John Wick 3: Parabellum is the 3rd installment in the John Wick franchise starring Keanu Reeves returning as super-assassin and dog-lover John Wick, now on the run from a society known as “The High Table”. When all of his resources and connections are no longer available, Wick will need to fight with everything and anything he has to survive the onslaught of assassins, and make it out alive.
I’ve really loved the John Wick franchise since the first film came out. I loved the simple story and the amazing attention to detail when it came to the films stunts, and fight choreography. In action movies today, this does not happen often. Most commonly, you either get overly CGI battles or a lot of quick cut or weirdly framed shots to avoid the fact that who you’re watching isn’t the actor, but a stunt double. Sure, these are movie tricks that have been used for decades and John Wick is included in benefiting from them; but It’s HOW director Chad Stahelski and Keanu Reeves choreographs the fighting and the stunts that make John Wick one of the greatest if not THE greatest action series of the past decade.
Firstly, the action is absolutely incredible in this film from the first frame to the last frame. Nothing is out of frame or hard to see, the fights are choreographed beautifully with wide continuous shots showing all of the fighting, seeing the actors faces knowing it’s them. There are no shortcuts here, it’s the real deal, mainly in part of the stunt choreographers and Keanu Reeves. They’re so good at what they do that this movie REALLY makes you wonder why there isn’t a category for best Stunt in the Academy Awards.
The action for the majority of the characters are all top notch, Keanu Reeves was BORN to play John Wick and feels more relaxed and comfortable in this role than ever. The returning actors Laurence Fishburne, Ian McShane, Lance Reddick all are great and with new characters like Halle Berry with her too awesome set of puppers, as well as action film legends from the criminally under-rated “The Raid” franchise, Cecep Arif Rahman and Yayan Ruhian. I loved seeing them get the chance to show their talents on the big screen and want them involved in so much more action films in the US. PLEASE make them popular after watching this film!
The cinematography and the lighting are beautiful, keeping with the John Wick iconic neon color schemes. New York never looked more like ‘Stefon’ from ‘SNL’ decorated the entire city. There are really stunning set pieces and environments that are each unique and enhance the story and the fighting. Where the film started having issues for me was when they started delving into the story.
‘Parabellum’ expands on John Wick’s backstory with the addition of The High Tables ‘Adjudicator’ played by Asia Kate Dillon, while some parts worked for me at the beginning of the film I found myself getting distracted during the scenes with her, the performance felt very forced and it seems like she is trying too hard to come across as a bad-ass, and towards the end becomes a pretty laughable threat compared to Wick. Also the ending of this film really is repeat of the ending from the last John Wick, where after a 2 hr run time I feel like the character really is just right back to where they were in the beginning and I wasn’t totally sold on that and with the ending being a cliffhanger. I feel is the creators and team behind these films are losing steam as far as what they can offer audiences that are new with John Wicks character and you see that in this film.
In the end, I had a great time watching ‘Parabellum’. It’s got some of the best action you’ll see this year, the fighting is amazing, the gore, the dogs, it’s all there, even if the story tends to lose it’s way a bit. Go check it out and let me know your thoughts down below!