The Equalizer 3 follows Denzel Washington to Sicily where he learns organized crime never sleeps and shows the world that ass kicking is a universal language. Playing former DIA Agent Robert McCall (who was also once a Marine) Washington brings his signature swagger and an unrelenting fury of vengeance to those who seek to take advantage of innocent civilians. We thought he was retired and out of the killing business, but his moral compass is too strong to sit by and watch good people bullied by those with guns and power. All we really know about Robert McCall is that you’d better take him at his word and hope to God he doesn’t start a countdown on his watch, because he’s quite tactical and precise with his timing.
There’s a side of me that was really surprised when I heard that they were making an Equalizer 3 as I’d mostly forgotten the second installment which had followed an awesome first film. The fact that we got a Rated-R Denzel Washington movie where he takes on the Italian Mafia is as baffling as it is a massive blessing, so I’m going to choose not to look the gift horse in the mouth. I went in expecting to be pleased with the hyper-stylized violence and I left more than pleasantly surprised by the amount of heart and tranquility in this third installment. Not once did I think I would take The Trip to Italy by way of John Wick and find myself longing to be on the Italian coast.
The Equalizer 3 takes things slow to start, as we watch McCall rehabilitate a nasty back wound in a beautiful coastal town in Sicily. While taking the time to regain his strength and slowly get back into fight-ready shape, McCall can’t help but fall in love with the people and atmosphere of the town. With every passing day he grows closer to the beautiful people who welcome him to their town and embrace him as one of their own, immersing him in their cultures and cuisine. When local mafia threaten to ruin the peaceful nature of the town, McCall can’t help but want to fight for them because he knows he’s the only man who can get the job done.
Embracing the styles of the Italian and Europeans, director Antoine Fuqua lets the action take a back seat to the world we’re completely captivated by in this little town. You start to feel the same sense of ease and belonging that McCall feels in the film, watching the tide roll in and admiring the thousand-year-old chapels that sit atop the hill. All that was missing was a doppio espresso and the feel of the wind on your movie seat to truly heighten this breezy theatrical experience. That’s not to say there aren’t wonderful bursts of creative killing and action, but The Equalizer 3 is most concerned with making sure Washington is in control and going at his own pace. For me, that pace played perfectly, and I quite enjoyed my mini trip to Sicily (even if the mafia tried to ruin it with all their horrific methods of fear mongering)!
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