Movie Review: John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019)

Quote from John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum by Zero

“I’ve been looking forward to meeting you for a long time.  And so far, you haven’t disappointed.”

johnwick3
Thunder Road Pictures/87Eleven Productions

John Wick 3 Arrives in the Rain

jwickrain
Thunder Road Pictures/87Eleven Productions

I waited a long time for this movie to arrive.  I knew the fight scenes were going to be some of the best.  Keanu Reeves is known to be part of productions with high quality choreography and stunts.  You can’t beat him as an action hero.  This movie had more than enough fight scenes and the character of John Wick had endless quantities of energy.  It is evident the preparation Keanu Reeves went through to make John Wick’s skills appear effortless and convincing.  John Wick: Chapter 3- Parabellum earned an estimated $57 million in profits compared to $14.4 million for the first movie in 2014 and $30.4 million for the second in 2017 (United States and Canada).  It has grossed, so far, $93.2 million worldwide.  John Wick 3 begins and ends with the one human instinct that matters the most: survival.  It takes you through John Wick’s journey as a bounty has been placed on his head at the tune of $14 million where every assassin is willing to risk his or her life to meet and then kill him.

The People Behind John Wick 3

jwick3
Thunder Road Pictures/87Eleven Productions

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum is the third movie in this franchise.  It is written by  Derek Kolstad, Shay Hatten, Chris Collins, and Marc Abrams, and based on a story by Derek Kolstad.  It is directed by Chad Stahelski and executive produced by Joby Harold, David Leitch, Chad Stahelski, and Jeff G. Waxman.  It stars Keanu Reeves as John Wick (given name Jardani Jovonovich), Halle Berry as Sofia, Ian McShane as Winston, Laurence Fishburne as Bowery King, Mark Dacascos as Zero, Asia Kate Dillon as The Adjudicator, Lance Reddick as Charon, and Anjelica Huston as The Director as the main cast.  The MPAA rating is R for pervasive strong violence, and some language.  It runs 2 hours and 10 minutes long.  John Wick 3 is essentially an action movie where guns and knives are the core weapons used to preserve and destroy life, depending on who you are and what side you’re taking.

The Characters and Plot Summary of John Wick 3

jwicktwofight.jpg
Thunder Road Pictures/87Eleven Productions

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum begins with Keanu Reeves running as far away from the New York City Continental, a hotel where assassins go for safety.  The problem for John Wick is that he’s been excommunicated due to breaking the number one rule known to all underground assassins: not to kill on hotel grounds.  With the little time remaining before there’s officially a bounty on his head, he gets medical help, then collects a few items from the local library.  The countdown now starting, he meets with the Director (Anjelica Huston), who agrees to give him passage out of the United States.  It is in Casablanca, Morocco where John Wick hopes to curry favor from a member of the High Table known as the Elder (Saïd Taghmaoui).  The only issue is how does John Wick even start to find him?  Well, with the help of Sofia (Halle Berry) and Berrada (Jerome Flynn) that leads to a scene full of action including Sofia’s Belgian Malinois dogs.  There’s some back and forth that happens because New York City never stops moving especially in the assassin underbelly.  The Adjudicator (Asia Kate Dillon) has her own High Table demands for those who have helped John Wick escape New York City, notably Winston (Ian McShane) and the Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne).  It is up to them whether more punishment will be inflicted if John Wick is foolish enough to seek their help.  The impasse among the key players of the Adjudicator, Winston, John Wick, and Charon (Lance Reddick) begins. With no one willing to back down because they can’t and won’t, the New York City Continental is allowed an exception to the no killing rule by the Adjudicator.  There’s a lot of High Table enforcers with bullet proof vests and armor compared to John Wick, Charon, and a handful of men.  Even if they shoot their way to relative safety, there’s even deadlier assassins waiting for them.  Motives can be easy to identify, but other times harder.  It becomes a game of strategy.  While I thought the movie would end differently, I was still satisfied.

Knives, Horses, Guns, and Dogs

jwickhorse
Thunder Road Pictures/87Eleven Productions

I have to say the fight scenes were perfect in the first half of the movie.  Their strengths lied in the choreography, stylization, and appropriate length.  The action sequences of John Wick, Sofia, and Berrada was the last fight to be perfect.  As the movie continued, while I enjoyed the hand to hand combat between John Wick and Zero (Mark Dacascos), it did drag a little bit.  I started to think how much more can John Wick take?  Better yet how much more can Keanu Reeves take?  I lost count how many were killed during the fight in the Continental.  It started to look like a video game after a while.  It’s not a bad thing, but just an observation.  While I enjoyed the first half better in terms of the fighting scenes, the second half was more sinister and had an urgency to it.  However, I did wish the last scene between Winston and John Wick played out a little longer.

Final Evaluation of John Wick 3

jwickgp.jpg
Thunder Road Pictures/87Eleven Productions

I recommend this movie to anyone who wants to escape into a movie and forget about personal responsibilities for a few hours.  This is why we go to movies in the first place.  Underground assassins in New York City?  Yeah, okay.  We suspend reality a little bit.  As I mentioned above, the choreography was superb and yes, even Keanu Reeves performance as an assassin deserves to be noticed.  He’s no longer Ted from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure although he is reprising his role with a movie in 2020 and stars in Always Be My Maybe coming out later this month on Netflix.  He doesn’t just do action movies.  Even though Halle Berry, Ian McShane, Laurence Fishburne, Asia Kate Dillon, and Anjelica Huston had smaller parts, they were solid performances.  I look forward to seeing them again.  I suspect the Adjudicator will become even more of an obstacle for everyone involved if there is a fourth movie.  In case you’re wondering, the first John Wick is the best of the three, John Wick 3 second, and John Wick 2 third.

Watch the Trailers

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum Rating

Four Fingers and One Thumb at 96%

pcratingfive1

2019

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: