The Equalizer 3 (2023) – Denzel Washington

In stark contrast to the first movie in the series, which set the mood beautifully from the outset with the help of expert sound effects, this movie if far too trigger happy on the sound effects at the beginning, to the point it’s just a lot of noise. But the noise effects mostly sort themselves out once the movie settles down beyond the opening scenes – although they do occasionally come back and make you think “what’s all this noise for?” since it’s twice the volume of the actors’ voices and a bit chaotic in places.

Equalizer 3 also has a bit more nastiness than those before it – more explicit blood & guys, and more nefarious methods of wounding – there’s multiple scenes guilty of this stuff even within the first 15 minutes – this stuff is better suited to a Horror Genre movie, it doesn’t belong in the movie of a smooth action hero. Whatever happened to the Denzel that apologised for having to kill someone even when they totally deserved it? This series has clearly gone down hill both morally and artistically. But most movie sequels are worse than those before them, and when you factor this in, it’s not a bad trilogy to enjoy. As with the previous movie, this one has a nice injection of extra creativity in the form of novel new plot features that make it a generally enjoyable experience for fans of the original. All three movies in the Equalizer saga exhibit a similar style of action albeit done to declining levels of quality, and have their own plot angles which makes them individually respectable for the most part.

An extra inconvenience with Equalizer 3 compared to those before it, is the amount of foreign language dialect – this movie is set in Italy and there’s a fair amount of Italian without built-in subtitles, and many subtitle systems fail to translate the Italian parts, but good subtitles can be found on some websites, and it’s mostly an English based movie still.

Denzel is also getting on a bit in this movie, which is 9 years on from the original. He was never particularly well built for an action hero role. His shape is average – a bit of a dad bod – and his posture is quite hunched and involuntarily bouncy like someone unathletic who can’t fight at all. This has been an issue in all three movies, but now he’s an older man too. Denzel is always a strong actor, and this role kind of suits his calm & calculative, serious demeanour, although it was a better fit in the original when everything worked better. But on the plus side, the debilitating injury in the plot of this movie suits his old age and hobbling way of walking in a way that we didn’t have in previous movies – it kind of clicks together in new ways now.

In-keeping with the trend set by the last two Equalizers, this one also has an overly drawn out action scene near the end followed by a positive short scene at the very end. And in-keeping with the trend of going down hill with each sequel, this one’s ending is even worse than the last one. A shame because it goes a long way towards ruining the overall quality of the movie, when the long ending is weaker than the standard set by the bulk of the movie.