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"You know... I believe that everything in life... is about timing. Now, unfortunately for you... yours isn't very good. Three weeks ago we wouldn't be having this conversation, but I'm here now. I'm really beginning to like this place... and the people. I'm starting to believe, from the bottom of my heart, that this is where I'm supposed to be. So, whatever it is that you and your friends do, please do it somewhere else."
―Robert McCall to Marco Quaranta

Robert "Bob" McCall is a former Gunnery Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance and Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) Paramilitary Operations Officer of Defense Clandestine Service who faked his death to start a new life and put his past behind him.

He was dragged back into doing the things he's been trying to put behind him when he meets a teenage girl named Alina, who was being trafficked by the Russian Mafia. He protects those most in need from those who wish to bring destruction to those close to him. He is the protagonist of the 2014 film, The Equalizer, The Equalizer 2 and its sequel, The Equalizer 3.

Biography[]

Early Life[]

"I've done some bad things in my life, Nicolai. Things I'm not proud of. I promised someone that I love very much that I would never go back to being that person."
―Robert McCall to Nicolai Itchenko

Robert McCall was a highly decorated Gunnery Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps, as indicated by the uniform in his home. After his military service, he became a black-ops operative for the Defense Intelligence. While in the DIA, Robert was placed in command of an elite squad of black ops soldiers (Defense Clandestine Service). From his dialog and the dialog of others, Robert and his squad participated in many covert operations, most of which involved assassinations. During his time in the DIA, he became the team leader of Dave York for seven years and became good friends with fellow DIA agent Susan Plummer.[1]

When he met a woman named Vivienne and married her, he faked his death in a car bomb so he could be with her, living in Brant Rock where his wife owned a bakery. When she passed away, he carried on her attempt to complete ""the 100 Books Everybody Should Read," as she only read 97.[2] He soon resided in Boston and got a job at the Home Mart, a hardware store, and took to long hours reading at a local cafe due to being unable to sleep.

Feud with the Russian Mafia and Vigilantism[]

He investigated two corrupt detectives who were extorting money from local businesses, one of them being owned by Ralphie's mother. When Robert feigned help for their services and they ignored him, he revealed that he knew about their actions and showed them a recording to prove it before telling them to return the money. Enraged, the two detectives pinned Robert to a wall and threatened to throw him into a river. However, Robert beat them both before chastising them about abusing their power. As McCall left, he gave the detectives an ultimatum: return all the money they extorted by the next morning or he would expose their actions to the media.

One day during a shift at Home Mart, a gunman walked into the store and demanded Jenny give him all the cash in the register and her finger ring. Despite Jenny's protests, Robert told Jenny to give him the money and ring for her own safety. After the gunman left, Robert swift followed him, getting a glimpse of the license plate on the gunman's car before walking back inside. After the police arrived, Robert learned that the gunman had been involved in previous acts of burglary and shot a man in Somerville. After comforting Jenny, Robert intended to get the ring back. To do so, Robert discreetly took a hammer from the store and tracked down the gunman that night, bludgeoning the gunman to death and retrieving the ring. The following morning, Robert returned to Home Mart for another shift and placed Jenny's ring in her register before cleaning the hammer of the gunman's blood and placing it back on the shelf.

After Susan returned with files related to Teddy, Robert learned from her that Slavi and the other men he killed earlier were actually part of a criminal network led by Vladimir Pushkin, a Russian oligarch with ties to the Russian Mafia. He also learned that Teddy's real name was Nicolai Itchenko, a former Russian police agent with Spestnaz training. He was told by Susan that Remar and Pederson were murdered by Nicolai and that Masters hasn't been seen in days.

Robert tracked Masters to his home and locked him in his car, which had been breached with carbon monoxide, causing Masters to suffocate. Robert then interrogated Masters about anything related to Pushkin's operations. Despite Masters defiance and insults, Masters gave in after the suffocation became too much for him to bear. He reluctantly took Robert to one of Pushkin's money laundering warehouses. After Robert forced the mobsters there to stand down, he tied them up and gave the sweat shop workers some of the money for their troubles before telling Masters to alert the police to the warehouse and also asked for Master's escape plan. When Masters berated Robert for this, Robert remained unfazed and told Masters he messed up himself by abusing his power and appealed to Masters to make up for this by turning himself in.

