The third and final instalment of The Equalizer franchise is finally here and rather than go out with a bang, this movie goes out with a stylised whimper.
The Equalizer movies, based on the 1980s TV series of the same name follows Robert McCall, played by Oscar winner Denzel Washington, a retired marine who is forced back into his life of violence due to unforeseen circumstances.
The first Equalizer movie was a sleeper hit in 2014. Although Denzel Washington is still a huge name, the name Equalizer was not. So when the story of a mild-mannered man taking things into his own hands against the Russian mafia hit it big with audiences, it was a surprising turn of events.
And, the first movie was a pretty good watch. The action was slick, Denzel is always a treat to watch on screen, and despite some of the cookie-cutter tropes and clichés the movie still made nearly $200 million in the worldwide box office. Since the movie only cost around $55m to make, a sequel was greenlit almost immediately.
The second instalment of the movie came out in 2018 and, although not as highly rated, it still made about the same money as the first offering.
Now, here we are in 2023, with the final instalment of the franchise. Denzel Washington’s McCall replaces the metropolis of the US with a quaint seaside town in Italy.
The third entry is by far the least action-heavy of the franchise. The director spends most of the run time trying to establish an emotional connection between the townspeople and McCall.
As in the previous movies, when trouble starts brewing (this time courtesy of the Italian mafia), McCall can no longer stay silent. The problem is that despite all the time spent on character development, the audience still ends up not caring. They are there to watch the action … but it’s few and far between.
The action is replaced by some great atmosphere though. Certain frames from the movie look like they were plucked straight out of a graphic novel. But for the audience and fans expecting a bloody action thriller, they will be left disappointed.
One of the nicer parts of the movie was seeing Dakota Fanning and Denzel Washington share the screen once more. The duo had previously acted together in the 2004 movie Man on Fire. The familiarity and chemistry that the two actors share with one another is one of the best things in the entire movie.
The villains like always are tired old clichés and tropes repeated countless times before.
The one thing you can count on is for Denzel Washington to be the acting powerhouse that he is. He exudes a menacing calmness throughout the movie and that’s still awesome to see on screen.
Verdict: Overall, it’s a disappointing end to the franchise.
- Deviprasad Nair