train and ride it all the way to the end of the movie.

INT. HARDWARE STORE

DENZEL is at his job in a HARDWARE STORE, chatting with coworker JOHNNY SKOURTIS.

JOHNNY SKOURTIS

How’s it going, Denzel?

DENZEL WASHINGTON

Not bad, just obliviously waiting for the consequences of my actions to catch up with me. You?

JOHNNY SKOURTIS

Things are pretty fucked with me. My mother’s takeout joint was arsoned by some corrupt cops!

DENZEL WASHINGTON

What? Guys, we already did the unjust deed which draws me reluctantly back into a life of violence. We don’t need another one. But fine, if I have to.

He goes and confronts the CORRUPT COPS.

DENZEL WASHINGTON

Hey guys, remember me? Back at that last business you were extorting money from, I was the witness watching you from like four feet away? I was holding up my phone and filming you the whole time, if that helps.

CORRUPT COP

Doesn’t ring a bell, but that might just be because we’re the least observant human beings on the face of the planet. I assume a copy of this tape has found its way to our superiors?

DENZEL WASHINGTON

If by “your superiors” you mean “absolutely nobody”, then sure. This is the only copy, on the phone that’s here in my hand. I’m voluntarily giving you this information, here in this dark deserted alley.

CORRUPT COP

What the hell are you thinking? That’s pretty much the only course of action you could have taken that leads to us trying to kill you, thus forcing you to aggressively defend yourself with a violent display of oh I get it now.

DENZEL converts the COPS into VAGUELY COP-LIKE PIECES OF ABSTRACT ART, then goes back to the HARDWARE STORE.

DENZEL WASHINGTON

Okay, that was a random contrivance that went nowhere, but it’s over now. Can we please resume the main-

OTHER COWORKER

Oh woe is me, some robber took my grandmother’s ring!

DENZEL WASHINGTON

Oh COME ON. You know what, fuck y’all, I’m gonna do this one offscreen.

(leaves, comes back)

There, punk brutalized, ring returned. Now can the consequences of my actions finally fucking catch up with me? I’m WAITING.

INT. DENZEL’S APARTMENT

MARTON shows up at DENZEL’S DOOR.

MARTON CSOKAS

Mr. Washington, care to explain why surveillance footage shows you entering the restaurant where those murders took place, but then never leaving?

(pause)

No seriously, can you explain it? That doesn’t fit with how that scene played out at all.

DENZEL WASHINGTON

Say, how did you work out my name and address when all you had was some grainy video of my face?

MARTON CSOKAS

That’s not important. Largely because-

DENZEL WASHINGTON

The screenwriters have no idea? Yeah, there’s a lot of that going around.

(pause)

Er, so, what exactly were you hoping to accomplish by coming and speaking to me, except for clumsily tipping your hand? Shouldn’t you have blown my brains out the second I opened the door?

MARTON CSOKAS

No, we needed this cagey conversation for me to be sure you were my guy. See, when I got here I was already sure, but now that I’ve gotten no new information, I’m still sure. Now to make SURE, I’ll go pry into your past.

MARTON goes and pries into DENZEL’S PAST, succeeding at learning DIDDLY SQUAT.

MARTON CSOKAS

AHA, now that I continue to know exactly nothing about Denzel, I’m STILL as sure he’s our guy as I have been this whole time! NOW I can have him killed.

EXT. DINER

MARTON and DAVID are waiting outside the DINER.

MARTON CSOKAS

Now to seize the super-deadly assassin guy who murdered a whole enclave of gangsters the other night! Send in... the ONE RANDOM GOON!

DENZEL rearranges the GOON’S BODY PARTS by alphabetical order, then saunters out the door and across the street.

MARTON CSOKAS

(sitting and staring)

Hey look, Denzel’s leaving. Look, there he goes.

DAVID HARBOUR

(staring and sitting)

Yep, that’s him leaving all right.

(pause)

Think we and/or our various henchmen should do something about that?

(pause)

Like go after him maybe?

MARTON CSOKAS

(sits)

(stares)

(sits)

Yeah why not.

MARTON and his THUGS start ambling after DENZEL. DENZEL moseys along into an ALLEYWAY.

DAVID HARBOUR

Maybe we should pick up the pace. He’s very casually getting away!

MARTON CSOKAS

We can’t cause a scene in front of witnesses, though.

DAVID HARBOUR

First of all, Vladimir said he wanted this to be a very high-profile killing in order to send a message, so who gives a fuck about witnesses. Second of all, WHAT FUCKING WITNESSES, THERE IS NOBODY AROUND ANYWHERE, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT.

MARTON CSOKAS

Fine then! Let’s kick this chase up from “meander” to “light jog”!

They start chasing DENZEL in an almost semi-serious fashion, but he’s already gone around a CORNER, rendering him COMPLETELY UNFINDABLE BY MAN OR BEAST!

INT. THE CAMEO RESIDENCE

DENZEL takes a snapshot of MARTON to his old friends DISTRACTING CAMEO #1 MELISSA LEO and DISTRACTING CAMEO #2 BILL PULLMAN.

MELISSA LEO

So now we lift the veil on your mysterious past and find out you were some kind of government agent who faked his own death when his wife died, because I guess nobody ever told you that retirement was a thing.

DENZEL WASHINGTON

Huh, maybe we should have just left that an intriguing mystery. That explanation was kinda depressingly mundane.

BILL PULLMAN

That snapshot is of Marton Csokas, of the Vladimir Kulich crime syndicate. You better be careful, that guy’s a total psychopath and he’s bound to go after people you care about next.

DENZEL WASHINGTON

I see.

