Thursday, May 16, 2019

Review: John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum

Release date: May 17, 2019
Running time: 130 minutes
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, Ian McShane

Tick tock, Mr. Wick.  John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum takes place immediately after the last John Wick.  John has gotten himself into a conundrum, and in true John Wick fashion his only hope of survival will involve old favors, coins from his past life, and lots of bullets.  This time John has a price tag on his head, and all his old colleagues are lining up to take on the baba yaga himself.   

John Wick is all about action and this movie does not disappoint.  The fights are the highlight of this film and the action is brutal and imaginative.  John Wick's fights have never shied from violence and this film continues that tradition with some truly imaginative fights and bone crunching sounds.  Although the action is varied and brutal, the choreography itself is a little slower than I would have liked.  Perhaps it is just John Wick showing his age, but there were several fights that had a medieval times type of vibe, where moves are visibly held waiting for the opponent to wander right into them.  It distracts a little but, thankfully, is only a minor knock against some truly knock out fights.   

John Wick has a certain style to it and this movie does not disappoint.  Despite the generally dark environment and subject matter, there are plenty of bright colors and vibrant lights to keep the action engaging.  The movie has a fairly diverse set design, with John traveling to many locations throughout New York City and afar in an attempt to extract himself from his current predicament.  John travels to a couple exotic locations, and some of these scenes are truly breathtaking the first time you see them.  

If there is one knock against John Wick (other than the minor issue with the fight choreography) it is that the story itself is lacking.  There is a through line, but the plan itself that John comes up with is one part confusing and another part convoluted.  Additionally, although the film tries to have the audience empathize with John when he reveals his motivation to continue fighting, the motivation felt disingenuous to the John Wick character.  

Minor criticisms aside, John Wick Chapter 3 is an action-packed new chapter in the John Wick saga.  It has John Wick's trademark flair, brutal and imaginative action, and continues the assassin's story against ever increasing odds.  

Watch it

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