"Avenging Angel"


What You Need To Know:

THE EQUALIZER 3 opens with Denzel Washington’s character, Robert McCall, killing a Mafia leader and his men at a Sicilian villa. McCall leaves with a duffel bag but is shot in the back by the Mafia don’s young teenage son. McCall is found unconscious outside a small Italian town on the coast. A doctor nurses him back to health. After spending two days in bed, McCall starts meeting the townspeople. The local Catholic church is a big part of their lives. However, a local Mafia thug threatens them. So, McCall goes to war against him and his older brother.

THE EQUALIZER 3 is a highly enjoyable, satisfying thriller where the villains get their just desserts, and the hero is an avenging angel. The town he saves is full of Roman Catholic, Christian faith and goodness. However, the movie could use a quicker pace at times as well as more character development of supporting players. It also could use an action scene where the hero isn’t just killing people in gruesome, bloody ways. THE EQUALIZER 3 also has four or five subtitled “f” words.


(Pa, PP, CC, BB, FR, LL, VVV, N, A, DD, M)

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Light, very mixed pagan worldview overall justifies the hero’s violent and deadly vigilante justice, but the actions of the hero ultimately expose the Mafia activity, and the Italian and international justice system takes care of the bad guys that the hero doesn’t kill, and the townspeople the hero is saving from evil Mafia goons have lots of Roman Catholic and Christian faith, their church is the center of their town, church bells ring out regularly, the church and the church bells are shown, two priests are shown walking among the townspeople in the town square in at least two scenes, there are many crucifixes, there are paintings of Mary with the baby Jesus, a large Cross carried by the priests and other clergy leads a town procession to the town pier, and a Mary statue with a cross in the procession is also shown, but there are three or more paintings with just Mary (including one that’s like a little altar in an outside wall) and one statue with just Mary, so Non-Catholic Christians may frown on this, but there are no rituals or comments about this Mariology in the movie, the iconography is there to show that the townspeople have lots of faith

Foul Language:
About 10 obscenities (an equal among of “f” and “s” words, five and five, mostly uttered by the violent villains, perhaps all but one “s” word), but no profanities, plus there are two piss vulgarities, as in don’t “p” me off

Some extreme gruesome violence and lots of strong violence includes hero stabs his gun through eye of one bad guy and shoots another bad guy without removing the gun from the first bad guy’s skull, hero shoots another bad guy in the eye, hero stabs multiple bad guys through the throat with knives and long pointed objects made of steel, hero stabs a bad guy multiple times with the bad guy’s knife and then leaves the knife sticking in the dead man’s throat, a car bomb sends a CIA agent walking toward the car flying, and she ends up in the hospital with some wounds on her face, hero shoots several bad guys, hero sets a van running at high speed into a bad guy, the van hits the bad guy hard and scrunches him against a large stone pillar or wall, a Mafia villain walks through his villa and finds many of his henchman dead with blood pooling around them or blood against the wall after they were shot, Mafia villain finds hero waiting for him, and the hero warns the villain to return what he stole in nine seconds, but a shootout then occurs, hero shot in back by teenage boy, wounded hero’s found slumped over the wheel of a car by a policeman, who takes him to a local doctor (hospital was too far away), and the movie shows the doctor working on hero’s bloody back, Mafia villain threatens policeman’s wife and young daughter, Mafia villain holds young girl with gun to her head and warns the policeman that he will return and kill the daughter if the policeman doesn’t stop investigating a van the villain and his men used to set fire to a restaurant because the owner was behind in his protection payments, Mafia thug beats up and kicks restaurant owner to warn him about keeping up with his protection payments, arson fire destroys restaurant, head Mafia villain shoots ear of policeman in the town plaza and warns the people of a small town that he will kill them all if they don’t tell him who killed his younger brother, hero offers to give himself up to head Mafia villain, but townspeople start recording the incident in the town plaza, and the Mafia guy and his men leave, and a villain confronts hero in a small restaurant, but hero grabs and twists his arm in

No sex

Nude Roman statues are shown in the Mafia family’s mansion (the Mafia bad guys and thugs are associated with pagan Rome)

Alcohol Use:
Brief alcohol use

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No smoking but the bad guys are buying drugs from a group of Islamic terrorists; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
Bad guys also engage in extortion and violent threats, plus a major plot point involves a theft, but the hero corrects this wrong and the other wrongs by the Mafia villains.

