The Equalizer 3

It’s been five years since Robert Mccall (Denzel Washington) slayed the Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) and went back to his marital home. For this originally never guaranteed third entry, you better believe I was first in line to see it opening day. Are these movies the pinnacle of Washington’s or director Antoine Fuqua’s respective careers? Not by a long shot. But are these movies, that sort of kick ass older hero shtick, entertaining? You bet your arse they are! I count their Equilizer films, a feature adaptation of Edward Woodward’s 80’s TV hit, among the best of them. It is testament to their previous efforts that there was actually excitement for me sitting down to another bloody adventure with Denzel’s ‘retired’ CIA operative.


"Denzel is why you go to see these movies and Denzel delivers."

This one wastes not even a second getting to the goods. An Italian bad guy leaves his young son in the car and strolls through a litany of his own dead men down into a basement, where he finds his men holding McCall at gunpoint. After a brief discourse, the bad guy and his gang are worm food. As McCall strolls out of the house, much as he did in the first film after slaughtering Russian bad guys, that young boy left in the car pops a cap in his back when he turns away from him.  McCall survives thanks to the aid of an Italian cop and a kind doctor, who are no strangers to navigating around matters that aren’t entirely above board. As a thankful McCall recuperates, he suddenly finds the idyllic Italian coastal town is growing on him. He uses this down time to get to know the locals, indulge in some introspection and share info about the bad guys he wiped out with a young CIA agent (Dakota Fanning). But there would be no story unless this new possible home he’s found wasn’t under siege from a youngish branch of the mafia. McCall tries to stay out of it for a moment, but when the young mafiosos escalate, he unleashes bloody vengeance that brings the wrath of the head of the mafia down upon the town.

The good! Denzel, now 68 years-old, fits into McCalls walking weapon shoes effortlessly. He sells every scene, every emotion and every action effortlessly. There is an unanswered paradox in his character that he wants to help people all the time to atone for his past life, and yet he uses those deadly skills to do the helping. It’s an unsolvable puzzle. Is he justified in what he does? It’s left up to you. Even the character himself says “I don’t know” when he’s asked if he is a good man or a bad man. I love that. The pacing! It’s I think the shortest of the three and wastes no time delivering what you’re there for. The set pieces are imaginative, bolstered by a new location, and rarely feel stale or repetitive (but that does start to creep in).The Equalizer 3

The not so great: not bad, not by any stretch, but the supporting characters and especially the villains, are the weakest of the series. There is too much time spent on the young mafiosos, the entrees of the piece, and not enough time developing the big bad. That failure, as well as McCall’s seeming invincibility, makes his ‘struggles’ an easy fix. I would have liked an adversary that was McCall’s match in this one. Would have made it far more compelling. The downtrodden Italian townsfolk are also a little one-note and don’t get to earn the same level of connection as the previous entries’ cast. And sadly, although Dakota Fanning’s character has an important connection to McCall, her talents are wasted on an underwritten character. The editing in this one also irked me, with several scene transitions toward the start of the film bordering on incoherent in conveying what is happening, and that time is passing.  

Look, this is the weakest of the trilogy, but you’re still gonna get yourself a brisk, impeccably acted action movie with a compelling lead. Denzel is why you go to see these movies and Denzel delivers. That’s a guarantee.

3/5 stars


The Equalizer 3

4k details divider

4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital HD

Home Video Distributor: Sony Pictures
Available on Blu-ray
- November 14, 2023
Screen Formats: 2.39:1
: English; English SDH; French; Spanish
English: Dolby Atmos; English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1; French (Canada): DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; Spanish: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; Audio descriptive
Discs: 4K Ultra HD; Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set
Region Encoding: 4K region-free; blu-ray locked to Region A

Sony brings the goods with its 4K UltraHD + Blu-ray + Digital two-disc edition of The Equalizer 3. It features both Dolby Vision and HDR10 video transfers of the film and on the audio side, Dolby Atmos, as well as Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio tracks.

Also included are five entertaining featurettes, more than 15 minutes of deleted scenes, and a lyric video.

The black eco-case comes house in a matte finish cardboard slipcover with glossy title treatment.


Digitally captured, the 2160p 2.39:1 video presentation is spectacular with impressive detail, colors, and contrast throughout. It's not a brightly lit film and colors aren't necessarily beautifully saturated, however. Purposeful, to match the theatrical experience, colors, contrast, and depth appear to have been muted down a few notches. It's a dirty, gritty action film, and while the picture is sharp as a tack, the treatment of the visuals match the film's subject matter. Blacks remain deep and dark throughout and there are plenty of details and textures to show off the finer aspect of the 4K presentation.


The Dolby Atmos track included on the 4K disc is not what you would think. Being an Equalizer film, one might expect your room to explode with sounds from the first moment the disc is popped in the player. However, that's not the case.

Don't get me wrong, When the action heats up, there's plenty of ruckus banging about to remind you why you have a high end sound system. It's just that Antoine Fuqua knows how to build tension and suspense, so we slowly climax into full-throated chaos. And when it happens, the room comes alive with a fully immersive auditory delight.



  • None

Special Features:

We get five EPK-type shorts that get into several different aspects of the film's production. They are genuinely interesting but never dig quite deep enough to garner top-notch interest and recommendation.

There also a 4-minute long lyric video of Jason Banks' "Monster."

  • Blood Brothers: The Collaboration of Denzel Washington & Antoine Fuqua
  • Call to Action
  • Robert McCall: A Man of the People
  • Denzel and Dakota: A reunion
  • Postcards From the Amalfi Coast
  • Jacob Banks "Monster" Lyric Video

4k rating divider

  Movie 3/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 4/5 stars
  Extras 3/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Grade

3.5/5 stars


Film Details

The Equalizer 3

MPAA Rating: R.
109 mins
: Antoine Fuqua
Richard Wenk; Michael Sloan; Richard Lindheim
Denzel Washington; Dakota Fanning; Eugenio Mastrandrea
: Action | Crime
Justice Knows No Borders.
Memorable Movie Quote: "What happens here, happens in many towns. The mafia. They're like cancer. No cure."
Theatrical Distributor:
Columbia Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
August 29, 2023
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
November 14, 2023
Synopsis: Robert McCall finds himself at home in Southern Italy but he discovers his 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.


The Equalizer 3