Rotten Tomatoes Critics Call Equalizer 3 A Solid 'Dad' Movie

Denzel Washington has been one of Hollywood's biggest and most iconic stars for decades now, and like many of his peers, he's aging... but he can still take down a whole bunch of bad guys and barely break a sweat. Washington's on-screen badassery is on display once again in the third "Equalizer" film, where he revisits his iconic character Robert McCall, who has moved to Italy to try and start over after a violent life. Unsurprisingly, this plan doesn't come to pass.

The film is directed by Antoine Fuqua, who also helmed 2014's "The Equalizer" and 2018's "The Equalizer 2," and it also reunites Washington with Dakota Fanning, who appeared alongside the star in  2004's "Man on Fire." So what do critics think of the third in this trilogy? First of all, don't worry; if you haven't seen either of the other "Equalizer" movies, all you need to know is that Denzel is basically a murder machine. As Liz Shannon Miller at Consequence wrote, "If you're intrigued by the idea of watching Denzel Washington straight-up murder a crap-ton of bad guys this weekend, but have never Equalized before now, don't worry about being lost — The Equalizer 3 is exceptionally accessible for newcomers."

Overall, critics are mixed on the movie — but feel certain that dads across the world will like it. Here's what they had to say about "The Equalizer 3" over on Rotten Tomatoes.

Some critics though The Equalizer 3 was a pretty great ending to the story

A fair amount of critics enjoyed the movie for what it is, saying that though they never expected an "Equalizer" trilogy, they were into it. Amon Warmann at Empire Magazine said the film was "A solid conclusion to an unlikely trilogy and a fitting end to Robert McCall's character arc — with Washington still entertaining as a deliverer of slick justice." Over at IndieWire, Kate Erbland wrote, "If this is the end of "The Equalizer," it's a good one, a high note that overcomes confusion, complications, and convolutions to give everyone — Robert, Emma, kind-hearted Italians, the audience — a lavish adventure to remember."

Simon Thompson at IGN Movies agreed, saying, "The Equalizer 3 is a fitting send-off to Denzel Washington and Antoine Fuqua's action trilogy." At Deadline, Valerie Complex came up with a pretty apt description: "The film fits into what is best described as 'Dad movies' – films you'd happily take your father to with the confidence that Washington's presence will win him over."

In case you forgot, all of the "Equalizer" movies are based on the 1980s television series — and Nick Schager at the The Daily Beast definitely remembered this. "As self-contained as any episode of the television show upon which it's based," he wrote. "It's also as efficient and straightforward as that predecessor, if not quite as disposable, thanks to its peerless star."

Some critics, though, think the Equalizer films have overstayed their welcome

Not everybody loved "The Equalizer 3," though, and a handful of critics just felt over the entire venture at this point. As Mirela Mullor at Digital Spy put it, "There's something deeply unoriginal about this third installment. In the end, Fuqua offers nothing more than what was expected — the good, the bad and the very ugly."

At The Guardian, Charles Bramesco went all in on Washington's age, commenting, "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." Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter, however, honed in on the fact that the movie doesn't have much sense of danger, despite being an action-packed flick: "There's little to no suspense, because there's never any doubt that McCall, who seems like a murderous automaton rather than merely a veteran secret agent, will triumph over his adversaries."

"The Equalizer 3" hits theaters on September 1, 2023, so you can check it out then and decide on its worth for yourself.