John Wick kills a real-life basketball player (the 7-foot something Boban Majanovic) with a library book in the opening moments of the movie. And it gets more absurd and over the top from there. Fans of Keanu Reeves’ hypercharged and ultra violent action franchise will find plenty to like in the threequel John Wick 3: Parabellum.
A few questions:
- Is John Wick still getting lip from people about his puppy?
- Is John still a one man weapon of mass destruction?
- Does John meet his match?
- Will we finally get our favorite assassin’s origin story?
Like The Concierge (Lance Reddick) says it,
Zen and the Art of Reloading
Following the events of the previous installment, John ends up killing a member of the international criminal syndicate on The Continental grounds. That’s a big no-no, and now John has a $14 million bounty on his head, with every assassin on his tail. The High Table, the secret cabal that runs the world, wants John gone, no matter what it takes.
We already know all this going into Chapter 3 of John Kills A Hundred More People Who Deserved It. The important question is – the movie’s worth your time? More importantly, does it bring anything new to the (high) table?
The answer to these questions is an unequivocal yes.
John Wick is literally 3 movies about why you should never hurt a dog 🙌🏻 pic.twitter.com/uqgOpAqS7y
— IGZ (@igzrap) May 19, 2019
Keanu is still in his element as the killing machine he is. Of course he’s still gonna make sure to shoot his foes two times in the body, and once in the head for good measure. But that’s not all he does here.
Its not hard to believe that director Chad Stahelski, who was Reeves’ stunt double in The Matrix, continue to come up with new and creative ways to bump off people. There’s a horse, some Road Rash, and some ‘Escape from New York’ inspired elements that deserve to be watched (with some popcorn) on the big screen.
Running the Gauntlet
The dark humor is still there, with you managing a chuckle as John prepares for all out war (that’s what Parabellum means actually) after having his back to the wall, once again.
For those who are interested in the lore, razor-thin as it is, this time we get to know some neat tidbits how John Wick became…. the friggin’ John Wick.
In the process of unearthing his past, Reeves is joined by a mysterious assassin Sofia (Halle Berry) and her two savage mutts (the real stars of one elaborate action sequence later on). She’s easily the highlight of the movie, and for good reason.
Reeves, as most of his fans already know, does most of his stunts to perfection. Berry’s no slouch this time around either, as this behind-the-scenes video shows:
Keeping up with the movie’s absurdity, John does get a worthy ‘rival’ this time around. A couple of comic flourishes are thrown in, but when it comes to throwing down, you know its two ‘Masters of Death’ going against each other.
And we still haven’t gotten to the mysterious Adjudicator yet (played enigmatically by Asia Kate Dillon), who is willing to go to any lengths to see John in the ground. After all, the chancellor of the High Table needs to demonstrate that she can keep everyone in line, even in a secret society of cold-blooded assassins. A real stickler for rules this one.
The End Is Nigh, or Is It?
Admittedly, there’s a point where John Wick 3’s dark humor starts to run out of steam, and the combat fatigue becomes apparent. To offset this, Chapter 3 actually does something it usually doesn’t do – deliver some real twists.
Even though this is a Keanu Reeves tour de force, supporting actors Ian McShane, Laurence Fishburne, and Angelica Huston all round off the world-building part pretty well. We also get to see The Concierge (Lance Reddick) get his due in John Wick 3, growing out of the bubble where he’s always chained to the desk.
Tthere’s no shaky cam hijinks, only beautifully clinical fight choreography and cinematography that tends to numb your senses over a prolonged period.
In the end, if you are looking for a good time pass action movie (this one’s rated R for gory scenes and language only), you couldn’t go wrong with John Wick 3.
Verdict - Strictly for Keanu Reeves fans and action buffs.
Just when you think these guys may have run out of new ways to kill people on-screen, director Chad and Reeves deliver surprise after surprise. There may not be much of a plot (this is a John Wick movie after all), but some genuinely surprising twists might impact your enjoyment of Parabellum.