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Review: The Equalizer 3 – “Possibly the most brutal of the entire trilogy.”

The Equalizer 3

Antoine Fuqua’s finale to his Robert McCall trilogy will be very polarising and I can see why some may not like it.

Going into part 3, we are re-introduced to Denzel Washington’s McCall having slain many bodies and retrieving something for someone, a part of the story we will be given facts for later. It takes an hour to get back to the kind of action we have seen in the previous films and even then, it doesn’t quite reach those heights.

Instead we are treated to McCall getting fixed up from a gun shot wound and slowly integrating himself into the stunningly beautiful small community in Sicily, where he awkwardly converses with the locals, learns names and people and discovers a place he truly believes he belongs; able to quietly drink tea whilst his OCD maintains the 2 napkins and neatly placed spoon rituals play out.

I could easily have watched another half an hour of this and it has something to do with the sheer on-screen magnetism of Washington. He does come under a lot of fire for “always being Denzel”, but what he does is good. Able to transform from gentle giant to intimidating arse-kicker in a glance, or a slight shift in posture.

Of course, being treated to some gorgeous locations also helps.

Fuqua has chosen a beautiful location and the imagery shows what an idyllic life in Europe could be. If you don’t look up the area or plan to go and visit, you’ve either been there or your soul is dead.

During this hour of Sicilian life, we gradually get the set-up to the reason there is a third film in the first place, that being the extortion of the locals by local thugs. McCall does his best to not intervene but this IS The Equalizer 3 and we know what is coming.

Here the film will upset a few fans. The film never really gets into fifth gear and instead, cruises in fourth, with violent sequences being slowed right down, painstakingly taking out the big bad’s goons one by one. However, the violence is possibly the most brutal of the entire trilogy. 

I have noticed recently, with the resurgence in over-the-top violent films, like John wick, Atomic Blonde and Nobody, the on-screen violence is getting more and more, umm, shall we say creative and realistic?? The Equalizer 3 pushes that bar even higher. Even I winced at a few scenes. I also jumped more than I did while watching Talk to Me.

I didn’t notice much of the score but what I did take note of was what seems to have been a theme piece that screeches and scratches away at your soul, a piece very reminiscent of some of Howard shore‘s work from Se7en.

The back story of The Equalizer is its weakest link. Poorly written and thought out as if they were writing it as it went along. Dakota Fanning, an actress i have enjoyed since her days in the Spielberg limited series Taken, feels completely redundant and it is a shame. It’s as though they wrote the film and decided they needed a female to do some CIA work and shoehorned the character in. There is a nice little touch to her identity at the end but this just seems like another afterthought.

I like the end of the trilogy but I don’t think it will get the credit it deserves. Whether we will see Fuqua turn it into a quadrilogy or someone else takes the reins, remain to be seen. I hope they leave it with what Fuqua has done with the character. I suppose it depends on Box Office revenue.

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