The Equalizer 3’s ending, explained

THE EQUALIZER 3 – Official Red Band Trailer (HD)

In 2014, director Antoine Fuqua and Denzel Washington resurrected The Equalizer TV series as a feature film, with Washington stepping into the role of Robert McCall, an aging ex-CIA agent who uses his immense skills to help the helpless and bring down the people who believe that they are above the law. Nearly a decade later, McCall’s story is coming to an end this week with The Equalizer 3which reunites Washington and Fuqua for one last ride.

In the film, McCall is gravely injured and forced to spend an extended period of time in Southern Italy, where he falls in love with the country and its people — so much so that McCall essentially decides to retire there and settle down. Unfortunately, there’s an undercurrent of darkness in his newfound home that concerns McCall enough that he reaches out to CIA agent Emma Collins (Dakota Fanning) to get the U.S. government to look into a potential terrorist threat. And when Emma’s investigation stalls in the face of overwhelming violence, McCall once again has to take the law into his own hands.

Eugenio Mastrandrea co-stars in the film as Gio Bonucci, with David Denman as Frank Conroy, Sonia Ben Ammar as Chiara Bonucci, Remo Girone as Enzo Arisio, Gaia Scodellaro as Aminah, Andrea Scarduzio as Vincent Quaranta, Andrea Dodero as Marco Quaranta, and Salvatore Ruocco as Salvatore. Fuqua directed the film from a screenplay by Richard Wenk.

Now, we’ll tell you how Robert McCall’s story comes to an end in The Equalizer 3.

Warning: the rest of this post contains spoilers for The Equalizer 3.

How does The Equalizer 3 end?

Denzel Washington as Robert McCall in The Equalizer 3.
Sony Pictures

To save his friend, Gio, McCall revealed his presence to the Sicilian Mafia and outed himself as the killer of Marco, the brother of mafia boss Vincent Quaranta. Earlier in the film, Vincent had arranged the car bombing that seriously wounded McCall’s ally Emma Collins, and he threatened to continue his reign of terror against McCall’s newfound home. Although McCall was willing to give his own life to protect the people that he cared for, he was able to avoid being murdered in the street by Vincent and his men.

In the hours that followed, McCall executed his final masterpiece as he infiltrated Vincent’s compound and systematically murdered his men one by one. McCall saved Vincent for the end, as he forced the mafia kingpin to overdose on his own lethal drugs before sending him out in the streets to suffer in public until his heart stopped beating. Some time later, McCall visited Emma in the hospital and revealed why he had come to Italy in the first place. He was recovering the pension funds of an elderly couple whom he had never even met, and McCall asked her to personally deliver the money to them in the U.S.

As for McCall, he decided to remain in Italy and enjoy his retirement. During the film’s closing minutes, the local soccer team, including Gio, celebrate their win, and McCall joins in on the festivities. And McCall suffered no consequences at all from revealing to the whole town that he had killed Vincent’s brother.

What’s next for Robert McCall?

Denzel Washington in a scene from The Equalizer 3.
Sony Pictures

Because of the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike, Washington has not been available to speak about The Equalizer 3. However, Fuqua has gone on the record as saying that this is the end of Robert McCall’s story. There will be no more sequels, although the idea has been floated of digitally de-aging Washington for an Equalizer prequel.

It should be noted that McCall spends a lot of time in this movie sitting down and enjoying his tea or lattes in Italy. That may have been because of Washington’s age, as he is 68-years old. But it also means that there are long stretches of the film without action, and only a handful of times when McCall actively engages in any fighting at all. Perhaps it’s best to just let this franchise end here.

The Equalizer 3 is now playing in theaters.

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