In his 40-year career, Denzel Washington has never made a sequel to any of his pictures. When a great film actor does that, you know it’s for the money. Here’s why.

Denzel loves his trade, and that draws him to occasionally stand on the Broadway stage for months at a time and truly act.

That sort of activity at the Actors Equity pay rate takes a lot of money out of the bank.

Director Antoine Fuqua’s hero Robert McCall, in both of his outings, is a kind of circus performer, a high-wire star who is famous for his “triple” and working without a net.

Ticket buyers won’t sit still for him to employ a net or dropping the triple and just swing.

So our Denzel is back in the big screen, in “The Equalizer 2” (that just ran over “Mama Mia-Here We Go Again”) as Robert McCall, retired CIA multipurpose agent, vigilante, killer and social guardian angel to the oppressed and downtrodden, sort of like Obama with a migraine and a gun.

Here is McCall again, a bibliophile with bad memories and a penchant for part-time work.

He opens this time in a surprising disguise that is so good, it took me a couple of minutes to recognize him.

It’s a bit of a stretch even for Denzel. He sits in a European train coach, wearing a red beard, clerical clothes, wire rim glasses and a taqiyah, a Muslim cap.

He’s there to rescue a small blonde child, whose terrorist father has kidnapped from his American wife.

When after unsuccessfully dealing with the bad guys, McCall carefully removes the taqiyah, folds it up into his pocket, removes his glasses and closes his book. The terrorist doesn’t know it, but that’s always a bad sign. We know it, and we know that this is no ordinary imam khatib.

This is our McCall, the archangel of karma unleashed.

He whispers his message, “There are two kinds of pain in the world, the pain that hurts, and the pain that alters.”

Cut to a scene in a Boston hospital as the little girl rushes to her mother’s arms. We don’t know what happened to the bad guys, but it couldn’t have been pretty.

McCall returns to his quiet apartment and night job as a Lyft driver, where, as you might expect, many opportunities to engage in social mayhem abound.

If you are in need, in these dark days of justice denied, of cracking bones, eye gouging, genital displacement and sudden death to the offenders, you won’t be disappointed.

I will not go into each of the multiple acts of social justice performed by our black angel, because each one is so delicious, you must savor them alone.

Director Antoine Fuqua, Denzel’s go to grandmaster of pain (“The Equalizer,” “Training Day”) with Richard Wenk’s script, gives his silent samurai ample action and lots of co-stars to impress.

Miles Whittaker (Ashton Sanders of “Moonlight”) an art student trying to avoid gang connections, is plucked from the dark side and set to meaningful work by McCall. Miles will figure into the dark rain-swept finale in an abandoned beach resort, in a heart-stopping scene. It’s too long, not well handled, but it’s good old fashioned shoot out fun, and a page torn from “High Noon.”

Oscar Winning Melissa Leo, his old CIA boss from the original “The Equalizer,” is back to help him out. She is in mortal danger. So is McCall. Someone close to him is out to get him. See if you can spot the villain early on. I did, but then I’m good at this.

The closest McCall comes to Jason Bourne is a palm wetting OMG ride with a knife carrying killer in his Lyft car.

Those of my generation will be pleased to see an old friend, game show host and stand up comic Orson Bean, now 90 years old and still delightful. Hooray.

Fuqua’s direction is as usual, top drawer, a glove compartment of throat clutching and dry mouth moments.

Oliver Wood’s camera work plays a huge part of putting the OMG in this film.

Harry Gregson-Williams’s score isn’t as heart pumping as the Bourne film score by John Powell, but it will suffice.

It hurts to say it, but I doubt that there will be a succession of “The Equalizer” films. Denzel has bigger things in store.

J.P. Devine, of Waterville, is a former stage and film actor.

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