Denzel Washington reunites with director Antoine Fuqua for the fifth time in The Equalizer 3from Columbia Pictures. Richard Wenk returns to pen the third and final installment of The Equalizer trilogy, loosely based on the eighties TV series. Since giving up his life as a government assassin, Robert 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.
Previously, we witnessed Robert McCall triumph over his enemies. In his latest mission, McCall has embarked on a journey to Sicily, determined to continue delivering justice to those who deserve it. However, his stay in Italy is prolonged due to an unexpected complication that arises, causing him to spend more time in the charming southern region of Italy. During his extended stay, McCall discovers a newfound appreciation for life and becomes deeply attached to the picturesque location.
Unfortunately, his newfound peace is short-lived as he learns about the Sicilian Mafia that controls and threatens his newly made friends. Led by Vincent Quaranta, portrayed by Andrea Scarduzio, the mafia forces McCall into action as he must take on the dangerous and powerful organization to protect his friends. As the stakes get higher, McCall must make tough decisions and take risks to ensure the safety of those he cares for. Meanwhile, FBI Agent Emma Collins (Dakota Fanning) has been sent to investigate the violence in Bel Passe, further complicating matters.
Regarding movie sequels, fans tend to have mixed feelings about the third installment. Some franchises, like Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, Toy Story, The Dark Knight, and Captain America, managed to keep the story engaging with their third movies. However, other popular franchises like Rush Hour, Alien, and The Godfather received less-than-enthusiastic reactions from audiences.
Thankfully, Denzel and Fuqua deliver the good with The Equalizer 3. One of the first things viewers should know about the film is that there isn't a non-stop action. Instead, the script allows McCall to fall into the retried gunfighter trope, which works in the film's favor. The audience already knows that McCall is a certified badass, so letting Denzel use charm on the locals and flash his million was refreshing. Furthermore, I commend Wenk's script for staying within the plot armor for McCall.
I also enjoyed observing the dynamic between Denzel and Dakota Fanning's character in the film. The script took a refreshing approach, steering clear of the familiar trope of replacing an older protagonist with a younger one. Instead, it presents a mentor-and-mentee relationship between the two characters. McCall patiently and skillfully guides her through piecing together the crime scene, leading her to uncover a larger and more sinister plot.
The only gripe with The Equalizer 3 is the underwhelming premise of our villain. Since the trilogy's final film, I would've loved to see Denzel go toe to toe with another A-list actor. Nevertheless, with the right mix of action and heart, The Equalizer 3 is a satisfying swan song for Robert McCall.
Final Grade: B
The Equalizer 3 opens in theaters tonight.