The deaths are more brutal, the landscapes more vibrant and yet our John Wick is back as usual. Does John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum live up to the first two action-packed films? Here is my review of the film.
In this third installment of the adrenaline-fueled action franchise, super-assassin John Wick (Keanu Reeves) returns with a $14 million price tag on his head and an army of bounty-hunting killers on his trail. After killing a member of the shadowy international assassin’s guild, the High Table, John Wick is excommunicado, but the world’s most ruthless hit men and women await his every turn. JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 – PARABELLUM.
5 years ago Keanu Reeves brought us another singular figure to become attached to in the form of John Wick. The super-assassin was sucked back into the hellish world by the murder of his beloved dog. That killing spree and non-stop action-packed world became an instant hit and has rejuvenated the super action film being a blockbuster. The film has beautifully shot urban landscapes that showcase the modern world as a deep seeded universe of diabolical figures. The second film amped things up but the plot was slightly to choppy to out do the original film. Chapter 3 – Parabellum is still filled with all the quality of the series, but mixed in with a bit more humor and cool locations to fully expand the Wickian world.
“Si vis pacem, para bellum (If you want peace, prepare for war)”. Obviously scriptwriter Derek Kolstad and Director Chad Stahelski are leaning more on the war prep over any form of peace. The film expands to showcase all the global connections of The High Table. We even meet the “one above the high table”. The way that Kolstad has slowly revealed the massive assassins’ network has really been a treat for those wanting more then just watching a bunch of action sequences. The ability to give us a unique feeling organization that steals from all the conspiracy filled reality of these secret organizations is a fun element of the Wick films. The film fully dives deeper into the full picture and that alone makes this film stand alone quite well.
The other element that shines is the continued exploration of the globe. The second film I think tackled some intriguing locations but this film goes even further. I really enjoyed the Moroccan landscape. That location is the most different from the NYC darkness we are used to. It also houses the three best additions to the film’s cast. Halle Berry, Jerome Flynn and Said Taghmaoui. Berry is our hero’s long-lost “friend”. Her character, Sofia, is left a bit of an illusion but her kick ass nature is on full display. Her twin dogs act as her deadly extensions that give the 3rd film a really new way of getting the “bad” guys. Berry working off Keanu is filled with the right amount of humor and weird sexual tension that allows for them to indeed have a lengthy connection. Jerome Flynn is one of the leaders of The High Table in the African country. His ruthless choices sets off Sofia and Wick into a real killer survival sequence that equals any fighting scene in the entire film. Taghmaoui is a unique touch as The Elder. He is but a brief impact that allows Wick to fully grasp what is needed to survive the excommunication.
Of course Ian McShane, Lawrence Fishburne and Lance Reddick bring back their fun characters. Overall John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum is the summer’s first full-action blockbuster and easily should take back the weekend from those Marvel folks. It is so hard to not enjoy the John Wick world. Go ahead and embrace it. If you can try to see all three films together it’ll help with screenwriter’s Derek Kostad’s original idea of non-stop action bliss.
For more information on the film please go to – John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum.
Directed by Chad Stahelski
Written by Derek Kolstad
Selig Rating B+
Running Time 2hr 10min
Action/ Crime/ Thriller
Wide Release May 17th
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, Jerome Flynn, Mark Dacascos, Ian McShane and Lawrence Fishburne
The Selig Rating Scale:
A – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
B – Good movie
C – OK movie
D – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
F – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn’t paid for it.