Denzel Washington’s first-ever sequel picks up the story of Robert McCall, the ex-CIA vigilante champion of the oppressed and defenseless. This time, though, it gets personal when the bad guys kill a friend. The film reunites Denzel with Antoine Fuqua, who directed him to one of his two Oscars in 2001’s Training Day.

This is a reasonably satisfying, badass-based action potboiler with explosive but not quite gratuitous violence. But the pulpy plot becomes increasingly predictable.

That said, Washington’s performance and Fuqua’s slow-burn, stylishly gritty direction make it watchable if not memorable.

The Final Battle against a gang of disposable goons, taking place in the middle of a hurricane, is formulaic and a bit silly.

I didn’t hate it. But neither am I looking forward to The Equalizer 3. (121 min)