The Equalizer 3 (2023) is an action film directed by Antoine Fuqua. It is a sequel to The Equalizer 2 and the final instalment of The Equalizer trilogy, loosely based on the television series of the same name. The film stars Denzel Washington, reprising his role as retired U.S. Marine and DIA officer Robert McCall, with Dakota Fanning, David Denman, Sonia Ammar, and Remo Girone in supporting roles.
The Equalizer 3 was released in the United States on September 1, 2023, by Sony Pictures Releasing.
From Equalizer 3, 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 controlled by local crime bosses. As events turn deadly, McCall knows what he has to do: become his friends’ protector by taking on the Mafia.
THE EQUALIZER 3 FILM REVIEW.
Lorenzo Vitale, a criminal enforcer, drives his car with his son inside an isolated building. He’s escorted through its corridors only to stumble upon a gruesome scene – a ruthless slaughter, with a knife gruesomely stuck in a lifeless man’s face. Lorenzo is then guided to a room where he encounters Robert McCall, a retired U.S. Marine and former DIA operative. McCall is seated in the basement, held captive by two of Vitale’s henchmen.
After a brief exchange of words in which Robert requests access to a key, he grants Vitale a mere nine seconds to determine his fate, but Vitale refuses to cooperate. As the countdown concludes, Vitale and his accomplices meet their demise. Robert secures the key and exits, but as he steps out, he is ambushed by Vitale’s teenage son, sitting in a parked car, who opens fire.
Robert initially contemplates a tragic choice of ending his life with a gun but ultimately changes his mind, opting to board a ferry back to the mainland. As fate would have it, he’s discovered in his car, on the verge of death, by a compassionate individual named Gio Bonucci. Gio escorts him to a nearby small town for much-needed medical attention.
Robert spends three days confined to a sickbed, and once he regains his strength, he’s provided with a walking aid. During his recovery downtime, he takes the opportunity to mingle with the locals, forming a special bond with a waitress named Aminah. Gradually, he grows attached to the town and its people.
In an act of courage, Robert makes an anonymous call to the CIA, aiming to report an illicit drug trade issue. Unfortunately, his first call is abruptly disconnected by CIA agent Emma Collins. Refusing to be deterred, Robert perseveres, making another call and successfully providing crucial details about what he had witnessed.
Collins and fellow CIA agents make their way to the winery, discovering a stash of millions in cash and bags filled with amphetamines hidden in a storage area, confirming McCall’s suspicions. Meanwhile, members of the Camorra resort to intimidation and violence, targeting villagers to pressure them into vacating their homes for a commercial takeover of Altamonte.
After injuring a police officer and coercing him and his family, the officer is compelled to seek medical attention from the doctor who once cared for Robert. Curious about the cause of the injury, Robert inquires, and the doctor reveals that such coercion also occurs in numerous other places.
The problem arises when Robert confronts the Mafia on a fateful day, demanding they relocate their operations out of town. What will unfold? How will the situation develop?
The Equalizer 3 features several cast, but just very few had significant screen time, one of which was Denzel, who continues to star as Robert McCall. Robert is a good-looking beast, full of Charm and charisma, and to many of us who are fans of Denzel, this isn’t news. Like with part 2, he gives me a few looks that chill me to the bone. It’s so impressive the way he portrays being the nicest guy in one scene and the scariest guy in another with his prolific and precise use of firearms.
This character suits Denzel very well as he is quiet, calm, and composed. He doesn’t panic and plays this role to the best of his abilities. As his age increases, his acting prowess also increases. His portrayal of his character was good, but his character isn’t much further developed, the plot developments aren’t unique or clever, and the film feels a bit long despite being less than two hours.
The storyline had me scratching my head in confusion. The problem is that the movie has very few action scenes with Denzel, and literally 20 minutes after his first real Purge against the bad guys, we get to the final showdown, which doesn’t feel like one, and then we are left feeling like we are still in the 2nd Act because a lot is still very unclear, especially concerning the MafiaMafia.
The music by Marcelo Zarvos in this film was brilliant and better than ever, so distinct and noticeably industrial. I really enjoyed it. While watching the movie and listening to the sound and scores, I could literally film myself levitating into the film. The film uses sound to build suspense and support the story. It also helps keep you busy with something when nothing severe is going on screen. When I say “nothing severe”, I mean the second Act, which to me was boring.
While there are some fantastic action scenes in the 1st Act and the 3rd Act, the 2nd Act is where things really slow down. Literally half of this movie is just showing McCall’s ordinary day-to-day life in Sicily, which was a shocking decision by Antoine Fuqua. I expected this film to be similar to John Wick, full of action and thrills, but it was a drama. This film possibly has the least of that out of the whole trilogy.
There’s never any real tension about the fate of either McCall or the vicious gangsters he’s trying to stop. The screenplay is also generic and rote, more so than in the earlier films. There’s little to take away from the storytelling besides sporadic, outlandish bursts of R-rated action.
The effects and the animation looked good. The cinematography, too. Most things were good in this film, but the villains are really weak; it’s not a massive distraction as they remain easy to hate and don’t take up too much time, but as the marketing implied that this would be McCall meeting his equal is kind of laughable considering how little they feel like a genuine threat to him. The little community is too kind and welcoming; nobody questions the presence of our American hero, which means he doesn’t have to prove himself to them beyond being polite and smiling. That’s a missed opportunity because it would have made their eventual rallying around him against the Mafiosi that much more gratifying.
The Equalizer 3 is an action film that was, in its unique way, entertaining (not to me) and set in beautiful scenery. This film has a lot of potential, but the only thing holding it back from being great is the surprising lack of action. Now, I wouldn’t call either of the previous movies action-packed. But this one has a total of about 7 minutes of activity. That’s just not enough. And it especially hurts during the not-so-climactic climax.
Would I recommend it? Ummmm, nahh. I don’t think so. I did not enjoy it and was genuinely disappointed. Even though it starred one of my favourite action movie actors, Denzel, I did not enjoy it.
The Equalizer is rated R for intense, bloody violence and some language.
You can watch The Equalizer 3 in cinemas near you!
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