I have a confession.
I loved the first "The Equalizer" movie, starring Denzel Washington.
I loved "The Equalizer 2," also starring Washington.
I mean, I really loved them. I never persuaded myself that they were great movies, but they were stylishly brutal, tightly scripted, expertly directed (by Antoine Fuqua), and perfectly tailored to the star's considerable charisma. He played the movie's hero, Robert McCall, as a former Marine and intelligence officer trying to put his past behind him; Washington played him as a little OCD, a little socially awkward, which made him more relatable. As so often happens in such movies - because otherwise there would be no movie - McCall finds himself reluctantly drawn into situations where he defends helpless people in bad situations. And when he does act, it is with a vengeance, delivering vigilante justice.
I can't tell you how many times I was browsing movie channels and landed upon one of "The Equalizer" movies, and stayed with it until the bitter end. It was like comfort food, comfortable in that it was somehow rewarding to watch Denzel Washington mete out justice to the ungodly.
Now, "The Equalizer 3" is out, and it is terrific. At least, equally as terrific as the first two. The new movies has exchanged Boston locales for Italy's Amalfi Coast, which is a nice change of scenery, and gives McCall a different class of criminals to battle. I have to admit that the movie wasn't precisely what I expected - the trailers were mildly deceptive, which I applaud, since I hate trailers that spell out the whole movie. Now, I don't want to overstate this. "The Equalizer 3" is what it is, with lots of action and taking great advantage of Washington's enormous charisma. (He is impressive when taking action, but equally so when perfectly still - you can sense him thinking, calculating, preparing. He doesn't just out-physical his foes, but also outthinks them.) But I really enjoyed it, and figure that a few months down the road, I'll be surfing the movie channels and will end up watching "The Equalizer 3" multiple times, if in multiple pieces.
Full disclosure - I'm not big on exceptionally violent movies (and hate slasher and horror films), but I have a soft spot for movies about older heroes who find themselves dragged back into action. They often star Liam Neeson, but can feature anyone from Kevin Costner to Pierce Brosnan. Maybe it is wish fulfillment. I can't help myself.
That's it for this week. Have a great weekend, and I'll see you Tuesday.