Movie Review: The Equalizer 3 (Fuqua, 2023)

The Equalizer 3
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Movie: The Equalizer 3

Production Companies: Columbia Pictures, Eagle Pictures, Escape Artists, Zhiv Productions 

Director: Antoine Fuqua

Producers: Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, Denzel Washington, Antoine Fuqua, Steve Tisch, Clayton Townsend, Alex Siskin, Tony Eldridge

Scriptwriter: David Wenk

Main Cast: Denzel Washington, Dakota Fanning, David Denman, Sonia Ammar, Remo Girone

Release Date: September 1st 2023 (US)
Running Time: 109 minutes

Certificate: 15


This truly is the great equalizer of cinema…. Not that there was a particularly high bar to surpass. Really, The Equalizer 3 is the most forgettable but decent film you’ll see as bar the cathartic action scenes there’s not much more to report from the finale of Denzel Washington’s trilogy. This is a shame but expected when the script feels a bit like a learner driver: constantly stalling at the worst possible times. So with that out of the way here is my review of the film.


The Equalizer 3 follows retired U.S Marine and DIA operative Robert McCall (Washington) as he wages war on the Italian Mob on the Amalfi Coast. The violence begins to escalate when the CIA anonymously arrive to the region with a tip off about a drug ring as the mafia and McCall descend into all out war. Unfortunately, bystanders like Enzo (Girone) are unintentionally in McCall’s crusade much to the mob’s delight. And there’s also CIA agent Emma Collins (Fanning) who definitely doesn’t have a surprise connection to McCall at all. Anyway, with the synopsis out of the way here’s the analysis.


The Action Scenes in The Equalizer 3

Now the biggest positive about the Equalizer 3 is how cathartic and well done the action scenes are. Take the final fight scene between McCall and the mob which plays like something out of the Arkham games. The way the camera moves to mimic the terrified mobsters as well as the audience trying to find McCall. Also, the way soft focus is used as McCall sits behind a strung up mobster is great as it mimics how he would be after getting the living p*** beat out of him.

There’s also the unintentionally hilarious Terminator parody as McCall slowly stalks his bleeding enemy all while some very subtle (sarcasm) religious imagery is used in parallel with that scene. The only problem with the action scenes is that they are few and far between as the film never really gets into 2nd or 3rd gear when the fight scenes aren’t on screen. 

The Script of The Equalizer 3

However, for as much as The Equalizer 3 has some nice fight scenes, ultimately there’s nowhere near enough substance in the script to sustain the film. For example, the opening scene where we see McCall at gunpoint after slaughtering more mobsters is great. However, for a good 20-30 minutes after the opening there’s very little else that happens other than Denzel Washington trying to film a tourist film for the Amalfi Coast. And all I’m saying is Gordon, Gino and Fred did a much better tourist film….. Anyway, back to the Equalizer 3 and its lack of substance.

Another example of this is just how little actually happens is how McCall seems to be aimlessly walking between various parts of the town with very little purpose. Just look at the market scene and how the entire scene could probably have been cut and you would have missed nothing much. Again this hurts even more as there’s another great fight scene shortly which provides some much needed momentum. And yep you guessed it the film then immediately stalls again afterwards. It’s just a shame that the film struggles with pacing because the fight scenes really are very solid.


To summarise The Equalizer 3, this is a solid enough finale to Hollywood’s most alright yet forgotten franchise. While the film struggles with stalling like a learner driver, the fight scenes do at least provide some entertainment in an otherwise mediocre film. But I’m sure Denzel got paid so there’s another positive for the film.

Overall Rating: 5/10 – Average

Target Audience: 15+ 

Content Warning: Severe Violence and Gore, Moderate Profanity, Moderate Alcohol, Drugs and Smoking, Severe Frightening and Intense Scenes

Recommendation: No