Never did I thought John Wick would become an action franchise starring Keanu Reeves that’s times better than what he did with The Matrix trilogy. Not only that, but this has become an action franchise that’s actually better than most in terms of having a good hero and action that’s well directed. How come you weren’t that, Taken trilogy. Now we John Wick: Chapter 3- Parabellum is here for the summer to blow everything else out of the water.
What’s the Story: After killing a member on Continental Ground, John Wick (Reeves) is on the run from assassins all over New York City with a $14 million bounty for whoever kills him first. With him being declared “ex-communicado” by The High Table, Wick must be able to fight off everybody who dares try to get in his path.
This third installment has been one of my most anticipated because of the namesake alone. I love original John Wick from 2014, and its 2017 predecessor was able to be a rare action sequel to almost be better. The end of Chapter 2 set up this one to the point where I wanted to watch it right after. But all I needed from Parabellum is for this to deliver some sweet action throughout. For fans of this, we all just want director Chad Stahelski to give us another badass movie and the world-building we’ve come to appreciate ever since. Well, you’re in luck since John Wick Chapter 3 is a lot of fun if you’re into gunplay action all around.
Here’s what you need to know about the action sequences, they’re pretty freakin’ awesome. That shouldn’t come as a shocker. Every John Wick movie has phenomenal action that isn’t filmed terribly, and this might contain the coolest set pieces in the series yet. Chapter 3 probably has the most action than the previous two, but you can’t take your eyes off of the screen whenever anything exciting is happening, which is a huge credit to Stahelski’s direction and the gorgeous cinematography by Dan Laustsen. Almost the first 30 minutes are nothing but action. Want a scene with knives (the best scene), a motorcycle chase, or Wick on horseback? Let your happiness flow through you. And with the brilliant stunt choreography shown, it’s movies like these that are a good enough reason for the Oscars to create a Best Stunts category.
Reeve’s performance as Wick never misses a beat when he’s out there killing everybody in sight. You can see that he puts in a lot of dedication into this character in each film. Given a bit more development to understand him, the more we care about him trying to stay alive. This is just terrific for Reeves to be in these instead of terrible direct-to-DVD action movies. He as this awesome titular character is better than some of the other action movie heroes that are recognizable.
Seeing Halley Berry, who plays Wick’s old friend, Sophia, in a role that’s too good in almost like a breath of fresh air. I was really surprised by how cool she turned out to be. She doesn’t have a ton of screentime, but she made it work when she and Reeves share some good chemistry and teamwork together. And she’s part of another one of the best set pieces that’s set in Casablanca with her two dogs (love them!) that just shows that she trained a lot for her role.
The rest of the supporting cast also their best part of being entertaining, including the returns of Laurence Fishburne as the Bowery King, Ian McShane as Winston, and Lance Reddick as Charon. And then you have the newcomers to the franchise with the likes of Anjelica Huston as The Director and Asia Kate Dillon (Billions) as The Adjudicator, respectively. Dillon’s character is the one who enforces the rules of the High Table and she was a solid character introduced into the series.
The story itself is perhaps the main negative on here. Sure, it shouldn’t be the one thing to focus on when it’s supposed to be all about the action, but I feel like it could’ve been more lose if you know what I mean. A few of Wick’s motivations doesn’t become clear enough to understand why on a number of occasions, which is kind of the same problem that I had with the last one. Other than that, it drags in the middle before it launched itself back into the action.
Besides that, John Wick: Chapter 3- Parabellum is another solid entry in an action franchise that doesn’t seem to be slowing down after this. It might be the weakest one yet, but Reeves still kills it once again, and it offers some of the best action filmed this year. I’d say it’s about on-par with Chapter 2 while the first is still the best because of how unexpectedly great it turned out to be. If Stahelski and Reeves are considering making a fourth installment shortly after this, I’m not gonna complain one bit.