Sommerleigh Pollonais, Senior Writer
Plot: Robert McCall finds himself at home in Southern Italy but he discovers his 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.
Review: We all know about that strange sub-genre of action movies that took off after the success of Taken aka the “old-guy-who-is-secretly-a-badass” subgenre. Movies like Red, Nobody and, of course, The Equalizer found cool and inventive ways of making us believe that a guy pushing 60 could single-handedly take on an entire army of goons and come out on the other side somehow alive and no worse for wear.
Denzel Washington embodied the phrase “speak softly and carry a big stick” with his kind but deadly take on Robert McCall, a man who is just looking for a quiet life but also won’t stand by while innocent people are being preyed on. The first Equalizer movie was a huge success (deservedly so) and led to a sequel that played like someone had let the wind out of the previous movie’s sails. But most viewers were still interested in another go-around, bringing us to 2023’s The Equalizer 3 (and by the way, I give them points just for not coming up with some ridiculously wordy title like most sequels do these days).
Leaving the streets of the United States, we meet up with McCall again as he brutally takes out an entire group of mobsters in Italy. But time is catching up with him and his instincts may not be as razor sharp as they use to be when he’s shot and injured. Luckily McCall is taken in by a kind small town doctor who helps him get back on his feet. He starts to fall in love with the peaceful and rustic town as well as its people only to discover a local crime boss and his lackeys have been forcing these folks to pay protection money. We all know what comes next.
I’ll be blunt and say I hated The Equalizer 2. It dragged on for what felt like forever, only to deliver all its action in the last 15 minutes of the movie. The villain was bland, his motives were bland and It was such a letdown I can barely remember 90 per cent of it, that’s how far I’ve pushed it out of my mind. Which is why it’s so strange I found this movie to be much better than the second as most of the issues I had with that one carries over to the third!
It’s hard to put my finger on why this movie was better as it has the same director (Antoine Fuqua), same team of writers (Richard Wenk, Michael Sloan, Richard Lindheim) and the same lack of any big action sequences. Yet the tone here was back on track and where Denzel seemed a bit bored in the second one, his portrayal of a character who is tired of the violence that follows him wherever he goes resonated a bit louder here. He also plays McCall at his most brutal with kills that almost seem mean in their execution. I found him genuinely intimidating as the man looks and acts like Death Incarnate.
The cinematography is much better as well and while the side characters are nowhere near as developed as they were the first time around (I can remember those faces even if I can’t remember their names – I couldn’t say the same about the second entry) they do feel like real caring people, living their lives and trying to survive the type of criminal activity that hits all too close to home for a lot of folks.
Even with its flaws the best thing about The Equalizer 3 is it’s a solid end to what I can only hope, is a trilogy. The circle is complete, the hero’s journey is done and there is absolutely no reason to ruin things by making a fourth one.
Sommer’s Score: 6.5 out of 10
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Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge-Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes. Double Tap Baby! Read More