May 27, 2024

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The Equalizer 3 (2023)

4 min read

Instalment 3 of the new version of this old Television franchise finds Robert McCall 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

The latest entry in The Equalizer films, simply titled The Equalizer 3, opens with a over gratuitous level of violene for a movie that would be fine if, it actually made any sense.

Antoine Fuqua (once again directing from a screenplay by Richard Wenk and based on the television series created by Michael Sloan and Richard Lindheim) continues to demonstrate that he took away none of the correct lessons while crafting such a memorable, purposeful display of excessive bloodshed. Here, the story drops watchers into the world of Sicily, where Robert McCall is storming through a vineyard used for drug trafficking, messily disposing of everyone left and right, with the only goal being to increase the gore with each kill. Without much of an explanation it all seems a little odd to say the least, just to shock and grab attention something it does well but leaves you wondering why.

In leaving the scene of the crima as it where, Robert sustains a rather bad injury at the hands of someone you dont see coming. He is found in Sicily by a trusting doctor who helps him outand gets him back to health (Remo Girone), who believes he is saving a good man from just a question, We see Robert saddled with a cane for the first part of the movie as he stugles with his new injury and has to start the road to recovery. He begins taking in the sights of Italy, befriending the people, and finding beauty in the culture and landmarks that encourage him to consider calling this place his new home. That also means dealing with the problems of the region like drugs or the local maffia by figuring out who pulls the strings and what they hope to gain from the drugs he found in his first killing spree.

Much of The Equalizer 3 is spent watching Robert McCall slowly walk around Italy more like a tour giude than a trained assassin, shots of the area, the people the food, if you didnt know better you would think the movie was partly financed by the Italian tourist board. The only thing to bring you back to the world of the assassin are the flashbacks he gets sometimes, otherwise it is a bit slow for a long time.

There are other significant players in the movie though, a, at the start unknown newish CIA employee working a desk job whom Robert McCall contacts to relay information regarding his illegal discoveries. That worker also happens to be played by Dakota Fanning, initiating a Man on Fire reunion (Denzel Washington’s character found himself willing to protect and rescue the young child at any cost in one of the more underappreciated, electrifying action romps headlined by the veteran star), which we can only assume was intentionally done to put your interest back in this rather slow and so far boring movie to spark a bit of interest to keep you wondering.

There are lots of signs in this movie that there have been massive cuts, removing relationship with an older woman, rising affection for the people and general day to day activities, (it feels like we are dropped into this movie at the end of the first act, with no explanation coming for exactly why Robert McCall is in Italy in the first place until the closing moments.) There are also numerous fades to blacks following short, meaningless scenes, drawing further attention to what has to be one of the worst-edited mainstream blockbusters in recent memory.

For those hoping they can at least count on another riveting and blood-soaked energetic conclusion, even that aspect is a letdown here. The fight scenes seem sporadic, poorly led up to with no real reasonoing or follow up, yes they all lead to the outcome for the movie but they seem ill thought out lacking real reason or follow through. None of these kills are clever or exciting (although Robert Richardson strikingly shoots a nighttime encounter). The finale of this movie just leave you wondering, well, WHY?

Thankfully, Denzel Washington does play this character with some grace and charisma and compassion when he is not breaking bones and slashing throats, and the Italian architecture sure is nice to see if a little weird in the context of this film. Still, The Equalizer 3 is a near-lifeless chapter in this series that will only be remembered for how one of our greatest living actors can elevate tedious material through his reliable acting craft and magnetic presence.

All in all if you want to summerise this piece of movie it can be done in a few words.. Slow movie, predictable plot, bad editing, slow perfomances. If you like the Equalizer as a story then give it a go nut dont expect too much..

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