The Equalizer 3 Image

The Equalizer 3

By Benjamin Franz | September 3, 2023

Part crime film, part Spaghetti Western, The Equalizer 3 feels like the final installment for Robert McCall’s (a taciturn and stoic Denzel Washington) adventures, well, equalizing life for innocent business people. Based on the glorious 80’s action series, The Equalizer 3 and its prior installments demonstrate a McCall nearing the end of his career. Here’s a man who has wrought much vigilante justice on behalf of people who are defenseless to the criminal predators of the world. From what I recall, the trope successfully transplanted from the series to the trilogy of films is the brutal, methodical process McCall undertakes to mete out justice on behalf of the downtrodden.

The Equalizer 3 opens with a fast, graphic, and intense action sequence on a pastoral winery in rural Sicily. Here, McCall has tracked down something. What the MacGuffin he located is exactly, will be saved for the conclusion of the film, and it would be churlish of me to say any more about that. Rather, this action ends with McCall being severely injured. Such that he needs a hospital. Taking a ferry to the mainland province of Napoli, he ends up in the town of Altamonte, being tended to by the local doctor, Enzo (Remo Girone). Having been patched up, it’s clear McCall is in no condition to leave Altamonté. As he recuperates, he learns of the predations of the local Cammara – mafia. Embodied by brothers Vincent and Marco Quaranta (Andrea Scarduzio and Andrea Dodero, respectively), the local Camara seeks to use Jihadist money to propel their hostile acquisitions of all the property of their native coastline in Naples. As the good people of Altamonté are the principal victims of Marco’s shakedowns, McCall is inexorably drawn into these troubles and, using the abilities to wreak havoc and murder McCall, begins a one-man vendetta on behalf of the residents of Altamonté who, for their part have accepted him with open arms.

“…using the abilities to wreak havoc and murder McCall begins a one-man vendetta…”

While these actions and contretemps are transpiring, Emma Collins (Dakota Fanning) of the CIA financial crimes division has received an anonymous tip concerning many illicit items of contraband on that remote winery in Sicily. This brought the CIA to Naples and Sicily to figure out who the drugs and other items of illegal nature were coming from. At the same time, the CIA sequences do not add much weight to the proceedings. It’s nice to pair Washington and Fanning. They played off each other in the 2004 Man on Fire, wherein Washington played her bodyguard. Here, it’s almost a mentor-protege relationship. McCall feeds Collins small but important details that enable her to complete her tasks successfully. It’s a very nice series of scenes between the two of them.

Likewise, the hour devoted to life in Altamonté is quite bucolic. Here, a place McCall could find and acquire some peace. It might require the application of his murderous version of elbow grease, yet peace is the incentive being offered to the aging military contractor.

Whenever Antoine Fuqua is paired with Denzel Washington, you experience beautiful cinema magic. This theorem plays out effectively with The Equalizer 3. This is a great hour and 49 minutes of action film, and I wholeheartedly recommend it.

The Equalizer 3 (2023)

Directed: Antoine Fuqua

Written: Richard Wenk, Michael Sloan, Richard Lindheim

Starring: Denzel Washington, Dakota Fanning, Remo Girone, Andrea Scarduzio, Andrea Dodero, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

The Equalizer 3 Image

"…a beautiful cinema magic..."

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