Keanu Reeves returns as John Wick in the third chapter of the franchise, and basically everyone is out to get him.
John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum picks up right where we left off from Chapter 2 – a man on the run, declared “excommunicado” from the guild of assassins after gunning down a member of the High Table (the ruling council of the shadowy international assassin’s guild) while within the hallowed halls of the Continental.
Stripped of the organization’s protective services, Super-Assassin John Wick finds himself in the sights of every hit man, and woman, as he now must fight his way through the streets of New York, and beyond, as he becomes the target of the world’s most ruthless killers.
From New York to Casablanca, Wick is a hunted man. However, he is still the Boogeyman. A $14 million bounty and all the hit-people in New York after him, his chance for survival is still declared to be “near even”.
Directed by Chad Stahelski, a stuntman who worked with Keanu Reeves on the Matrix films, and written by Derek Kolstad, Chapter 3 continues to build the world where anyone, around any corner, could be an assassin. A world where assassinations and violence are so common, that incidents are near invisible to the general public.
Where the first John Wick movie introduced us to the man who was legend, and brought him out of retirement after his dog was killed, and car stolen. The second started to build the world – introducing to us the Guild and the High Table.
Chapter 3: Parabellum takes it further by getting Wick out of the confines of New York and the U.S., to Casablanca where we first see Halle Berry as Sofia.
Sofia, like Wick, struggles within the rigid rules set by the High Table that ensure hierarchy, and demand respect. Both however, fight against these constrictions in their own way, and guided by their own motivations.
Halle Berry, and her two combat-trained dogs are a welcome addition to the franchise allowing the fight scenes to include animals in an effort to stretch the choreography and take it to another level. While it works well with the dogs (and horses), the CGI needs refinement.
There is no shortage of invention when it comes to the fight scenes – knives, guns, cars, dogs, horses, belts, books… Chapter 3 has it all.
Ian McShane and Lance Reddick once again do really well in their roles as the Continental’s Manager (Winston) and Concierge (Charon) who now find themselves at odds with the High Table and make a stand against them to send a reminder as to the purpose, and role of the Continental in the grand scheme of things.
The franchise also introduces the Director (Anjelica Huston), who’s the head of an independent organization, but still susceptible to the authority of the High Table, and the Adjudicator (Asia Kate Dillon) who passes sentence when the rules have been broken.
Jason Mantzoukas is also introduced as the Tick Tock Man, but needs more screen time than what’s been offered so far.
John Wick: Chapter 3 is really a study on the effects of stardom vs reality. John Wick is no longer the man of legend. He’s older, slower and could have been killed countless of times if not for his opponent’s need to showboat – to be the person to not only defeat Baba Yaga, but to do it convincingly. But Wick proves once again, all he needs is one opportunity to turn around any fight.
John Wick is akin to hitmen as Rocky Balboa is to boxers. Wick can seriously take a beating… and he does. Only to get up again and not only go the distance, but land the killing blow.
Mark Dacascos’ Zero is the perfect example of a fanboy that want’s nothing more than to surpass his idol… or to have a drink with him… or both… in no particular order #conflicted
In the end John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum continues the violent ballet that we’ve come to expect from the franchise – fluid, artistic and brutal… and sets itself up for more.