The Equalizer 3: A Thrilling Conclusion to Denzel Washington’s Action Trilogy

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The Equalizer 3, the final installment of the action thriller franchise starring Denzel Washington, hit the theaters on September 1, 2023. The film, directed by Antoine Fuqua, follows the exploits of Robert McCall, a former CIA operative turned vigilante, who travels to Italy to settle an old score and protect his new friends from a ruthless crime syndicate. The film has received positive reviews from critics and audiences alike, who praised Washington’s performance, Fuqua’s direction, and the film’s action sequences.

A Different Setting for McCall’s Mission

Unlike the previous two films, which were set in Boston and Washington D.C., The Equalizer 3 takes place in a picturesque coastal town in Italy, where McCall finds himself after a botched assassination attempt on a Sicilian mob boss. McCall is wounded and rescued by a local policeman, who brings him to a small clinic run by a kind doctor. There, he befriends a young waitress named Aminah, who dreams of becoming a singer, and her brother Omar, who is involved in a local soccer team. McCall also meets Enzo, a retired soldier who runs a barbershop and offers McCall a place to stay.

However, McCall soon realizes that his new friends are under the threat of the Camorra, a powerful criminal organization that controls the town and wants to evict the residents to build a luxury resort. McCall decides to use his skills and resources to help the townspeople fight back against the Camorra and its ruthless leader, Donato Moretti.

A Return to Form for Washington and Fuqua

The Equalizer 3 marks the fifth collaboration between Denzel Washington and Antoine Fuqua, who previously worked together on Training Day (2001), The Equalizer (2014), The Magnificent Seven (2016), and The Equalizer 2 (2018). The film also ties Fuqua with the late Tony Scott as Washington’s most frequent director. Fuqua said that he and Washington have developed a mutual trust and respect over the years, and that they always try to challenge each other and bring something new to each project.

The Equalizer 3

Washington reprised his role as Robert McCall, a character he described as “a man of mystery” who has “a code of honor” and “a sense of justice”. Washington said that he enjoyed playing McCall because he is “a complex character” who has “a lot of layers” and “a lot of secrets”. Washington also said that he liked the fact that McCall is not a typical action hero, but rather “a regular guy” who uses his intelligence and experience to overcome his enemies.

Fuqua said that he wanted to make The Equalizer 3 different from the previous films by changing the location, the tone, and the style. He said that he was inspired by classic Italian films such as The Bicycle Thief (1948) and Cinema Paradiso (1988), as well as by spaghetti westerns such as The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) and Once Upon a Time in the West (1968). He said that he wanted to capture the beauty and the contrast of Italy, as well as its history and culture. He also said that he wanted to make the film more personal and emotional for McCall, who has to face his past and his future in this final chapter.

Fuqua also praised his cinematographer Robert Richardson, who won three Oscars for his work on JFK (1991), The Aviator (2004), and Hugo (2011). Fuqua said that Richardson brought a unique vision and aesthetic to the film, using desaturated colors and high contrast to create a gritty and realistic look. Fuqua said that Richardson was able to balance the dark and violent aspects of the film with the light and hopeful ones.

A Satisfying Conclusion for Fans and Critics

The Equalizer 3 has received mostly positive reviews from critics and audiences alike. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 82% based on 156 reviews, with an average rating of 7.1/10. The website’s critical consensus reads: “The Equalizer 3 mostly makes up for its formulaic story with generous helpings of cathartic action.” On Metacritic, the film has a score of 68 out of 100 based on 36 critics, indicating “generally favorable reviews”. On IMDb, the film has a rating of 7.5 out of 10 based on over 20,000 votes.

Critics praised Washington’s performance as McCall, saying that he brought charisma, depth, and nuance to his role. They also praised Fuqua’s direction, saying that he delivered thrilling and well-choreographed action scenes that kept the viewers engaged. They also appreciated the film’s setting in Italy, saying that it added flavor and atmosphere to the film. Some critics also noted that the film had some humorous and heartwarming moments that balanced the film’s violence and intensity.

However, some critics also pointed out some flaws in the film, such as its predictable plot, its clichéd villains, and its excessive runtime. They also said that the film did not offer anything new or original to the genre, and that it relied too much on Washington’s star power and Fuqua’s style. Some critics also said that the film was too violent and graphic for some viewers, and that it glorified vigilantism and violence.

Nevertheless, most critics and audiences agreed that The Equalizer 3 was a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy, and that it was a worthy farewell to Washington’s iconic character. They also said that the film was a solid example of a well-made action thriller that entertained and thrilled the viewers.

The Equalizer 3 is now playing in theaters nationwide.

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