John Wick: Chapter 3 – Movie Review
“John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” is further look into the violent and bloody world contained in the ‘Extended John Wick Universe’. This is where hand-to-hand combat is on steroids, and where beatings, stabbings and shootings have been given growth serum, and where the over-the-top violence has been ‘Turned Up to 11’ (to paraphrase “Spinal Tap”). In other words, it is a beautiful ballet of bullets, bloodshed, and battles. In the previous two movies, John Wick has delivered an action-packed and stunt-driven extravaganza of fights and chases. Based on the internal logic where a secret society of assassins live and work in our world – yet they are apart from reality. Now with Chapter 3 – the Wickian wave is cresting over the mere movies that have a few stuntmen. This is Zen Level pure action and adrenaline, perfected to its finest.
John Wick (Keanu Reeves) finds himself at odds with controlling leaders of all the assassins, the group called the High Table. Wick had broken the rules, because he shot and killed a member of the Table in a place called the ‘Continental’. This is a luxury hotel and safe space in downtown New York. It is run by Winston (Ian McShane) who is an old friend of Wick’s. Winston and the concierge at the Continental – Charon (Lance Reddick) – gave Wick a head start. But Wick now has a bounty on his head of $14 million. Anyone who gives Wick any help will pay the price. Wick turns to an old mentor, the Director (Anjelica Huston). Wick has an item that he can use to trade for safe passage to Morocco.
In Casablanca, Wick finds another old partner named Sophia (Halle Berry). John Wick holds a ‘marker’ that forces the other person to help out in time of need. Sophia and Wick approach a member of the High Table. Wick asks if there is a way to get back into the good graces. He is ‘excommunicado’ and he might be able to meet with The Elder (Saïd Taghmaoui). But Sophia and her attack dogs come under attack, along with Wick, so there is a massive fight in the bazaar. Back in New York, The Adjudicator (Asia Kate Dillon) comes to anyone who helped Wick. She speaks for the High Table, and she will extract a High Price. She visits Winston at the Continental. She talks with the Director and extracts a price. She also finds the Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne) – who had supplied Wick with a weapon. Each one that she meets must vow a fidelity to the High Table.
The Adjudicator also finds a special assassin named Zero (Mark Dacascos). He is given the task to hunt down John Wick and apply a permanent resolution to Wick’s bounty. Wick comes back to New York, but he must personally kill Winston to earn his forgiveness. Zero and Wick find each other, and the fur begins to fly. Wick finds Winston, and Wick decides to press pause on the “Killing Winston” part of his punishment. The High Table is ready to take down Wick, Winston, Charon and Zero – who are all hanging out in the Continental. Wick has a small request (“Guns. Lots of Guns”), and Winston might be helpful in that area. So, the High Table sends a SWAT team to the hotel to take care of business…
John Wick has now had a total of three movies. All have been directed by Chad Stahelski and written (at least co-written) by Derek Kolstad. Stahelski is a former stantman himself, and he did much of the stunt work for Keanu Reeves in “The Matrix”. They have a solid core foundation to come up with the most intense sequences of fighting and mayhem that has ever been put down on film. Add to this Ian McShane and Lance Reddick (who have been in all three films) and there is an easy understanding between the actors and stunt people and the director that makes impossible action scenes come to life. The result is a mind-blowing visual overload that will not let you look away.
Naturally, a movie like this might too violent or over-the-top for many people. There are some who cringe at seeing guns and cannot stand the casual use of firearms as weapons. But should you find yourself wanting to see expertly done action and stunt-work, then “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” will be the mother’s milk of murder and mayhem. So, if you are not a sad-sack, pajama-wearing granola-munching peacenik – then grab yourself a Red Bull Slushie and put your brain and hold for couple of hours. It will be worth it…
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum Review
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum Summary
Directed by: Chad Stahelski
Screenplay by: Derek Kolstad, Shay Hatten, Chris Colllins, Marc Abrams
Story by: Derek Kolstad
Based on Characters created by: Derek Kolstad
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, Laurence Fishburne, Mark Dacascos, Asia Kate Dillon, Lance Reddick, Anjelica Huston, Ian McShane, Saïd Taghmaoui
Length: 131 minutes
MPAA Rating: R for pervasive strong violence, and some language
Genre: Guns, Lots and Lots of Guns (and Violent Action)