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The Equalizer 3 review – Denzel threequalizes in forgettable, gory thriller

The Oscar-winner returns for more carnage in a rote, violent sequel, this time saving an idyllic Italian seaside town from baddies

If an actor’s career can be said to obey the same laws that govern physics, then Denzel Washington’s turn in the third big-screen Equalizer reboot (the Threequelizer!) represents the corresponding opposite reaction to his last role as the Lord Macbeth for Joel Coen. Washington brought a frailty and introspection to the Thane of Cawdor, played as a greying lion-runt with insecurities giving way to a corrosive bloodlust. As Robert McCall, the erstwhile marine and intelligence-agency ghost cleaning up the streets in his retirement, Washington gets the chance to refute the idea that the savage passage of years must eat away at a man. Yoked with that same weight of pre-geriatric regret, he’s now able to conquer it and win at life, his willingness to **** making him a hero rather than tragic figure.

With a superhuman physical fitness allowing him to dominate toughs a third of his age, a tactical acumen creating the illusion that he knows everything at all times, and a teasy little rapport with the decades-younger waitress at his favorite cafe, he projects the picture of capability. Age is just a number, in this case dwarfed by his body count. As McCall spends a few scenes hobbling about with a cane following an injury sustained in the field, the anxiety of getting old nips at this movie’s heels, but its pipe dream of overpowered obsolescence responds with AK-47 fire.

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