Film Review – John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (MA)

Directed by:

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry

Four stars

Review by: Julian Wright

It’s raining bullets, blood and a high body count. John Wick is still slicing and dicing his way to freedom in Chapter 3.

Hunted by assassins around the world with a $14 million bounty on his head, John Wick is now on the run, given a one hour head start to prepare for the fight of his life.

His quest to meet with a high ranking High Table member, to ask that his bounty be waived, takes him to Casablanca where he seeks help from former colleague Sofia (Halle Berry), who is not so pleased to see him.

Meanwhile, an adjudicator (Asia Kate Dillon) punishes everyone who helps Wick along the way.

Keeping with Hollywood tradition when it comes to franchise third installments, Parabellum leans more on the laughs, with not only the script including more quips (Wick’s fanboy opponent is comic gold), but much of the impressive and intricate fight choreography designed to elicit as many guffaws as gasps.

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The violence is also more graphic and intense, and while one gets swept up in the hypnotic ballet of bullets and hand-to-hand combat, with some choice objects used as weapons (the humble library book never looked so lethal), there seems to be a hint of a nasty streak that runs throughout this one.

Yes, Wick is fighting for his life against hundreds of the most highly trained killers, but almost emptying gun clips into opponents heads and countless vicious dog attacks to the genitalia drains a touch of the fun.

Reeves is his usual cool-as-a-cucumber self as the man of very few words. His actions speak as loud as his carefully chosen words, but there is one particularly important and well-timed scene brimming with pathos in which Wick explains why he keeps going.

Berry is impressive as Wick’s momentary and reluctant sidekick, thriving in a kick-butt role that the X-Men series failed to provide her. She leaves such a lasting mark on this film that it would be great to see her return later down the track.

There is still plenty of freshness left in this action franchise, because instead of rehashing territory it has covered previously, it continues to expand on the world it has created. And like a blood drenched soap opera, this one leaves things open for a fourth outing – another chapter that will surely be waited for with bated breath.

 

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