James Bond, Ethan Hunt, Jason Bourne…John Wick; if you haven’t already, now with three equally strong films under his belt, add the Baba Yaga to the list of greatest action movie characters (notice how I didn’t use heroes). Keanu has rediscovered box-office stardom and I’m loving it.
Following the events of chapter 2, John Wick is on the run from the entire world as he has $14 million on his head and is confirmed excommunicado (cannot receive any help from special friends).
I love a good action film and last year’s Mission Impossible: Fallout was a blessing. This year the John Wick franchise becomes a trilogy, and the series continues to chug along full steam ahead. While Parabellum is not the finale I thought it might’ve been, it successfully develops the closely-linked and increasingly complex story, fleshes out some unknowns, and sets-up what should be another chapter of kick-assery. The choreography remains brilliant, the fight sequences clear and not choppy, incorporating familiar moves while still finding ways to innovate; Keanu keeps bringing it as you can tell John Wick is a role he fully invests himself in, his stunt work elevating every bit of action. John Wick 3 does everything right its predecessors did and is as thrilling as ever.
The main thing not in the third installment’s favor is inevitable as the directors and writers look to keep the series going: the ending. John Wick 3 ends very similarly to John Wick 2, on a cliffhanger showing what the next chapter will be about; so far, the Wick Franchise has played out like a TV show, with each episode occurring back-to-back timewise. And since the finale tends to be considered the best (or worst) episode of a season, I don’t believe there will be a John Wick movie that breaks the consistency of quality the first three have demonstrated until I see John Wick retire to the countryside with his dog. John Wick 3 suffers from, as did John Wick 2 and Avengers: Infinity War, feeling like a set-piece for the ultimate climax. There are also some nitpicks which could be made regarding the film’s realism, but honestly, who cares?
John Wick: Parabellum is awesome. It’s balls to the wall entertainment and the most beautiful violence you’ll see on the big screen, so if you have the stomach for it and have seen the first two, go see it. 8.5/10.