The Equalizer 2 ★★ 1/2

Robert McCall (Denzel Washington, dripping gravitas) no longer works at a Home Depot, so don’t expect the kind of over-the-top shootout that concluded Antoine Fuqua’s The Equalizer to show up in the Training Day director’s surprisingly lackadaisical sequel to his 2014 big-screen update of the 1980s TV show. Now, the former special operative-turned-vigilante spends his days as a Lyft driver, tooling through Boston while staring into his rearview mirror, looking for the first signs of trouble—or those who may require his assistance. Indeed, when he’s not helping an at-risk art student (Moonlight’s Ashton Sanders) avoid a gang, or finding a way to comfort an elderly Holocaust survivor (Orson Bean)—both of which play like secondary stories from the television show—the movie jets characters back-and-forth between Boston, Brussels and Washington. Of course, the production never leaves Massachusetts: Fairmont Copley Plaza doubles for a Belgian hotel, and the South End stands in for D.C. However, Boston’s Millennium Tower appears as itself when McCall’s good Samaritan pays a visit to one of the luxury building’s penthouses to avenge a female passenger who was beaten by some rich residents by, well, equalizing them. The main plot, meanwhile, involves a highly predictable conspiracy unfolding within McCall’s old agency, leading to a rain-swept climax that will make you yearn for a return visit to the home improvement store. (At Assembly RowBoston Common, Fenway, Seaport, South Bay and in the suburbs.)

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