Movie Review: John Wick Chapter 3 Parabellum

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Movie: John Wick Chapter 3 Parabellum 

Production Companies: Summit Entertainment, Thunder Road Pictures, 87Eleven Productions 

Director: Chad Stahelski

Producers: Basil Iwanyk, Erica Lee

Scriptwriters: Derek Kolstad, Shay Hatten, Chris Collins, Marc Abrams

Main Cast: Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, Laurence Fishburne, Mark Dacascos, Asia Kate Dillion, Ian McShane, Lance Reddick, Anjelica Huston

Release Date: May 17th 2019 (US)

Running Time: 131 minutes 

Certificate: 15

Introduction 

Guess who’s back? Back again? John Wick’s back killing men. And also women but that didn’t fit quite as well with the awful segue. Anyway, with the fourth John Wick film set for release in a few weeks, why not look back at the most recent John Wick film: Parabellum? While it wasn’t quite as good as the first two it is still a blast to watch with some very good and over the top action scenes along with some customary good performances. Also, I’m reviewing this because I can’t see Cocaine Bear this weekend so why not John Wick Chapter 3 Parabellum? Anyway, without further ado here is my review of the film.

Synopsis 

John Wick Chapter 3 Parabellum picks up right after the events of John Wick Chapter 2. Because he killed High Table crime lord Santino D’Antonio on neutral ground, John (Reeves) is branded as excommunicado. Basically it means anybody can kill him for a huge reward. Naturally this forces Wick to kill even more people as he desperately fights for his life against wave after wave of assassins. But John isn’t alone in his quest to save himself. There’s also appearances from Winston, Charon and Laurence Fishburne’s Bowery King. And that’s not even mentioning an appearance from John’s former friend Sofia (Berry) and her two dogs who help him out when he goes to Morocco. Yeah clearly they ran out of people in America for John Wick to kill so they moved part of the film to Africa. Anyway, enough with the synopsis let’s get into the analysis portion of the review.

Analysis

Keanu Reeves’s Performance in John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum 

To begin my analysis of John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum, I’m going to start in the obvious place with Keanu Reeves and his performance as the titular character. So is it just as good as the first two? Simply put, yes. Yet again, Reeves manages to deliver both an emotional and action heavy performance. Take for example the scene where he’s shooting assassins on horseback while riding through traffic. Now that’s obviously a huge highlight of the action star side of the performance because Reeves has more than enough physical charisma to make this both hilarious and somewhat badass in equal measure.

Also, his chemistry with the supporting cast, particularly Winston and Sofia, really fleshes out his performance. Take for example any of the scenes where John and Sofia are together either killing people or just chatting. Honestly it’s hilarious seeing Wick killing people all while Sofia is ordering her dogs around. Also, the scene where at the end on the Contential’s rooftop between Winston and John is another example of Reeves’s great performance. 

Action Scenes in John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum 

Continuing my analysis of John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum, I’m going to discuss the film’s action scenes. Now, if we’re being honest nobody watches John Wick for the story, you watch it for the action scenes. And oh boy does John Wick Chapter 3 have some brilliant action scenes. Take for example the scene where John steals a horse and rides it down a road shooting at assassins. Now that’s already insane before the fact the road has cars on it meaning Wick is riding horseback through traffic shooting at ninjas on motorcycles.

This sort of over the top action scene is expected from the John Wick franchise and it’s just the beginning of the great action scenes. Another one of these is the climactic fight scene in the Continental Hotel. Here we see John, Winston, Charon and his students against a whole host of assassins. Now naturally this is as chaotic as you’d expect with people dropping like flies but it also serves another purpose. And that purpose is to serve to plant seeds of doubt about whether John will really kill Winston to prove his loyalty to the Council. However this never detracts from the action which is fast and furious with more headshots than your average improv comedy show. And yes in the film elsewhere, John Wick headshots someone with a horse. Why? Because that’s the standard stupid action to expect from John Wick.

Ian McShane’s Performance in John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum 

To conclude my analysis of John Wick Chapter 3 Parabellum, I’m going to discuss Ian McShane’s performance as the enigmatic Winston. So what makes his performance once again so good? Well, firstly the shocking betrayal at the end where Winston shoots John off the Continental Hotel’s rooftop. Here, Winston shows no loyalty to his friend but he does it in such a deadpan way that you don’t clock it until it’s happening. Now there’s other good moments from his performance, like the scene where he reveals that John is now excommunicado.

This is once again delivered with a lack of emotion at points, showing truly that his loyalties lie with the underworld rather than John. This is also great foreshadowing from McShane for his later betrayal of John at the climax of the film. Because simply put it plants a seed of doubt in the audience’s mind about whether Winston will continue to support John after he killed Santino. So really Ian McShane deserves a lot of credit for a very reserved yet effective performance which sets up the upcoming John Wick Chapter 4.

Summary 

To summarise John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum, this is a great third entry into the John Wick franchise. It’s got all the standard parts, like the OTT action, hilarious amount of headshots and just enough betrayal and world building, to please fans. Also, it sets up a fourth film so that’s another massive positive.

Overall Rating: 7.5/10 – Good 

Target Audience: 15+

Content Warning: Severe Violence and Gore, Moderate Profanity, Mild Alcohol Drugs and Smoking, Severe Frightening and Intense Scenes

Recommendation: Yes