In the pantheon of old-man action movies, there are few that even come close to touching the OG, Taken. Denzel Washington in The Equalizer films, however, definitely does and may even surpass it. With the trailer dropping for The Equalizer 3, the final film in the franchise, at CinemaCon (and now on the internet), it’s clear to see why as Washington expertly kills his way through the Italian mafia at one point SHOVING A GUN BARREL INTO A MAN’S EYE AND THEN SHOOTING SOMEONE ELSE WITH SAID GUN STILL IN THE MAN’S HEAD.
The Equalizer 3 finds our friendly equalizer retired from equalizing things and living in a small, idyllic Italian town on the coast where he has found happiness and a bunch of friends, including a wonderful family with two adorable children. If ever there was a setup for a man to go on a revenge-filled killing spree, that’s pretty much the textbook case for it. After the Italian mafia moves into the town and threatens his peaceful morning coffees, Robert McCall (Washington) uses his skills to make them go away. It’s all pretty cut and dry for these kinds of movies, but it’s Washington and director Antoine Fuqua who really elevate the films into something special. Even at 68, Washington looks especially convincing in the role, and Fuqua is a skilled enough director not to cut 50 times while he jumps a fence.
The Equalizer 3 trailer also drops a surprise casting choice: Dakota Fanning. It’s not clear who her character is, but she appears to be an ally and possibly someone with the same spy connections as McCall himself. That doesn’t actually matter all that much because the casting is also a reunion of Denzel and Fanning from the absolutely fantastic Man on Fire, which saw Denzel’s character protecting / rescuing Fanning’s when she was only nine years old. This entirely confirms my own personal made-up head canon where Man on Fire is actually part of the Equalizer universe, which makes absolutely no sense at all but is now 100 percent true.
The Equalizer 3 will release in theaters on September 1.