More Detail:

In THE EQUALIZER 3, Denzel Washington’s character Robert McCall protects a small Italian coastal town from Mafia gangsters who are threatening the town while buying and selling drugs they bought from an Islamic terrorist group. THE EQUALIZER 3 is a highly enjoyable, satisfying thriller where the villains get their just desserts, the hero is a kind of avenging angel, and the town he saves is full of Roman Catholic and Christian faith and goodness, but some of the violence is extreme and graphic, there are several strong obscenities, and the movie perhaps could use a quicker pace at times as well as more character development and an action scene where the hero isn’t just killing people.

The movie opens with an older man and a young teenage boy arriving at the man’s Sicilian villa. The old man gets out of the vehicle. At the door, there’s a man with a shotgun who says, “He told me to wait out here.” The old man goes inside and finds that all his gunmen are lying dead, some in pools of blood and one with gunshot wounds against a wall. He eventually comes to a room where Robert McCall holding a gun and sitting in a chair with two or three gunmen surrounding him. McCall tells the man to return what he stole in nine seconds or else. The old man doesn’t look like he’s going to comply. So, McCall starts shooting and knocking away one or two of the henchmen’s guns.

McCall leaves the villa with a duffel bag, but before he can get to his car, the teenage boy shoots him in the back with his .22 rifle. McCall speeds away.

Cut to a road along the Italian coast. An Italian policeman finds McCall slumped over the steering wheel of his car. The policeman takes McCall to the local doctor, who says McCall wouldn’t make it if they took him to a hospital. The doctor attends to McCall’s wounded back, and McCall sleeps for two days.

McCall starts to walk and visits the town’s public square. As he notices and interacts with the people there, he establishes positive relationships with them. McCall also notices, however, that the town is plagued by some young thugs with motorcycles.

One day, McCall places an anonymous phone call to one of the CIA’s investigative divisions. He talks to Emma Collins, a young blonde agent played by Dakota Fanning. He tells her that at the villa from the first scene he found lots of illegal drugs and lots of money. This starts a CIA investigation of the villa and its now dead owner.

It turns out that the leader of the young thugs, Marco, happens to be the younger brother of the head of one of the major Mafia families headquartered in Italy. McCall overhears Marco the younger brother beat up and threaten the owner of the local fish market for being behind in his protection payments. Two or so days later, the market goes up in flames. The policeman catches a van on videotape as the culprit. He starts running the van’s plates through the system, then comes home the next day to find Marco and his thugs threatening his wife and daughter. Marco beats up the policeman and says he will kill his wife and daughter if he continues looking into the arson.

Meanwhile, the CIA links the drugs found at the villa to a terrorist bombing. Marco’s brother, Vincent, is buying the drugs from an Islamic terrorist group to fund his plan to buy up all the hotels along the coast of Italy. The villa was a waystation for distributing the drugs. Also, Emma tracks down McCall and makes him aware she knows who he is, a retired intelligence officer.

While eating at a small restaurant in town, McCall watches Marco and his thugs threaten the policeman and his family. Marco notices McCall and also tries to threaten him, but McCall grabs Marco’s arm in a painful pincer move and gets him and his men to leave.

It becomes clear that McCall will have to stop Marco and his brother.

THE EQUALIZER 3 is a highly enjoyable, satisfying thriller where the villains get their just desserts, and the hero is a kind of avenging angel. Also, the town he saves is full of Roman Catholic and Christian faith and goodness. For example, there are many Christian and Catholic images and references in the town, and the two local priests are part of the community.

That said, the movie takes its time to build the confrontation between McCall and the Mafia villains. Part of that time, however, is spent showing McCall becoming friendly with the townspeople. This helps viewers to take his side when he decides to help the townspeople and rid them of the Mafia thugs.

Dakota Fanning’s CIA agent is also a likeable character. However, she gets wounded by a car bomb and doesn’t get involved in the movie’s third act. So, the movie doesn’t give her the kind of character arc that her character deserves.

Sadly, THE EQUALIZER 3 has some extremely graphic violence. For example, McCall uses his gun to pierce the eye of one bad guy and shoot another bad guy standing behind the first bad guy. He also stabs some bad guys in the throat with knives or sharp objects. Also, the Mafia thugs say four or five “f” words in Italian, and the words are given English subtitles. Finally, there are nude Roman statues in the head Mafia villain’s mansion. The Mafia villains are identified with this pagan Roman iconography, in contrast to the townspeople’s Roman Catholic, Christian faith.

The extreme violence in THE EQUALIZER 3 is too graphic. So, MOVIEGUIDE® thinks the movie is unacceptable for many people of faith and values. The movie could use an action scene where the hero isn’t just killing bad guys in gruesome ways.

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