With Masters' escape plan, Robert found a hard drive, which contained data on all of Pushkin's operations, including his political moles and records in petroleum shipments. After emailing the data to FBI agent Mosley, Robert noticed that recent petroleum shipments from Pushkin were shipped from Vladivostok to Boston. Later, Robert went to the shipping port and rigged Pushkin's tankers, the Great Eastern, with explosives. As he walked away from the port, he sent off the explosives, destroying the tankers and causing further damage to Puskin's funding and criminal operations.

Robert was contacted by Nicolai, who revealed that his men were holding his co-workers hostage and instructed him to meet with him, although Nicolai secretly intended to kill Robert. However, much to Nicolai's surprise, Robert skipped the meeting and made his way to the Home Mart, killing the men and freeing his co-workers and instructing Ralphie to help evacuate them. As Nicolai and the rest of his men arrived at the Home Mart, Robert turned off the store's power and discreetly killed Nicolai's men one by one with improvised weapons and booby traps made from the store's products. After Raphie stayed behind to help Robert, he was wounded by Nicolai, although Robert confronted Nicolai one last time and finally ended him with a nail gun before leaving.

Three days later, Robert traveled to Moscow to confront Pushkin. He tracked Pushkin to his mansion and killed all of the guards stationed there. He then discreetly entered Pushkin's bathroom and prepared to confront Pushkin, who was showering. After Pushkin became aware of Robert's presence, he demanded to know who Robert was, to which Robert responded that he and everyone else was questioning the same thing. When Pushkin realized that Robert was the culprit behind the recent events, he asked what Robert would achieve from his death, to which Robert responded that he would receive peace before turning the lights off one last time and discreetly leaving. As Robert left the mansion, Pushkin was electrocuted from a cut electrical wire, putting an end to Pushkin's operations and succeeding in his mission.

Becoming the Equalizer[]

Inspired by his conversation with Alina, Robert decided to carry on his vigilantism and posted an online ad, offering help to the less fortunate and those in need. One night at the diner, he received a request from an anonymous civilian who asked for his help, to which Robert accepted. Throughout the next four years, Robert continued his vigilantism with help from Susan, while also getting a new job as a driver for Lyft.

With Susan's help, Robert became aware that the daughter of bookstore owner Grace Braelick was kidnapped by her abusive ex-husband and was on his way to Turkey. Robert intercepted a train bound for Istanbul and found the abuser, where had a brief conversation with him before telling him where find a man who had kidnapped their own daughter, referring to the abuser himself. The abuser then sat away and ordered his hitmen to kill Robert, but Robert killed them with little to no effort. Afterwards, Robert confronted the man and stated that two types of pain - pain that hurt and pain that alters before giving the abuser a chance to decide which one he would go with. In this, Robert was able to successfully retrieve Grace's daughter and return her to Boston.

Avenging Susan[]

Relocating to Italy[]

Robert eventually relocated from Boston to Altamonte, a small coastal remote town in southern Italy. He eventually became aware of a cybercrime enacted by Lorenzo Vitale, who had stolen a pension fund. Robert tracked the cybercrime to a vineyard in Sicily, where he brutally murdered many of Lorenzo's men and awaited Lorenzo's arrival while being held at gunpoint by three of Lorenzo's remaining men. When Lorenzo arrived at the scene, Lorenzo demanded to know how Robert found him. Robert calmly demanded that Lorenzo return the stolen money and gave him nine seconds to decide his fate. When Lorenzo refused, Robert swiftly killed his remaining men before injuring Lorenzo with several gunshots. Robert then grabbed a shotgun and shot Lorenzo in the face, killing him. With the job finished, Robert retrieved the key from Lorenzo's body, but not before discovering millions of dollars in cash and drugs, making him realize that the vineyard was also a front for the Camorra's drug trafficking.

