4 min read

There is no competition for Robert McCall

There is no competition for Robert McCall

Denzel Washington returns as Robert McCall in this action thriller The Equalizer 3. After being injured taking care of McCall business in Italy he is forced to stay there and becomes fond of the town people but not the mob that is threatening their lives.

When Antoine Fuqua (2014) The Equalizer was announced I was very excited because he was reuniting with Denzel Washington who he made the classic (2001) Training Day with. Another thing that attracted me to this was finding out that it was based on a TV Series. It felt to me how I felt about JJ Abrams Star Trek or Daniel Craig’s 007 films being made for the new generation. Knowing that these worked for me, I was glad to go in to get introduced to the equalizer.

I enjoyed the first one. I own it. Most of time if I own the DVD or Blu ray it means that I really enjoyed the movie. I skipped the second one as many reviews said it wasn’t too good. I just kind of gave up trying to watch it. Something got my interest this time around. I don’t know if it’s because it’s the third one and they’re playing it as this will be the final one or the fact that Denzel Washington and Dakota Fanning from the legend Tony Scott’s (2004) Man on Fire were reuniting. It could just be that I’m going back to these kind of action thrillers because there’s nothing really out there anymore.

The opening to this film is very suspenseful and shot really well. I haven’t put on the first film in a while so I started to question whether the first one was as gory as this one. I wouldn’t recommend this to those who are sensitive to that. I was delighted to be able to tell that they filmed in Italy. With a lot of movies these days you can tell they just filmed in some backlot or CGI''d the country or city into it. Here they captured it beautifully.

Denzel Washington's acting skills have not gone away nor I think they ever will. Something about seeing him at the start of this film to me was reminiscent of his earlier roles. He does great with his eyes which is something I’m fascinated with now since I’ve seen Safdie Brother’s (2017) Good Time. There were some things I noticed he did with hand gesture that made it seem more authentic than him just acting, like when Gio try’s to give him his car keys. There was another scene but sadly I can not recall where it was. It’s Denzel almost doing a Brando thing. Which isn’t a bad thing to me.

Dakota Fanning at times is hard to take serious. I don’t know if it’s the physique or her young face still. When she appears it seems like a young actress trying playing a serious mature role. I mean no offense to her. She’s been a skilled actress since she was young and you can see her talent in those films. I did enjoy the scene at the table with her and Denzel Washington though.

I was hoping to enjoy this film as much as I remember enjoying the first one. But that is not the case. Although the opening got my attention most of the film after that just goes to scenes of people walking, zooming in on the city, cars or motorcycles driving and nothing going on, no dialogue either, it’s just quiet. An hour in and nothing really happens and by time it’s over you can tell it’s close to the end credits already and left me saying “That’s it?”

The Equalizer 3 is cliche as those movies I use to enjoy when I was younger. Like I said in my introduction to this website. The story has like a little subplot of Dakota Fanning’s Emma Collins which I felt could’ve just been cut and wasn’t necessary. David Denim’s Frank Conroy is also there just to say things. It’s the whole guy just reading the lines off the page and there is no depth given to him. I know he’s just this supporting character to Fanning but still either do some development with him or don’t. The opening got me intrigued and this line still at the start of the film also got my interest “Are you a good man or bad man? You said I don’t know. Only good men say that” Enzo tells Robert. I was wondering whether we were gonna see McCall struggle with this. How could you be a bad person if you’re helping those who can’t fight back? How can you be good person if you’re torturing people? It would’ve been nice to have seen this explored. The villains have lines I have heard in many films already that it just annoyed me listening to them talk. One of the things I realized is how this is just too easy for Robert McCall. Anytime any goon notices him and gets close to intimidate him the room already knows what’s about to happen. I mean we all start laughing the moment they get close to him. Where’s the threat. Where is the scene to keep me at the edge of my seat? As my attention was to this film to write my first review for this site, McCall’s injury reminded me of film school. How you should give your protagonist some sort of weakness, disability, flaw to sympathize with the character. I started to think how will this affect him now in his fight with these mafiosos. But nothing. He just fights as if nothing happened. I understand that The Equalizer is a franchise like the Mission Impossible films and have to stick to the formula but I still feel they could’ve done something better.

One of the things I did enjoy is how they use Robert McCall like the devil, some demon, the grim reaper, death. Something about those moments caught my attention and the cinematography by Robert Richardson was great.