There are a lot of action movies released that are a “one and done” and thus often forgotten about, especially action movies released nowadays, but when John Wick was released back in 2014 it instantly became memorable for those who saw it for the phenomenal action and great revenge tale it was. Fast forward to 2019 and John Wick has become one of the best action movie franchises out there and that still holds strong with the third chapter. It may not be as good as the first installment but the action is more brutal and bloody and leaves me highly anticipating chapter 4.
John Wick: Chapter 3 takes place right where chapter 2 ends in that John Wick has broken the rules of The Continental and is on the run from every assassin in New York as he tries to survive. The story itself is okay but not the thing people go to see these movies. For what narrative there is in the movie, it works but there’s a choice John Wick makes in the desert that doesn’t make sense once he gets back to New York. I did, however, like how this chapter ended and sets up really well for a fourth chapter. I did however like what they did with the character of John Wick as they were able to add some more layers and mystery to the backstory of John Wick and continues to ask the question of whether a character like John Wick deserves peace and salvation. The depth added to the character of John Wick is great as we get to see more of where he learned to become the boogeyman known by everyone and it’s great.
The action in this movie is probably my favourite of the franchise and a lot of it is thanks to director Chad Stahelski and the stunt and choreography crew. The action flows so smoothly and a lot of it is shot in a wide so you get to actually see all the action and makes it more focused. Also, the things they do with dogs in the movie is awesome and add so much to the action scene they’re in (and don’t worry, they all live). The variation of weapons and locations and types of action makes it seem fresh every time and it’s all bloody, brutal and beautiful. The finale action set piece kept me on the edge of my seat. My favorite thing about the action is that John Wick is not invincible and takes a hell of a beating throughout the movie and makes him feel more human. He’s practically dragging himself to the end of the movie but the fact that he still manages to win just makes him even cooler of an action hero. The world building done to flesh out the lore is excellent too and not the forefront like in Chapter 2. The only thing that I didn’t like about the directing of the movie is that the pacing takes a bit of a dip around the middle as you’re going 100 miles and it slows so quickly before it climbs back up to that pace.
Speaking of cool action heroes, Keanu Reeves returns once again to play the title character of John Wick and once again he delivers a hell of a performance. The intensity he brings is incredible and the fact that he does like 90% of his own stunts helps sell the fact that Keanu is John Wick. Halle Berry plays a new character named Sofia and she is simply awesome. Her action scenes are awesome to watch and her stuff mixed with dogs and the long takes was really something to watch. It’s unfortunate she’s not in the movie as much as I thought she’d be but I’d love to see her in chapter 4. All the other performances are great across the board from those that return but new face Asia Kate Dillon as the Adjudicator came across a little wooden which is a shame as she’s pretty much the “villain” in the movie.
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum is another excellent chapter for this franchise as it somehow tops the action from the previous two movies in an adrenaline-filled joy ride. The performances are excellent and directing is superb, never losing what makes John Wick, John Wick. The pacing can be a bit of an issue and the big choice John makes kinda doesn’t make sense but I feel they set things up really well for a fourth chapter in one of the best action franchises of the generation.
John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum in another outstanding entry in the John Wick franchise and although it’s not as good as the first due to pacing and a story problem, the action is some of the best and the depth added to the character of John Wick helps overshadow the flaws.