Personality[]

"One day somebody does something unspeakable to someone else to... someone you hardly knew, and you... do something about it because you can".
―Robert McCall in The Equalizer

Robert McCall is a noble man, focused on fighting injustice and righting wrongs. He hides in plain sight and helps innocent people and those who cannot help themselves.[3] He has a strong sense of morality, as he attempted to free buy Alina's way out of Slavi's control. He also gives all of his victims a chance to do the right thing before taking action. Despite being no longer an agent (of Defense Clandestine Service) and Force Reconnaissance officer, Robert maintains traits of his former occupations such as taking a three-minute shower, shaving his hair and sitting in the same place of a café in the same table.Robert has also OCPD, which is seen by always taking a personal napkin and putting every dish perfectly located.

Skills And Abilities[]

Whoever did this specialized in killing. I've rarely seen skills like this. I don't think it's someone we've encountered before."

—Nicolai Itchenko
  • Peak Human Condition: McCall is in peak physical condition for a man of his age due to his military history and healthy diet. He stays in shape by working at a Home Mart hardware store, pushing dollies of cement. He is strong enough to drive a corkscrew through a man's chin and break a man's neck.[2]
    • Peak Human Durability: McCall has an immense level of physical endurance, as he withstood getting shot in the lower back by a boy with a .22-caliber rifle and survived long enough to be treated before he went into shock. He completely healed from his wound in three weeks.[4]
    • Peak Human Reflexes: McCall can assess a situation in milliseconds and decide distance and threats faster than anyone, using the environment and objects in the room in a fight.[3]
    • High Pain Tolerance: McCall has a high threshold for pain.
  • Master Marksman: McCall is highly skilled with various firearms, including pistols, shotguns, submachine guns, and even nail guns. He is very accurate, as he was able to shoot Slavi through his hand and in the throat,[2] and shot Kovac in the face with a harpoon gun. He can also dual-wield guns, as seen when he rescued Miles. McCall shot out a tire of a car holding a kidnapped Miles so York would miss his kill shot.[1] At Cantina Arriana Vineyards, he forced one of Lorenzo Vitale's henchmen to shoot one henchman in his kneecap and forehead, the next one in the forehead as well, and shoved the gun through his skull to shoot Vitale out the back of the first henchman's head.[4]
"It's called "pain compliance." Your brain is telling you to do one thing, but your body's telling you something else."
―Robert McCall to Marco Quaranta
Equalizer1Disarm

