FILM: John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019, Chad Stahelski)

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Neo-noir action-thriller John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum is distributed by Summit Entertainment. Picking up immediately where John Wick: Chapter 2 left off, John Wick (Keanu Reeves) goes on the run, after being declared “excommunicado” by his handlers at the High Table. A $14 million bounty is placed on his head and everyone wants a piece of it, so John heads to Morocco in a last-ditch effort to find help and see if there is a way to have his “excommunicado” status revoked.

PROS

  • Where the action is concerned, this is the most imaginative John Wick film to date, with John not just using weapons, but also using horses and a motorcycle to his advantage, culminating in a brilliantly surreal sequence in a glass room.
  • The action is absolutely brutal and very intense, which is no small part down to the long takes, tracking shots and close-ups by cinematographer Dan Laustsen (whose cinematography is consistently magnificent throughout the film). It is meticulously directed by Chad Stahelski and well edited by Evan Schiff.
  • A stoic and authoritative leading turn from Keanu Reeves, while the stand-out supporting performances from a large ensemble come from Ian McShane, Lance Reddick, Laurence Fishburne and Asia Kate Dillon.
  • Vivid use of gore and quite shocking injury detail, the latter of which is at its best in the moments that depict the aftermath of fights and action sequences.

CONS

  • Odd moments here and there that are style over substance, while the film’s conclusion ultimately serves to set up a fourth film (which, to be fair, would not be a bad thing if they can keep up this solid standard).
  • Several supporting characters serve solely as plot devices, with Jerome Flynn and Angelica Huston both being feeling quite shortchanged in terms of screen time.

VERDICT: 8/10

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