Director Chad Stahelski is back once more to team up with legendary actor Keanu Reeves as the deadly titular character, for an explosive third chapter.
Minutes after the conclusion of John Wick: Chapter 2, John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is now on the run as he as about to be declared excommunicado by the High Table, which now results in a fourteen million dollar bounty being placed on his head. With the deadliest assassins now coming after him, it is up to Wick to survive the onslaught.
One of the most welcome surprise releases of 2014 was definitely John Wick. The action genre felt revived after that film, and one of the reasons why it worked so well was because it did not seem too far fetched. All the violence present was surprisingly believable and had a story that everybody could get behind, and you could feel sympathetic for Wick.
That is one of the reasons why I did not enjoy Chapter 2 nearly as much as the first installment. Was the second film good? Yes. It upped the ante on the action and chaos, which was a welcomed element, but it did not have the same emotional attachment that the first picture did.
Gratefully, Parabellum goes back to the first film’s roots with its relatively grounded action sequences for the most part with a few exceptions. Even though it never reaches the emotional heights of the original, it stills manages to offer glimmers of emotion at certain sequences reminding you why you care about the titular character.
The stunt team for this film, much like the others, needs to get heavy praise. There are dozens of scenes that seem nearly impossible to film and choreograph but they managed to pull it off and made it seem easy.
As usual, Reeves is amazing as Wick and shows us why he is one of the best action heroes of this generation. He is a man with reason and the more we see of him, the more we get behind him. The newest addition to this franchise is Halle Berry, who portrays Sofia, an assassin and ally of Wick. Even though she is not in the film as much as you may think she is, whenever she appears on screen, it is a complete delight.
Additionally, it is easily the best looking entry in the series thus far, shot by Dan Laustsen, who shot the predecessor. There are plenty of wide shots present, which makes the action much more enjoyable. Plus, quite a few shots have great uses of neon colors which was eye pleasing.
When it comes to action films, many viewers are told to suspend disbelief, especially with pictures such as the Mission: Impossible movies. But in Parabellum, there are unfortunately a few sequences that are so ridiculous that I cannot even accept them for being simple fun action moments. Characters survive things that no human being would ever survive, and it makes no sense. It is not just Wick either, as this seems to be the case for several characters in this film.
Also, there are quite a few times in Parabellum in which somebody gets killed in front of a gigantic crowd, and not a single person seems to notice this. If these crowds consist of hundreds of people, and there are two people going at each other with knives, then surely somebody is going to notice and panic, but that never once occurs here.
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum is yet another exhilarating addition to the franchise, with Keanu Reeves and Halle Berry being true standout action stars.
Overall Grade: B
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive strong violence, and some language
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, Laurence Fishburne, Mark Dacascos
Directed by: Chad Stahelski
Distributed by: Summit Entertainment
Running Time: 131 minutes