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The Equalizer 3: Finding Home By Killing Everyone in the Old Town

Columbia Pictures

Movie info via Rotten Tomatoes:

Since giving up his life as a government assassin, Robert McCall (Denzel Washington) has struggled to reconcile the horrific things he’s done in the past and finds a strange solace in serving justice on behalf of the oppressed. Finding himself surprisingly at home in Southern Italy, he discovers his new 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 mafia.


I’ve seen the other Denzel Washington Equalizer films. I don’t remember much of them except the brutal efficient killings and Washington’s long death stare. In The Equalizer 3 I will remember that stare and also the smile.

It’s not the smile of a psychopath with no remorse. It’s the smile of a killer only found in movies- the avenging crusader who kills with a moral purpose and only the truly deserving baddies. It’s the smile of the alter ego whose ego acknowledges that it has annihilated all the other bad egos in the way. For Washington’s character, Robert ”Roberto” McCall it’s knowing that he can sit in that Italian square, sip his daily tea, and notice that there is no more bloody work to do- ever, just people celebrating a soccer victory.

The plot is basically a reduced Seven Samurai, with Washington playing each one, and the Camorra (Mafia) the marauding bandits. Since Seven Samurai is my favorite film, I knew I would enjoy this reincarnation. Antoine Fuqua, the director did the second American iteration of Seven Samurai, The Magnificent Seven from 2016. That also starred Denzel Washington. Both are enjoyable enough.

Columbia Pictures

Washington is the primary reason to watch The Equalizer 3. He hasn’t changed- only the location and the amped up ultra-violence he dishes up with stony vengeance.

There are a few recycled killings here and there. I remember another version of the corkscrew in the eye dispatching. That was a classic that deserved a reprisal. Washington turns it with savage gusto- knowing he’s doing a killing worthy but too bloody for the James Bond series.

Washington smolders, swaggers and lights up the screen, dispatching standard issue Mafiosos doing standard issue Mafioso things, all while enjoying his all expense vacation in the Amalfi coast on Columbia Pictures dime.

Columbia Pictures

Fuqua also seems to be enjoying his Italian vacation. He loves doing long twisty, seemingly one shot sequences of the aftermath, as in the opening scene, or the combat in the end. He lives for this sort of cinematic rhyming. It’s what he does best.

The Equalizer 3 is familiar yet satisfying to be a nostalgic farewell to any future sequels. However, Fugua hinted in an interview, that a prequel showing McCall’s founding story, with a de-aged Washington, is chilling in his brain.

The Equalizer 3 gets a respectable farewell grade of 3.5 out of 5 or a B+.


Directed by

Antoine Fuqua

Written by

Richard Wenk

Based on

  • Michael Sloan
  • Richard Lindheim

Produced by



Robert Richardson

Edited by

Conrad Buff

Music by

Marcelo Zarvos[1]



Distributed by

Sony Pictures Releasing

Release dates

  • August 28, 2023(Rome)
  • September 1, 2023(United States)

Running time

109 minutes[3]


United States




$70 million

Columbia Pictures





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