The Equalizer 3 (2023)
September 5, 2023 7:50 AM - Subscribe

Robert McCall (Denzel Washington) finds himself at home in Southern Italy but he discovers his friends are under the control of local crime bosses. As events turn deadly, McCall knows what he has to do: become his friends' protector by taking on the ...

This is a strange one. The themes are well-worn but, structurally, it's 80% Washington wandering around a scenic and remarkably tourism-free little Italian town getting over a back injury, 5% Dakota Fanning doing an "investigation," and 15% gory violence. What makes the violence so disconcerting is that there's no focus on competence or preparation: no long careful build-up nor impressive hand-to-hand combat scenes. Just Washington killing a bunch of much younger and fitter guys because he has plot powers. I think this was director Antoine Fuqua trying to do an Unforgiven or at least Shane, but he doesn't have the chops or the script to make it interesting, even if he might have had the actor.
posted by praemunire (9 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Hollywood will not rest until all of our most esteemed late middle aged actors get their own Taken. Denzel got a whole trilogy of 'em.

Put down that Oscar and demonstrate your particular set of skills (which are killing people, usually with guns/stabbing/punching.)

This is one I want to see but only at home. Ditto for the recent The Baker with Ron Perlman.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:44 AM on September 5, 2023

Yeah, this was strange! There's no tension at all in the fight scenes - it was like John Wick if John Wick just fought average beefy guys instead of trained assassins. And Foster said that the fun was in cracking the case, but she didn't seem to actually do anything aside from taking McCall's calls.
posted by amarynth at 12:34 PM on September 5, 2023 [2 favorites]

Tell me he at least pushes a bomb up a man's bottom for old time's sake?
posted by biffa at 3:44 PM on September 5, 2023

Just Washington killing a bunch of much younger and fitter guys because he has plot powers.

This, at least, is very on point for the property. Back when The Equalizer was a TV show starring Edward Woodward, there used to be a drinking game called The Beerqualizer, where you drank every time McCall did something that a real person pushing 60* would never be able to do, or would promptly get themselves killed if they tried it.

*Woodward was 55 when the show began in 1985, and in fact suffered a massive coronary during its third season, which the show dealt with by having him shot by the KGB and being laid up for most of the season.
posted by Naberius at 8:40 PM on September 5, 2023

Back when The Equalizer was a TV show starring Edward Woodward

Yeah, but that was 80s TV. Expectations were low.

And Washington is *gulp* 68.
posted by praemunire at 10:03 PM on September 5, 2023

Man and to think they could have gone with Threequalizer.
posted by Carillon at 11:43 PM on September 5, 2023 [3 favorites]

And Washington is *gulp* 68.

The hell he is! And yes, I refuse to Google it. Gonna stay in my bubble.
posted by Literaryhero at 7:15 AM on September 8, 2023

No, yeah, Uncle Denzel is already eligible for his full social security benefits.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:52 AM on September 8, 2023

Finally watched this. It does what it says on the box. Denzel gets to situate himself in an idyllic place, make some friends, then destroy the assholes who targeted them in a bloody bit of you-messed-with-the-wrong-guy/competency porn. Nice scenery, a guy gets impaled with a pistol to the eye, then another gets shot with that pistol. No notes. Perfect 3/5 time waster.

This is instructive as a counterpoint to The Baker which has a similarly aged but compelling star, is set in an attractive locale, and is built around a similarly elemental and reliable plot, but whiffs on almost all counts.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:11 AM on February 22

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