McCall disarming Slavi's henchman

  • Master Martial Artist: McCall is a highly skilled martial artist, being particularly familiar with Krav Maga, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu,[5] Boxing,[6][3] and Eskrima (as seen during his fight with Ari) and Street Fighting.[6] His fighting style has been described as "quick and economic."[7] He effortlessly fought and killed four of Slavi's henchmen in under half of a minute (with police sources having said the killings had all the earmarks of a turf war between rival factions), defeated two corrupt policemen, and killed a hitman who tried to ambush him at a diner.[2] He later beat down a group of businessmen, subdued an assassin passenger and defeated Dave York in hand-to-hand combat.[1] McCall is familiar with pressure points, as he compressed Marco Quaranta's median nerve and threatened to make him soil himself.[4] He can wield knives with great efficiency and improvise weapons such as shot glasses, corkscrews, hammers, books, fire extinguishers, drills, shards of glass,[2] teapots, a pair of glasses, credit cards,[1] wine bottles,
    • Knife Mastery: McCall is an expert in wielding knives, as seen when used a Russian henchman's switchblade,[2] when he killed Ari and York[1] or when he redirected Marco's switchblade into his torso.[4] He can also improvise shards of glass as weapons, as seen when he killed one of Nikolai's henchmen.[2]
  • Master of Stealth: McCall easily infiltrated the emergency department in the hospital holding Alina, made his way into Slavi's VIP room, stealthily subdued Nicolai Itchenko's henchmen and infiltrated Vladimir Pushkin's residence.[2]
"He knows things before you do."
Miles Whittaker
  • Gifted Intelligence: McCall is a highly intelligent man, being college-educated. He shared his knowledge of nutrition with Ralphie and Alina, helping the former lose weight to pass his security guard exam. He also knew how long it would take for Slavi to bleed out and knew an assassin did not work the power lines based on the condition of his hands. Nicolai Itchenko described him as "very clever."[2] He is extremely well-organized and punctual, as noted by Sammy to always arrive on time like clockwork.[1]
    • Master Tactician: McCall is a master strategist and is well-versed in preparation. He taught Dave to always have a contingency plan,[1] and he knows how to play chess. He knew Frank Masters had an escape plan, and in a short span of time, he made traps with Home Mart supplies. He also tricked Vladimir Pushkin into electrocuting himself to death.[2]
    • Expert Literarian: McCall is very literate, having read 91 of "the 100 Books Everybody Should Read," including The Old Man and the Sea, Don Quixote, Invisible Man,[2] Between the World and Me, In Search of Lost Time, and Native Son.[1]
    • Explosives Mastery: McCall is very skilled when it comes using explosives devices and making improvised explosives. He was able to rig Pushkin’s oil tankers to blow along with the shipping port. Also, when he used bags of sugar and fans in his wife’s bakery to trigger an explosion when Resnik threw a flashbang, ultimately killing him. [2][1]
    • Skilled Physician: McCall improvised honey to help heal his cut and a heated doorknob to cauterize his wound.[2]
    • Multilingualism: McCall fluently speaks several languages, including English, Russian, Spanish, Italian,[2] Turkish, Yiddish, Arabic, and possibly French.[1].

Weaknesses[]

"I'm neat."
― Robert McCall to Aminah
  • Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder: McCall suffers from OCPD. His habits include vigorously cleaning his shoes, neatly folding his napkins, lining up the spine of his book with the edge of a table, and rearranging objects on a person's desk.
  • Insomnia: McCall cannot sleep at night; however, he did sleep well after killing Slavi and his henchmen.[2]

Equipment[]

Weapons[]

Equalizer2014Armory

McCall's hidden arsenal

  • Glock 26: McCall keeps a suppressed pistol in his hidden arsenal.[2]
  • Glock 17: McCall used a suppressed pistol owned by one of Slavi's henchmen to shoot the Russian pimp through his hand and into his throat. He disarmed Detective Harris and held him at gunpoint with his own weapon.[2] In his car, he disarmed a gunman passenger attempting to kill him of his pistol, shot him in the head, and kept the same model of gun in one of his drawers.[1]
"Can I see it?"
"Oh, you want to see my gun?"
"Uh, yes and no."
―Robert McCall and Andri
  • Springfield Armory XD: McCall disarmed Andri of his pistol and held him at gunpoint.[2]
  • Glock 19: McCall seized a pistol from one of Teddy's henchmen and gave it to Ralphie.[2]
  • Colt M1911A1: McCall dual-wielded pistols when he rescued Miles, but he replaced one with a submachine gun.[1]
  • Smith & Wesson M&P Compact: McCall dual-wielded pistols when he rescued Miles, but he replaced it with a submachine gun.[1]
  • Springfield Armory TRP: McCall disarmed Ari of his pistol after killing him. He used it to shoot out the tire of a car that held Miles, who was kept in the trunk, so York would miss his kill shot.[1]
"We all end up where we’re supposed to be. Which means... your man to my left, finger on the trigger but he's a foot too close, which renders your man to my right dead already. He just doesn’t know it yet. I feel sorry for his family. Nine seconds. That's what you have to decide your fate. Nine seconds."
―Robert McCall to Lorenzo Vitale
  • Smith & Wesson Model 10HB: McCall forced one of Vitale's men to shoot the others with his own nickel revolver, then shoved the barrel of the gun through his skull and fired it out the back of his head.[4]
  • Serbu Super Shorty: McCall keeps a shotgun in his hidden arsenal.[2]
  • Shotgun: McCall took an unidentified shotgun from one of Lorenzo Vitale's henchmen and used it to shoot him in the posterior and then the head.[4]
  • Sa vz. 61 Skorpion: McCall obtained a submachine gun from one of Andri's henchmen and brought it to Vladimir Pushkin's home.[2]
  • Ingram MAC-10: McCall dual-wielded a pistol with a submachine gun when he rescued Miles.[1]
  • SIG-Sauer MPX: McCall disarmed Ari of his suppressed submachine gun after killing him. The gun was fitted with a Maxim stock and a Trijicon MRO sight.[1]
  • Nail Gun: McCall used a nail gun to kill Teddy by shooting him in the throat.[2]