BILL PULLMAN

That’s what I’m explicitly warning you of. Him going after people who matter to you. I’m saying that’ll be his next move, and you’re agreeing with me, right?

DENZEL WASHINGTON

Yep.

BILL PULLMAN

So I guess you’ll immediately take some precautions against that happening?

DENZEL WASHINGTON

That would certainly be the most logical course of action.

BILL PULLMAN

(sighs)

All right, I’m writing on a piece of paper, “Denzel, you forgetful asshole!”. And if something bad happens to people you care about because you did fuck-all to prevent it, you’re damn well going to take it out and read it, okay?

DENZEL goes and starts destroying VLADIMIR KULICH’S BUSINESS. He delivers DAVID HARBOUR and a bunch of VLADIMIR’S MEN and a fuckton of VLADIMIR’S ILLEGAL MONEY to the police, the whole while keeping a flat, dead-eyed expression on his face which either means he’s a COLD, REMORSELESS MACHINE OF DESTRUCTION, or that he’s AS BORED AS THE AUDIENCE IS RIGHT NOW.

DENZEL WASHINGTON

And now I'll send the cops Vladimir’s incriminating financial records, and documents linking him to a bunch of corrupt politicians. Whew, taking down this criminal empire has nearly taken me as much effort as a regular person would put into throwing a crumpled wad of paper at a wastepaper basket and missing.

(sneezes, accidentally blows up Vladimir’s smuggling operation)

MARTON calls DENZEL on the phone.

MARTON CSOKAS

All right, Denzel, now that we’ve firmly established that you’re basically infallible and could probably kill all the bad guys just by wishing real hard, it’s time for what’s bound to be a super tense climax. We’ve kidnapped all your hardware store colleagues, come meet me at the docks or I’ll order them killed!

DENZEL WASHINGTON

(takes out piece of paper, reads it)

Shut up, Bill.

EXT. DOCKS

MARTON and his HENCHMEN are waiting for DENZEL.

MARTON CSOKAS

All right, get ready everybody, according to the GPS Denzel’s nearly here!

HENCHMAN

According to the WHAT? I’m sorry, you have the ability to track Denzel via GPS?!

MARTON CSOKAS

Sure. He gave me his phone number earlier, and that allows me to pinpoint his location at all times.

(pause)

...Huh. I guess I probably could have taken advantage of that somehow, couldn’t I.

HENCHMAN

Ya THINK? Oh well, he’s nearly here anyway - whoops, no he’s not! He just put the phone on a bus to fool us!

MARTON CSOKAS

Which means he knew all along that I could track his movements, and just correctly assumed I’d be too stupid to do anything about it. Geez, I don’t know how to feel about that.

HENCHMAN

But why wouldn’t he come, with his coworkers’ lives on the line? It’s not like he could just go off and rescue them instead, I mean surely we stashed them in some random warehouse or something where he could never find them.

MARTON CSOKAS

...I may have told the guys to just round them up inside the hardware store itself.

HENCHMAN

...

MARTON CSOKAS

(hangs head)

I am so fucking incompetent.

INT. HARDWARE STORE

A couple of THUGS are watching over DENZEL’S COWORKERS when an order comes in to shoot one of the hostages. But before they can, a song starts playing over the PA.

THUG

What’s that music? Sounds like “Obvious Trap” by The Gullible Idiots. Better go check it out. I'll just carry out that kill order when I get back, rather than spend like half a second doing it now.

He is lured to his death, then so is the other thug, then DENZEL hustles all the hostages towards the exits. Then MARTON shows up with some more MEN, and DENZEL turns out the LIGHTS.

MARTON CSOKAS

Okay men, split up and explore this dark and creepy environment while Denzel picks us off from the shadows in a variety of gruesome ways, because apparently Denzel is Jason Voorhees now.

DENZEL WASHINGTON

Today’s theme is: “hardware store”!

DENZEL kills MARTON’S MEN using DRILLS, BARBED WIRE, HEDGE CLIPPERS - a BROKEN MIRROR, DENZEL?

DENZEL WASHINGTON

Part of our floor stock! Still counts!

Borderline, but whatever. Finally he shoots MARTON a whole bunch of times with a NAIL GUN!

MARTON CSOKAS

OH FOR GOD’S SAKE! With all the henchmen you killed you could have had like five actual guns by now, you fucking Batman villain!

(dies)

INT. MAFIA MANSION, MOSCOW

DENZEL just sort of shows up in VLADIMIR’S BATHROOM with a MACHINE GUN.

VLADIMIR KULICH

What the hell? Did you just single-handedly storm the fortified lair of a Russian mafia kingpin? That sounds like a ridiculously awesome action set piece. Why the FUCK wasn’t it in this movie?!

DENZEL WASHINGTON

I’m sorry, I’m really sorry. For some reason we wasted our climax on me fighting a handful of inept goons in a hardware store. So now instead of a kickass climactic showdown, this is just a loose end we have to tie up as quickly and half-assedly as possible.

VLADIMIR KULICH

Well if we’re going to be completely perfunctory about this, could we forego your usual psychotic slasher-movie bullshit and just have you shoot me with the large gun you are currently-

(tricked into electrocuting self)

But of course.

(dies)

DENZEL WASHINGTON

There! I’ve removed all threat to Chloe and myself. Now I’m free to leave the darkness behind again, like I promised my late wife, and resume my life of peace and tranquility.

(pause)

But ah, what the hell. Skills like mine are what Craigslist was made for!

(types)

“Got a flimsy pretext for another two hours of sadistic violence? Have a rejected Taken plotline that could be repurposed to give another sexuagenarian his own action movie franchise? Call The Sequelizer!”

END.

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