The Equalizer

Music By: Harry Gregson-Williams

Distributed by: Varese Sarabande

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                Based on a late-80s television show I loved watching, the film adaptation of The Equalizer stars Denzel Washington as Robert McCall, a former black-ops government operative who has traded in his heavy weaponry and high-powered gear for a cozy job at a hardware store in Boston, Massachusetts.  He's been out of the game for quite some time, a promise he has fulfilled to his recently deceased wife, but finds himself becoming involved when he observes teenager Teri (ChloŽ Grace Moretz) being mishandled by her pimp.  As it turns out, Teri's real name is Alena and she was brought into the sex trafficking business at the age of six, a sex slave to the Russian Mafia.  McCall finds himself in a mood to dish out a little justice, vowing vengeance against anyone who will brutalize the helpless.  McCall has now become The Equalizer.

                The musical score of The Equalizer was created by one of Hollywood's most popular composers Harry Gregson-Williams.  Beginning his composing career in the early 1990s, Gregson-Williams has created musical scores for a number of mediums such as television, movies and video games.  His film scoring credits include all four installments of the Shrek movie franchise, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, The East, Total Recall, Arthur Christmas, The Town, Gone Baby Gone and more.

                I could not wait to check out the musical score created for the film.  Having been a fan of the show and enjoying the edgy score of the television series, I was certain that Harry Gregson-Williams was going to bring that edge in, adding it to a more modern sound.  I was not disappointed.

                As Gregson-Williams explains, "Because the director Antoine Fuqua, wanted the action to be believable, the score had to be rooted in reality.  We couldnít have French horns announcing this character as if he were some super hero. Consequently, thereís quite a dark tinge to his theme...I took a two-pronged attack with the protagonistís music Ė one avenue followed his action, which was bold, strong, and noisy, while the other was quite sensitive and introspective."

                The resulting score contains orchestral elements such as violins, violas, celli and pianos and electric elements like electric guitars, the electric cello and the electric violin.  The orchestral music gives the score a grounded, often times somber sound, while the electric elements give it that edgy style.  The main theme of The Equalizer gives you that feeling that once McCall has you in the crosshairs, he is not going to stop until he takes care of business.  You get that sense of sadness or empathy that McCall experiences mixed with his grim determination to exact justice.

                The Equalizer Soundtrack contains only eleven tracks of score, but they are long tracks, totaling out at just under an hour's worth of dark, adrenaline-pumping music.  Harry Gregson-Williams has achieved just what I expected out of the score for this new film adaptation of The Equalizer - an edgy modern sound that describes Robert McCall and the situation he has found himself in perfectly.  An excellent score that has solidified my desire to see this film.


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