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John Wick: Chapter Three - Parabellum

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John Wick: Chapter Three - Parabellum

John Wick is one of those franchises that seemingly came out of nowhere. Keanu Reeves (deservedly) has maintained a level of currency through his lengthy and stellar career, but if we’re to be honest, his star was on the wane when he signed on to the first of these films.

" It is crazy good fun. The effects and stunt work are mind-blowing."


Through an excellent directorial debut from his former Matrix stuntman (Chad Stalhelski), and not the least through Reeves' own impressive skills, a new action series has been born. Hard to believe, but from the rather simple (yet effective) tome of a man whose puppy was slain, has spawn an expansive mythology and a balls out, highly entertaining series of films.

With Chapter 3: Parabellum, John has broken a sacred rule amongst the world of assassins and has been declared ‘Incommunicado’. Succinctly, he is in deep shit. Every hired killer, thug, gang, or mailman, connected to Wick’s violent environment now wants to collect the sizeable bounty on his head.

This film wastes no time, starting moments after the end of Chapter 2, and quickly ramping up into a brutal, violent, slug fest that barely comes up for air. There are some truly jaw dropping action sequences of unrivalled length and complexity. Reeves is now in his fifties, but there is no sign of his agility slowing in this one.

Let’s talk about story for a moment. One doesn’t need to expect a complex tale, and the previous films have set the standard for what to expect. You are buying a ticket to watch John Wick school some fools with the most imaginative kills the filmmakers can muster, and this third film may just have topped the first two in accomplishing that.

However…

The first film was more introspective. The connection to his puppy and recently deceased wife, motivations written and performed so well, made us want Wick to kill mofos like nobody business. The second expanded the world, and added characters to that agenda, but for this reviewer, it lost a little of that emotional connection to the audience. The third goes even further into world building, new characters, and solely embraces the DNA of a pure action fair. The—shall I dare use the word—beauty of Wick’s emotions has been lost from the first one, come this third entry.

He’s slick, almost superhuman, undeniably watchable, but no longer a relatable man, despite the connections to his past being mentioned throughout the narrative. This one and Reeves commits fully to the absurdity of a solitary man, fighting his way out of ridiculously impossible situations. I would like to see, since I suspect there may just be more of these in the future, a return to some balance between action and emotion. It’s what made the first one so great to begin with.John Wick: Chapter Three - Parabellum

This is no way is me saying the film is weak. It is crazy good fun. The effects and stunt work are mind-blowing. So many scenes are as imaginative as they are frenetic, taking your breath away and literally putting you on the edge of your seat.

The stage is now set for more. There are new characters and new threads to expand upon, if the filmmakers so choose. This third chapter gives you no reason not to want more from this series. Parebellum, like its star, shows no sign of fatigue.

Impressive stuff.

4/5 stars

John Wick: Chapter Three - Parabellum

Blu-ray

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John Wick: Chapter Three - Parabellum

MPAA Rating: R for pervasive strong violence, and some language.
Runtime:
130 mins
Director
: Chad Stahelski
Writer:
Derek Kolstad, Shay Hatten
Cast:
Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, Ian McShane
Genre
: Action
Tagline:
Every action has consequences.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Nothing's ever just a conversation with you, John."
Theatrical Distributor:
Lionsgate
Official Site: https://www.johnwick.movie/
Release Date:
May 16, 2019
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available.
Synopsis: John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is on the run for two reasons … he’s being hunted for a global $14 million dollar open contract on his life, and for breaking a central rule: Taking a life on Continental Hotel grounds. The victim was a member of the High Table who ordered the open contract. John should have already been executed, except the Continental’s manager, Winston, has given him a one-hour grace period before he’s “excommunicado” – membership revoked, banned from all services, and cut off from other members. John uses the service industry to stay alive as he fights and kills his way out of New York City.

John Wick: Chapter Three - Parabellum

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