The Equalizer 3 Review :
There’s a compelling argument to be made that Denzel Washington reigns as the greatest actor in the industry today. With two Oscars to his name and universal acclaim, he demonstrates his versatility across genres, winning over audiences worldwide. Whether you’re a fan of his dramatic brilliance in films like “Fences,” “Training Day,” “Malcolm X,” and “Glory,” or you prefer his action-packed performances, Denzel has something for everyone. While his action hero status is undeniable, “The Equalizer” films stand out among his action-packed repertoire.
Fuqua and Washington: An Exceptional Duo
It might sound sacrilegious to some, but the partnership of Antoine Fuqua and Denzel Washington is one of the most effective in Hollywood. Washington consistently brings out the best in Fuqua, and in turn, Fuqua directed him to a second Oscar win. For the longest time, Washington was among the elite few movie stars who hadn’t ventured into sequels. Then came “The Equalizer” in 2014, an action-thriller loosely inspired by the 80s TV series of the same name. The film stormed the box office, even if critics had mixed reviews. Audiences, however, savored every moment of it. In 2018, “The Equalizer 2” hit theaters and continued the success. Now, five years later, Fuqua and Washington are reuniting for the third and reportedly final chapter of this hit franchise: “The Equalizer 3.”
A Glimpse into “The Equalizer 3”
Set after the events of the second film, “The Equalizer 3” begins with a Sicilian mobster discovering his base of operations ravaged, his men brutally slain. Soon, he crosses paths with Robert McCall (Washington), resulting in a grave injury for our protagonist. McCall finds refuge in Southern Italy, thanks to Enzo Arisio (Remo Girone), a local doctor. Italy becomes McCall’s new home, where he forms close bonds with Enzo and the community. However, he soon realizes that this peaceful haven is under the ruthless control of the Sicilian Mafia. Left with no choice, McCall must once again take matters into his own hands, waging a war against his formidable new foes.
What to Expect from “The Equalizer 3”
If you’ve seen the previous “Equalizer” films, you’ll have a fair idea of what to expect in the latest installment. It follows a similar formula but shifts the setting from the suburbs of Boston to Europe. This change works for the most part, placing Washington’s character in unfamiliar territory, devoid of the familiar faces or Susan’s (Melissa Leo) support. While the film hints at Emma (Dakota Fanning), a young CIA analyst, playing a significant role in aiding McCall, her subplot doesn’t fully develop for much of the movie. Nevertheless, this isn’t the primary reason you’re watching this sequel.
Fuqua and screenwriter Richard Wenk understand that audiences flock to witness Washington inflicting exaggerated levels of pain on any mobster who crosses his path, and that’s precisely what you get. While there’s a brief 15-minute stretch in the film’s second act where McCall takes a back seat, every other minute is action-packed and worthwhile. Despite not being as youthful as some contemporary action stars, like Chris Hemsworth or Michael B. Jordan, Washington remains wholly convincing in this action-heavy role. He exudes intimidation, ferocity, and charisma, making McCall an enigmatic character you’d happily share tea with at an Italian bakery, even amidst the relentless violence.
Conclusion: A Fitting Addition to the Series
While “The Equalizer 3” may not reach the heights of its predecessors, it comes close. The narrative takes a backseat for a significant portion of the film, but it compensates with some of the trilogy’s bloodiest sequences. The violence borders on the level of a “Saw” movie, and the abrupt shifts in tone between scenes of tranquility at the local market and brutal mobster takedowns might not convert those who weren’t fans of the previous films.
Antoine Fuqua excels in directing quintessential “Dad” movies, and the first two “Equalizer” films hold a special place in the “Dad Movie Hall of Fame.” The pacing is brisk, never overstaying its welcome, and features a remarkably charismatic lead. The film offers all the violence, chaos, and melodrama that fans of this genre crave.
In a year that’s seen some technically groundbreaking and innovative action films, like the latest entries in the “John Wick” and “Mission: Impossible” franchises, “The Equalizer 3” may not match their heights, but it delivers ample satisfying action. What more could you ask for?