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Review The Equalizer 3 (2023): Move over Punisher, you are no match for Roberto McCall!

genre: action, crime

This third entry in the franchise is definitely even further removed from the TV Show, although the ending does embody the spirit of that brilliant show, so I do have to give Denzel Washington and Antoine Fuqua points for that. But how does the rest fare?

Well, not going to lie, while this film is heavily flawed story wise, on an emotional level it did resonate with me. Compared to the first two films, the vigilante aspect is on a much higher level in this one. I think this is the first time I actually cared about McCall and the innocents. After a pretty interesting opening, Robert gets shot by a little kid. I assume that he was on his way to a hospital but passed out before he could get there. A carabiniere finds him and brings him to a doctor named Enzo. He takes care of him, and slowly, but surely the whole town accepts Robert as a citizen and friend. McCall also feels very much at home and even states that this is where he belongs. 

Unfortunately for him and the town, a mob boss has different ideas. Mind you, McCall, doesn't come into action at once. Since, he is very aware that a lot of trouble would ensue if he would start a war. Then things start happening and McCall has no choice but to start the mayhem. It takes a while for him to do so. First, he calls in a favour of a specific branch of the CIA. This call is answered by Emma Collins, played by Dakota Fanning. Fanning and Washington have played together in the epic that is Man on Fire, so it was nice to see them together. But to be honest, her part in the film has very little to do with the main plot. I mean, she gets drawn into affairs but has actually very little to contribute against the mob itself. But bear with it, it will get explained in the ending. Second, he becomes proactive in dealing with the mobsters. I think even Frank Castle, The Punisher, would be impressed.

Now, while for the large part McCall still is like a god, the kills do have more impact this time. And that is because of the melodrama. It's reminiscent of old western and war films. There is even a classic and famous Spartacus moment towards the ending that is highly effective. Not only has the town embraced him, they are willing to join the fight and fight for him. How can he not come into action and teach the bad guys a lesson? 

Overall, some of the issues I had with the previous two are still present, but this third part does redeem itself with the immersion and the ending. And Denzel is ultra cool in this one, so that should be enough!

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