Trivia[]

  • The watch worn by McCall is a Suunto Core All Black. However, the stopwatch display of the watch in the movie is not the same as in the actual Suunto Core sold commercially, which combines an altimeter, barometer and compass with weather information. When asked if this was a Special Edition, or custom-made watch for the movie, Suunto indicated that it was not, and that more than likely the display on the watch was digitally altered for the movie during post-production.
  • McCall's Craiglist posting, entitled, "Odds Against You? Need Help?" was the same slogan used in the original The Equalizer (1985)'s classified ad.
  • At the beginning of the first film, in Robert's home, when the bookcase is shown, there are leather-bound books. These appear to be from the Franklin Library/Franklin Mint, offered as a set in the '80s.
  • When his co-workers asked what he did before he worked at the Home Mart, McCall says he was a "Pip"-- as in Gladys Knight & The Pips --and he dances a little for them. When Teddy's men take the employees hostage and are getting ready to shoot one of them, the song that McCall plays on the store P.A. system, to get their attention, is 'Midnight Train to Georgia' by the same singing group.
  • When Robert and Teri discuss books at the diner, Robert mentions that he is attempting to make his way through the "100 Books Everybody Should Read" list, because it was something his wife also attempted to do before she died. This list contains a book called "Eugene Onegin" by Alexander Pushkin. There is a character by the name of "Pushkin" whom Robert later identifies as the "head of the snake," or the leader of the Russian operation Robert faces. Pushkin is the final target Robert needs to eliminate to complete his mission of "equalization".
  • The military uniform that is shown in the second film would indicate that McCall was a Gunnery Sergeant in the US Marine Corps prior to joining the CIA. The uniform also reflects combat heroism, as he has both a Silver Star Medal and a Navy Cross. These medals are the 3rd and 2nd highest Marine Corps awards for Valor facing an armed enemy.

Tropes used in The Equalizer (2014 film) include:[]

  • The Atoner: Trying to make amends for his agency work.
  • Boston: The city provides many iconic images.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Security guard exercising by dragging heavy tires.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Everything is lethal.
  • Cultured Badass: McCall reads the '100 Books Everyone Should Read' and discusses philosophy.
  • Damsel in Distress: young Russian prostitute
  • Determinator: McCall in Home Mart conflict.
  • Improvised Weapon: Anything is lethal, especially the local hardware store.
  • The Irish Mob: The Irish mob is destroyed by the new Russian mob.
  • One Riot, One Ranger: Major hostage situation but hero saves single-handed without back-up.
  • Pay Evil Unto Evil: Take no prisoners
  • Retired Badass: McCall faking own death to get out of black-ops.
  • Ruthless Foreign Gangsters: Those Russian rascals.
  • Tranquil Fury: Entering 'kill-zone' before engaging enemy.

