Is Denzel Our Greatest Action Star?

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I was doing Eugene O’Neill last week, now I’m talking about jumping off buildings and kicking. … But I like that, I like being challenged in different ways,” Denzel Washington told Bill Simmons last week. After a successful, Tony-nominated run on Broadway in The Iceman Cometh, the actor returns to the big screen with The Equalizer 2, his first movie sequel, which seems to worry a lot of people but, truly, makes perfect sense. Of all the Denzel action flicks (and there are a lot of them) 2014’s The Equalizer—directed by Washington’s friend and longtime collaborator Antoine Fuqua—is the one best suited to serialization. As the actor explained on Simmons’s podcast, Fuqua had written the part of retired CIA black ops operative Robert McCall especially for him; the success of the film and Washington’s enjoyment of the experience, combined with the fact he’s not getting any younger and action films aren’t easy to come by for a 63-year-old actor, made the idea of a sequel understandable. Washington’s unique contributions to the action genre throughout his career, meanwhile, make the prospect of The Equalizer 2 at least a little exciting.