HOLLYWOOD—I saw “The Equalizer” I thought it was great, its sequel “The Equalizer 2” is solid. However, this third and final installment in the franchise, “The Equalizer 3” is proof sometimes you don’t have to keep doing sequels. Denzel Washington reprises his role as Robert McCall, a former U.S. Marine and retired DIA operative with a set of skills you don’t want to test. McCall is living his best life in retirement in Southern Italy.

However, his peaceful retirement is soon interrupted by a group of members from the Camorra, an Italian-style mafia that interjects fear into the residents of the city. So, you have a gist of where the narrative goes from here. McCall attempts to live a life of solitude after he recovers from a gnarly injury, brought out of semi-retirement to take on some baddies who utilize threatening tactics to scare people into doing what it is they want them to do.

Are any of these villains actually scary? No, but when you’re dealing with the mob or the mafia, all it takes is one person to instill fear and everyone else follows. The biggest problem with “The Equalizer 3” is the pacing. The opening is solid and then it’s a slow burn for about an hour into the movie and then the pace really picks up and before you know it the movie is off. You find yourself teetering as a spectator because the lack of action or narrative just feels like it is stalling.

The other two films had way more action in my opinion throughout the entire movie. This one delivers the action in small doses before it ramps up in the satisfying third act. However, the third act alone is not enough to turn this sequel into something that excels from its predecessors. Washington does what he does best. Antoine Fuqua is solid behind the camera, but I’ve seen much better work from the director than in this entry. In addition, I just couldn’t understand the addition of Dakota Fanning as a CIA operative who has connections to Robert but doesn’t fully know how. Stay until the end of the movie to find out that secret. It felt for me like the filmmakers, or the studio was attempting to reunite Fanning and Washington who appeared in a far superior flick nearly 20 years ago called, “Man on Fire.”

To be honest Dakota’s character was poorly written and didn’t resonate for me as a viewer. I would have preferred to see McCall reunited with actress Chloe Moretz Grace who appeared in the first flick, the actors had better chemistry if I’m being completely honest. There is one stunning scene in the movie that caught me by surprise that will indeed wake you up if you’re losing a bit of interest.

The script here is slightly weak and you can tell it is the beginning of the end for Washington’s iconic character, whose skills seemed to be showcased a bit more in the first two movies, then this final hurrah. The one scene where Robert’s skills are on full display is indeed a crowd-pleaser people. “The Equalizer 3” is not a terrible movie, it is an average film. However, considering it has been touted as the end of the franchise, I just wanted a bigger bang considering I was so heavily invested in the first two movies.