Quotes[]

The Equalizer[]

"Progress, not perfection."
―Robert McCall
"Gotta be who you are in this world, right? No matter what."
―Robert McCall
"Doubt kills."
―Robert McCall
"I think you can be anything you wanna be."
―Robert McCall
"Change your world."
―Robert McCall
"One day somebody does something unspeakable to someone else to... someone you hardly knew, and you... do something about it because you can."
―Robert McCall
"You're gonna give me what I need. Or not."
―Robert McCall
"I don't have a lot of time. Which means you don't have any."
―Robert McCall
"When you pray for rain, you gotta deal with the mud too."
―Robert McCall
"Sometimes the answer's right in front of you."
―Robert McCall
"The men I killed, your men, I gave them a chance. They made their decision. I'm giving you the opportunity to make yours."
―Robert McCall
"I've done some bad things in my life, Nicolai. Things I'm not proud of. I promised someone that I love very much that I would never go back to being that person. But for you, I'm gonna make an exception. You asked me what I saw when I looked at you. What do you see when you look at me?"
―Robert McCall
"I'll be waiting for you."
―Robert McCall

The Equalizer 2[]

"Men like him would think that. And, God as my witness, I would give him a chance. To stop. To reconsider. To think about the worst thing that could ever happen to him. To imagine that."
―Robert McCall
"There are two kinds of pain in this world. Pain that hurts. Pain that alters."
―Robert McCall
"This is the point where usually I'd, uh, give you a chance to do the right thing, but not tonight."
―Robert McCall
"Ah, "supposed to do" and "will do" are two different things, Miles."
―Robert McCall
"You're right. I guess anybody could do it, but nobody does, Miles. Ends up with everybody complaining because nobody did what anybody could've done or should've done to begin with."
―Robert McCall
"I'm your father. Your mommy just didn't tell you."
―Robert McCall
"See? You know what they are up there? They're liars, and so am I. See? See what happens when you deal with a liar? Huh? You see what happens when you deal with a liar? I lied to your little punk ass. Now I'm-a kill you. What do you see when you look at me? Tell me. You better give me a right answer. What you see when you look at me, killer? What you see, Yummy? You don't know? All right. "Man" ain't spelled G-U-N, son. You got a choice. You got talent. You got a chance, and I don't wanna hear about your environment and what your mama didn't give you and the white man won't give you no sot. You got a chance. Use it while you still alive. You don't know what death is. You have no idea what death is. Make a decision."
―Robert McCall
"We all gotta pay for our sins."
―Robert McCall
"What you do, what you become is not my concern. The world is full of so-called men like you. And in a perfect world, everything we do comes with a price, but... this ain't a perfect world. People do bad things. If you're lucky, you get a chance to... set it right. But most of the time, it goes unpunished. This ain't one of them times. The mistake you make was you killed my friend, so I'm going to kill each and every one of you, and the only disappointment in it for me is that I only get to do it once."
―Robert McCall
"You're going to war with me. You know where I'll be."
―Robert McCall

The Equalizer 3[]

"You know who I am, then?"
"I know what you are."
―Lorenzo Vitale and Robert McCall
"We all end up where we're supposed to be."
―Robert McCall to Lorenzo Vitale
"What do you see when you look at me? I mean, when I come here, you take care of me. You don’t call an ambulance. You don't call police. You don't call carabinieri. Why?"
"Remember what I asked you?"
"When I first come?"
"Yeah."
"Yeah. Yeah. Am I a good man or a bad man, you asked me."
"And you said you didn't know."
"I don't know."
"Only a good man would have said that."
―Robert McCall and Enzo Arisio
"You know... I believe that everything in life... is about timing. Now, unfortunately for you... yours isn't very good. Three weeks ago we wouldn't be having this conversation, but I'm here now. I'm really beginning to like this place... and the people. I'm starting to believe, from the bottom of my heart, that this is where I'm supposed to be. So, whatever it is that you and your friends do, please do it somewhere else."
―Robert McCall to Marco Quaranta
"You warning me?"
"I'm preparing you."
―Marco Quaranta and Robert McCall
"I understand weakness. I understand pain. I understand death. I understand suffering. And because of these people, I'm starting to understand peace. You can't take that away from me. God is my witness, you're not gonna take it away from them."
―Robert McCall to Vincent Quaranta
"We all have to face... death."
―Robert McCall to Vincent Quaranta

Appearances[]

References[]

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