In 2014, if you asked me what I knew about a project called The Equalizer, depending on the time of year my answer would have been “absolutely nothing” or “I know it is the new Denzel feature where he reteams with the director of Training Day (2001) and he plays a hitman/cleaner whose thought his days were behind him until he has to intervene to protect someone innocent.” Now, 11 years after the first movie came out, I can tell you it’s a trilogy of movies based on an ‘80s tv show that also has a tv spinoff with Queen Latifah (Chicago; Hairspray), but the rest would remain the same and my knowledge of this story only goes as far as the Denzel Washington and Antoine Fuqua trilogy. While the two previous entries have been nothing short of woefully entertaining and engaging with the audience, The Equalizer 3 follows that same pattern of entertainment and signature style that Fuqua and Washington bring together.
Now, before diving into the home release of Equalizer 3 specifically, I want to talk about one of the other ways to bring home this wildly entertaining third installment. Sony Pictures will be releasing, alongside the singular entry of the franchise, a three-pack of The Equalizer, which appears (according to the press release) to be the only way to get the IMAX-enhanced presentations for both Equalizer 2 and Equalizer 3, as well as the only way to get the DTS-X audio for the second and third films. Now, considering we were only given The Equalizer 3 to review, I can only comment on the quality of this disk and how it performs at home. With that being said, until reading the press release, the IMAX does not seem to be an issue if it’s not present as I was fully emerged in the presentation at home on my 70-inch Sony TV. As well, since the film as an individual release and not a combo of the three movies, it does boast Dolby Atmos and DTS HD for sound, so unless your home theatre set up is similar to an actual theatre with a proper Dolby set up, the difference in sound presentation at home should be minimal.
The 4K Ultra HD disk also boasts Dolby Vision which amplifies the picture and brings the best quality picture to the home viewing experience. It packs vibrant colors and textures throughout the feature which are noticeable from the first few shots of the film to the final moments. The opening moments where dust particles are floating around our leading man, Robert McCall (Denzel Washington), look almost 3D as it is so crisp and stunning that it captures the eyes effortlessly and creates an astounding atmosphere for the home market.
To break down the film though, we are focused on Robert McCall, who, after taking down an organized crime syndicate to help out a “friend” who was robbed of their pension, takes solace in a small town in Southern Italy. However, what he didn’t know was that this syndicate that stole his friend’s pension runs this entire town, and the town is, simply put, petrified of them. So, Robert does the only thing he can, tells them to leave the town alone or they’re going to have to suffer his wrath. While the bad guys never do the logical thing, the following near-two hours is Robert ensuring this town is safe and becoming their guardian angel, so to speak. Can McCall protect this small town he now wants to call home from the mafia, or has he finally taken off more than he can handle on his own?
The special features for The Equalizer 3 are a mix of things between collaborations between Fuqua and Washington, Washington and Dakota Fanning (Man on Fire; Once Upon a Time in Hollywood…), and some behind the scenes and informative pieces along with a music video. There is an exclusive 15-plus minutes of deleted scenes that are only available on the 4K and Blu-ray, but the rest of the features are shared across all three physical platforms. Overall, if you’re a fan of The Equalizer movies on their own, this singular release on 4K is the best the film will ever look cosmetically. However, if you have a system that supports it and would like the IMAX enhanced scenes and the DTS X audio, the trio pack is the way to go, even if you already own the first two movies. Sit back, kick your feet up, and watch Denzel Washington take down the bad guys as he tries to find his happy ending.
The Equalizer 3 Special Features
- Over 15 minutes of deleted scenes (exclusively on 4K and Blu-Ray)
- Blood brothers: the collaboration of Denzel Washington and Antoine Fuqua
- Call to Action
- Robert McCall: A man of the people
- Denzel and Dakota: a reunion
- Postcards from the Amalfi Coast
- Jacob Banks “Monster” lyric video
Available on digital November 7th, 2023.
Available on 4K UHD, Blu-ray, and DVD November 14th, 2023.
For more information, head to the official Sony Pictures The Equalizer 3 website.