John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

The hunter becomes hunted in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum. After the events of chapter 2, (Spoiler Alert) John is on the run from ‘The High Table’, the organisation that runs a secret league of assassins, that once employed him. They’ve put a $14 million bounty on is head and, well, they’re just not very happy, to say the least. Can John escape? How can he possibly survive? Does the dog get killed? (No they can’t possibly do that again, can they?) Is John Wick 3 the best of the franchise?

Keanu Reeves is fantastic as the stoic action machine John Wick and once again he puts his all into the action sequences that will have you audibly gasping as he disposed of numerous bad guys. The action scenes are beautifully captured and choreographed by director Chad Stahelski. And, his long takes help the viewer to keep track of the brutal carnage unfolding before them.

Joining Reeves on screen is Halle Berry as Wick’s friend and fellow assassin Sofia. Berry is great in the action scenes and definitely holds her own but I found her delivery of lines just fell flat for me, tell me again how she won an Oscar?? Plus I found her whole involvement in the narrative seems a little contrived. It is cool to see a female assassin with two attack dogs bite people in the balls though. I must give an honourable mention too for Mark Dacascos as Zero, the main assassin. He brought some much need comedic relief towards the end of the film.

With all the world building that has happened in the last film, John Wick 3 now feels more like a comic- book film series than previous outings. We’ve had the origins story, we know the universe we’re in and now it’s time for some mega battles. They’ve definitely upped the action in this film and I really enjoyed the first half with some many new version of ‘Fu’ being used; book-fu, horse-fu and my favourite knife-fu, just wait until you see that sequence! However,  I did begin to have Fu-fatigue towards the third act, feeling I needed a more of an emotive narrative.

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum lacks the emotional weight and charm of the first movie but improves on the action of the second. If you want an unrelenting but fun action-packed melee of death then this is the film for you.

Reviewed by Ian Wright.