Denzel Washington returns as the ultimate superhero in The Equalizer 3

A big superhero movie trailer arrived this week.

Is Robert McCall a superhero?

A character who gives of himself to save lives, repeatedly, using his unusual mental and physical abilities–that’s the definition of superhero.  If The Punisher is a superhero, if Batman would be a superhero without the costume, then you have The Equalizer.  We said it with the first feature film in 2014 and the second in 2019.  Denzel Washington is back again, in the final chapter of what will hopefully stand up as the best action trilogy this century.  As you’ll see in the wall-to-wall action in the trailer below for The Equalizer 3, with Volare playing in the background, Washington is back as Robert McCall, and he’s The Saint, Ethan Hunt, James Bond, and The Shadow all rolled up into one.

This time McCall is settled into another low-key life–he’s more like the guys in RED than the character Edward Woodward made popular in the 1980s TV series, who was hidden among the streets of New York City.   This time Washington’s ex-spy hero is hidden away from his past in Southern Italy, and when he learns his new friends are in the mafia’s clutches, it’s time for McCall to open up his trademark can of whoop-ass on the mob itself.  Diehard film fans really only need to see one other name on the marquee with Washington to know what they’re in for: that’s director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Shooter, The Magnificent Seven).  This is one of those franchises that gets better with each entry.  Dakota Fanning has a supporting role in the new film, populated primarily with an international slate of actors.

Is he a superhero?

Even if you don’t buy a guy without a cape as a superhero, you’re going to be in for a treat, as all those things that make you feel good about superheroes are here.  As McCall fights for the rights of the underdog against all levels of power and influence, you just know the payoff is going to be great.  So far Washington has made his character as satisfying as in any of the best spy or action movie franchise films.

Chuck Norris, eat your heart out.  Here’s the fantastic trailer for The Equalizer 3:

You just know a bad guy is going to hurt every time McCall syncs his watch.  As with all his action movies Washington physically can keep up with anyone, and whether it’s him or a stunt performer we don’t care–he’s in there dishing out the pain like Tom Cruise or like Jackie Chan’s 2017 sleeper hit The Foreigner. 

Now that Fuqua and Washington have two of these films behind them, audiences know what to expect.  Robert McCall has a special subtlety that doesn’t require guns a’blazin’ or extraordinary, costly special effects.  In many ways The Equalizer is updated 1980s Mickey Spillane/Mike Hammer crime novels, reconfigured by Fuqua as a noir vigilante for the 21st century.  Richard Wenk wrote the script for the film as he did for the prior films in the series.  He knows the genre, as can be seen in his writing for Mechanic, The Expendables 2, The Magnificent Seven, and the Jack Reacher sequel.

Look for The Equalizer 3 in theaters this Fall.

C.J. Bunce / Editor / borg


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