The Equalizer 3 Review: 8 / 10 : The Russian mob, American mercenaries, and now the Italian mafia. The Equalizer 3 thrusts our retired government assassin Robert McCall (Denzel Washington) into the beautiful waters of Southern Italy. For what, we don’t exactly know, but as one encounter springs to another, we’re promised another gritty and action-packed premise as the movie progresses. But how does it fare against its predecessors? Let’s dive in.
Warning: minor spoilers ahead.
We open in a villa in Sicily, the presumed owner and boss of the drug empire pulls up the property with his child. As we get a glimpse of the carnage that transpired, the kingpin orders the child to stay in the car (which is never a good sign). As he and a goon tiptoe their way through a maze of gory bodies, we see more and more of the massacre that occurred. Director Antoine Fuqua’s camera work slowly pushes us forward into the home, carefully focusing on each victim in a horror-like fashion, making us wonder who exactly the culprit is.
If you guessed correctly, it’s Robert McCall. As the tour stops, we see McCall sitting comfortably on a chair held at gunpoint by a few surviving goons. McCall is so nonchalant as he carefully tends to his OCD compulsions and folds a napkin in front of the Mafiosos. It makes them (and us) even more confused as to what got them here, knowing McCall, did he purposely save a few men just to get what he wanted? Probably.
It turns out, he’s in Italy to find a set of keys. What the keys are for and what the significance is we don’t know yet. But as usual, McCall gives them a time limit to their deaths, kills them in quick succession, and collects the keys from the former boss.
You probably won’t guess where the story goes from there, but the movie seems to have two main plots instead of one. McCall soon finds himself living on the peaceful (or so it would seem) Amalfi coast. As he becomes at peace with who he used to be and in love with his new setting, McCall discovers the town has fallen victim to a local mafia family with its eyes set on control over them. In true Western fashion, Robert McCall is no stranger to taking action to help those who need it, no matter the number of bodies left behind.
That’s what separates The Equalizer 3 from the first two. Robert doesn’t have anyone of importance in his life anymore, nor does he know what his purpose is or where he belongs. Though among the nice people of the town, and the deadly forces that threaten it, the former government asset realizes he’s right where he needs to be. This is where Washington and Fuqua shine together; they both create an essence of horror mixed with your typical western/action tropes and for the most part, it sticks.
The Verdict: The Equalizer 3 Review
The Equalizer draws a fitting conclusion to Robert McCall’s story. Though the surface is different from its predecessors, its themes and action to support them create a safe end to its franchise. Though it doesn’t shy too much away from what audiences expect from it.