Denzel Washington and Antoine Fuqua as star, director and both producers are back for perhaps the final literation of this increasingly violent action-thriller franchise based on the CBS drama staring Edward Woodward.
This time Washington’s retired Marine and intelligence officer Robert McCall is in scenic southern Italy, Sicily’s Altomonte, to serve the oppressed; his new friends are under the domain of the cruel underworld.
Apparently after carnage at a vineyard, gangsters are part of a major operation funding a terrorist organization. McCall has the calm condescension as he employs intimidation at times to assuage potential brutality, even touching a nerve on a mobster brother (Daniele Perrone) at one point. Again, it’s a response to average, innocent folks in a seemingly quiet seaside enclave taken advantage by powerful thugs doing whatever not to sacrifice these hard-working friendly citizens.
Well, the formula will work for fans of what Fuqua and Washington display without the psychological nuance and verve of their memorable collaboration Training Day. The wounded ‘mysterious visitor who corrects an injustice’ will be nursed to health by a physician (Remo Girone) and helped by an Italian officer (Eugenio Mastrandrea). Also, the sardonic, cold and charismatic but not as debonair as Woodward use to be in employing less punishing qualities is an inscrutable tipster for green CIA agent Emma Collins (Dakota Fanning, who co-starred with Washington’s unrelenting Creasy in Tony Scott’s Man on Fire as a child). Their interplay provides welcome droll relief, as welcome droll relief, as well for those who realize what McCall is capable of doing.
Washington knows how to check all the board with a quiet menace before stepping into massacre mode fueled for what continues to state the masses in automation fashion.
Of course, a prelude to an extravagant fireworks display for how exhausting it can be for such a tormented, through virtues individual who knows how to channel his despair and disgust.