'The Equalizer III' (2023) Review: Denzel’s Last Stand?
With nothing more than a stopwatch and a steely eyed look, Denzel Washington has delighted viewers. Now with the third installment, things have taken a much appreciated beat. After his latest mission leaves him limping, he’s forced to recuperate. Lucky for Robert Mccall, he happens to fall ill in the idyllic Italian countryside, filled with friendly townsfolk who take him in as their own.
For a moment, ‘The Equalizer 3’ seems to be taking its lead character on a near mythic journey. Robert even finds his own personal Bishop Myriel to cleanse him of his sins as he nears his final showdown. The town of Altamonte feels too good to be true, down to its angelic inhabitants. It’s enough to suggest the main character succumbed to his injuries in the first 10 minutes, with the rest of the film showing his personal afterlife.
When things get too heavenly, the devil rears his ugly head. Robert must take a stand against the crime lords who wish to corrupt his new paradise. In doing so he becomes the man with no name, a drifter in this town becoming its protector, standing up to those who underestimate him, like so many have before.
While the story of Robert in his new home is captivating, everything outside of that is a bit half baked. Dakota Fanning plays a CIA agent on the brink of uncovering an insidious international plot, something she seems inept to do without the explicit instructions of Robert. Everything about these scenes feels tedious, and is better off skipped through on a home rewatch.
There is also the issue of pacing, which may leave some viewers dissatisfied. For the first half of the film, Robert roams romantically over flowers, sips tea at a cafe, and strolls through the square. Not exactly what you’d expect for a high octane action series. For my money, I appreciate the time taken to entrench the main character in his new world. For others, the lack of action might disappoint.
By the film’s climax, the Equalizer shows his skills and makes a mockery of anyone who dares to step to him. Denzel can intimidate with just a glare, but the film shows him delivering some righteous punishment. It’s thrilling, and it’s purposeful, which makes the movie well worth watching.
Rating: Half Price
Note: While I appreciate you reading this review, movies are still incredibly subjective. If you think you might enjoy yourself, I encourage everyone to support the cinema industry as much as they can. Stay safe, and remember, life’s too short for bad movies.