In 2014, the first John Wick movie was a massive surprise as it took the rather silly premise of a hitman coming out of retirement to avenge his dog and turned out to be a wonderful return to form for Keanu Reeves. John Wick: Chapter 2 continued to explore this universe, introducing different organisations and ruling classes within the crime world. Both of the movies also had some of the best-choreographed action in the past decade. Now that we have the third installment in the series, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, does the franchise still have enough fight in it to successfully continue?
Taking place immediately after the events of John Wick: Chapter 2, the legendary hitman, John Wick (Reeves), has been classed as “Excommunicado” due to breaking the main rule of killing someone on the grounds of the Continental, a hotel for assassins and hitmen. The owner of the New York Continental, Winston (Ian McShane), has put a $14 million contract on Wick, causing the world’s top assassins to hunt after him, including Zero (Mark Dacascos) and reunites with Sofia (Halle Barry). Along the way, a member of the ruling class High Table, the Adjudicator (Asia Kate Dillon) is after Wick’s allies, including the Bowley King, the underground crime lord (Lawrence Fishbourne) and the Director, the leader of a Russian crime syndicate (Anjelica Huston).
Director Chad Stahelski (Who was Reeves’ stuntman from the Matrix movies) and the writing team continue to develop the world through John Wick Chapter 3 by expanding upon the characters and the locations, almost setting up potential spin-offs. The film also does a great job of putting the audience in John Wick’s shoes in creating a feeling of desperation for survival as almost everyone he encounters wants to kill him.
The John Wick series could definitely be compared to a James Bond or Mission: Impossible movie, in which there is definitely an intriguing story with a wide variety of characters, but it all works as a framework to hang the meat of the movie, which is the amazing action sequences. If there is anything to watch for John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, its the wide variety of incredibly executed action sequences. The variety goes from small-scale hand to hand combat that incorporates different styles of martial arts, gun-fu, and knife-fu, to the huge vehicle chases. There are even some oddly creative uses of animals, including a scene where Wick rides a horse while fighting hitmen on motorbikes. Each sequence, while admittedly can get a bit too long at times, has the perfect level of over the top and once again displays some amazing stunt work from the actors, especially Reeves.
Overall, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum continues to build the film’s intriguing universe and unleashes some thrilling fight sequences. Fans of the first two or people who like action movies should definitely find enjoyment from the movie.
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum hits cinemas May 16th.