Release Date: May 17, 2019
Studio: Thunder Road Pictures / Lionsgate
Director: Chad Stahelski
Release Format: Theatrical
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum is an exhilarating entry in the franchise that fires on all cylinders. Stunning visuals, awesome action, and cool characters roll together for a must-see film.
John Wick is on the run after breaking the most sacred rule of the assassins, now every killer is after his head. It’s killed or be killed and John only knows how to do one of those.
Even without being invested for the past two films, it’s easy to get lost in this world with how engaging it is. There were various guttural noises like “Ohh” and”mmm” coming from the audience during every action scene that theatres might have to start putting do not disturb signs on the doors.
The last film basically established that almost anything and anyone can be an assassin in disguise. Which is what makes this entry so thrilling as seemingly normal citizens barely exist, just assassins.
John is a badass but is still injured and tired from the last movie. When you add having to fight an entire planet of assassins as Winston says, “makes the odds even.”
Every fight Wick sees him literally scratching and clawing for his life. He is doing whatever it takes to last as long as he can and a cornered John Wick is more dangerous than a nuke.
The action is aces above anything on the market today. There were various points where I had to remind myself to breathe as the action took my breath away. I’m not out of shape, this action is just that legitimate.
The ending sequence of the film is brilliant, giving an explosive finale to this trilogy. The climax battle is the kind of fight that would even make a nun scream out obscenities, it’s just that awesome.
A rather surprising element was the comedy. There are some Looney Tunes-esque moments like John using a book or a horse to take out highly trained killers. This infusion of comedy is done very well even in the midst of a tense fight scene without losing momentum.
The Deadliest Game of Tag Ever
John Wick is in a fatally entertaining game of tag where everyone is trying to “tag” him with a bullet or knife to the face. These characters that are with or against him are a big part of the experience. John comes across an array of unique personalities that can have a movie of their own.
Mark Dacascos plays a charismatic and slightly off assassin named Zero, who is personally hired by the High Table as the only capable of taking down Wick for good.
Zero is basically Deadpool cracking often cracking jokes but is deadly serious when it’s time to kill. Zero & his team (The Raid alumni) come through like forces of nature taking out anything in the way. They are established as a huge threat that could take out Wick.
Then, there is the scene-stealing Halle Berry as the firey Sofia. Sofia is a retired assassin who now runs the Morroco Continental hotel. Like Winston, she is also John’s friend to an extent but has a gripe to pick still with him.
Sofia and her two dogs are just flat out awesome as they just combo baddies up like 6-piece meal at KFC. She is John Wick if he trained his puppies to go for the groin.
Winston (Ian McShane) is a more sober Jack Sparrow that manages the NY Continental. This means he’s funny and deceptively laid back but his breath doesn’t smell like it can power a hot air balloon.
Along with Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne), a.k.a Hobo King, a.k.a Mr. chews up every scene he’s in. These two allies of John help to effortlessly carry the movie when he isn’t on-screen creating business for funeral homes.
Follow The Leader
Visuals throughout the movie are simply fantastic, featuring gorgeous backdrops in varied locations. The cinematography in this film is also outstanding, even everyday objects like water have extra a bit of extra flare.
This stylish way of shooting lends itself to the over-the-top world. John Wick 3 is basically a fantasy at this point as people are killed on the street and nobody bats an eye like it’s ’92 Los Angeles.
Seeing what’s on the screen is as important as hearing what’s there as well. This ain’t an artsy black and white film, this is John Wick 3 where the guns go boom.
Nearly every rifle or shotgun blast had me checking myself to make sure there were no holes. You really feel the impact of a shootout or gritty fight helps add to the immersion from such great sound design throughout.
Chad Stahelski and the choreography team deserve a shoutout for the work put into these fights. These scenes are not only creative but every blow is clear and impactful.
One of the setbacks of John Wick: Chapter 2 was the action became numbing halfway through. This is because fights turned into the Modern Warfare 2 shooting range tutorial with John taking down dummies at that point.
This issue doesn’t exist here thanks to a “gun-fu” and more creatively varied fights. Everyone notable has a gimmick or fighting style to set them apart, making them not only fun to watch but to look at as well.
More John Wick to Love
Verdict: From start to finish, this is the kind of movie that is worth leaving the house for on a Friday night. John Wick 3 moves at a fast pace and there is never a dull moment. Thanks to a colorful cast, superb visuals and direction, Parabellum will be rewatchable as Avengers: Endgame for years to come.
What is your favorite John Wick scene? What should be on the Mount Rushmore of action films? Leave your comments!
- Awesome Action
- Cool characters & sets
- Interesting fleshed out world
- Ruins other action movies forever?
- The credits rolled