The Equalizer 3 seems to be a misleading title because there is no equal to Denzel Washington or his character Robert McCall. Denzel mows through his enemies with beautifully violent and deadly action that is an absolute joy for fans of action and combat. While the narrative is noticeably weaker than any of the action sequences, it’s impossible to not enjoy the film and the absolute master level of filmmaking behind it.
Weak Narrative, Strong Execution
The Equalizer 3 follows the journey of Robert McCall (Denzel Washington), a former government assassin who has been grappling with his dark past and finding solace in delivering justice for the oppressed. The plot thickens when McCall, who finds an unexpected sense of belonging in Southern Italy, realizes that his new friends are entangled in the web of local mafia control. As the situation escalates and turns deadly, McCall is compelled to embrace his role as a protector and confront the mafia head-on.
That’s essentially exactly how the movie plays out. There is a connection to The Equalizer 2 that plays out, but you could essentially just watch this movie without watching any of the others and still fully enjoy it. There’s no deeper meaning, there are no hidden subplots, it’s McCall finding a place he likes, giving the bad guys a chance to leave and let be, then the bad guys not taking their chances and paying for it with their bodies and lives.
Denzel Kills It
Denzel Washington is absolutely in his bag. He delivers on every aspect of his performance and his joy radiates from the screen and into the audience. His cheesy one-liners and epic threats all land when they definitely shouldn’t. It’s as if Denzel was landing Boeing 747s on helicopter pads and making it look easy. This would be a mindlessly cool action flick in most other performers’ hands.
The supporting cast of The Equalizer 3 all play their parts well, but their characters do not have much dimension for anyone to kind of break through the purpose of their roles. Dakota Fanning definitely enjoyed her role and her and Denzel are electric on screen. Even if it’s generic dialogue. Sadly they don’t get the opportunity to have any repartee or impactful back and forths to utilize her talent. But it is more than enough to support the story of Robert McCall exorcising the mafia from this small city.
The aspect of The Equalizer 3 that truly captures audiences is the visuals. The locations in Italy chosen are all gorgeous backdrops to the deadly journey of Robert McCall. The vineyard in the opening, the sealine of the city, and the celebration of the town. Everything pops on screen. Which is also due to the incredible cinematography. The framing, the tracking, and the movements are wonderful and fully draw viewers in and take them along for the ride. Add in the mastery of lightning and incredibly realistic-looking mutilated body parts and blood, and The Equalizer 3 fans will realize the film a is visual marvel.
Lastly, The Equalizer 3 is a very well-done slasher movie. However, because of the story’s perspective, the audience is on the side of the killer. Without giving too much away, if the killing scenes were shown and the viewers were told the victims were the heroes, they might be at the edge of their seats in fear as they are horrifically picked off one by one in truly brutal ways. But because they’re evil mafia members and Denzel is the savior, audiences have the rare opportunity to be on the side of the slasher and cheer for the kills guilt-free.
Don’t Think About It
The Equalizer 3 is essentially Denzel Washington playing a game he’s obviously mastered. Robert McCall seems to know every trick and every secret and memorized the level and movement patterns, then does a no-damage run for a highlight reel. There is no challenge in the conflict, which if you think about it, kind of deflates the film. However, Antoine Fuqua keeps the film enjoyable and keeps the audience suspended in disbelief. It’s a masterfully crafted and performed film that is enjoyable, just don’t dig into the story.
For absolutely killing it in the aspects that matter, I give The Equalizer 3 a 7/10.
The Equalizer 3 releases exclusively in theaters on September 1, 2023.
About The Equalizer 3
Release Date: September 1, 2023
Directed by: Antoine Fuqua
Written by: Richard Wenk
Based on the television series created by Michael Sloan and Richard Lindheim
Produced by: Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, Denzel Washington, Antoine Fuqua, Steve Tisch, Clayton Townsend, Alex Siskin, Tony Eldridge, Michael Sloan
Executive Producers: David Bloomfield, Tarak Ben Ammar, Andy Mitchell
Distribution: Sony Picture
Cast: Denzel Washington, Dakota Fanning, David Denman
Since giving up his life as a government assassin, Robert McCall (Denzel Washington) has struggled to reconcile the horrific things he’s done in the past and finds a strange solace in serving justice on behalf of the oppressed. Finding himself surprisingly at home in Southern Italy, he discovers his new friends are under the control of local crime bosses. As events turn deadly, McCall knows what he has to do: become his friends’ protector by taking on the mafia.
Are you ready for a heart-pounding action-packed adventure The Equalizer 3? Is it the anticipation of seeing Denzel Washington deliver justice once again, the intriguing plot set against the backdrop of Southern Italy, or the adrenaline-pumping confrontation with the mafia? Do you already have your tickets? Share your expectations and thoughts with us on social media!