Aside from “King Arthur,” filmmaker Antoine Fuqua is known for making action films that earn their R rating. “Shooter,” “Training Day,” “Olympus Has Fallen,” “The Replacement Killers” and “Tears from the Sun” all deserve that rating because he doesn’t compromise and rarely glorifies the violence.
The same holds true for his upcoming cinematic reboot of “The Equalizer” franchise. The Denzel Washington-led film has been labelled a “hard R” and Fuqua spoke with Collider on the set about why that’s the case:
“I’m a product of older filmmakers I guess, the past where you get to make movies and scenes are what they are. You know if you think about Scorsese back in the day when he was making Taxi Driver, or Coppola or Frankenheimer, Sidney Lumet, they’re making films where you witness violence in a real way.
And sometimes violence in a very real way is much faster and more impactful because it feels real and you’re watching it happen and you’re watching your star do these things, so it’s not like he’s doing superhero moves.
The violence you witness is Denzel doing it and we’re taking some visual effects and doing some things and you see something happen it’s happening in front of you as opposed to cutting away and doing a bunch of tricks. It’s in front of you.
So it’s hard not to make it a hard ‘R’ if you see a guy get punched and teeth wind up in someone’s knuckles, you know what I mean? I don’t think you can get away with a PG. (laughter) Some other things I can tell you, you’ll never look at corkscrews again. (laughter) I’ll tell you that. It’s hardcore. There’s some stuff that even I go, ‘wow, okay’. (laughter) We’ll see what happens.