Best Movies to Watch by Bruno Bilotta

Staff & contributors

While at first it seems like this third installment in Antoine Fuqua's series of Denzel Washington star vehicles is setting itself up to be a more serious and thoughtful story of personal absolution, it gradually becomes clear that The Equalizer 3 has no story to tell. Very, very little happens in this movie, and all the time we spend with Washington (still somehow compelling, even when he's on autopilot) drinking tea and chatting with locals doesn't lead to any character relationships worth caring for. Fuqua and screenwriter Richard Wenk seem to want to create a sense of familiarity with this Italian town, through which we should ideally see the things Robert McCall grows to value in his violent life. But even the prettiest landscapes (shot by Robert Richardson) can't make up for how empty and misjudged the writing is.

There are approximately two short action scenes in The Equalizer 3, neither of which has the clockwork precision of the fights in the first film, or the environmental inventiveness of the climax of the second film. And while an action movie can aspire to something beyond its action, the fact that this installment has abandoned it completely is a genuinely perplexing choice.

Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller

Actor: Andrea Dodero, Andrea Scarduzio, Bruno Bilotta, Dakota Fanning, David Denman, Denzel Washington, Eugenio Mastrandrea, Gaia Scodellaro, Lucia Zotti, Marta Zoffoli, Melissa Leo, Niccolò Senni, Remo Girone, Salvatore Ruocco, Sonia Ammar

Director: Antoine Fuqua

Rating: R