Monday, May 20, 2019

[Review] John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum

Yeah, I’m thinking he’s back. And he has not disappointed. The legendary Keanu Reeves suits up again as iconic hitman John Wick for John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum. This gloriously cutthroat entry is everything you could want and more out of a John Wick flick, solidifying this series as one of the best  action spectacles to ever grace the big screen. 

The plot picks right up where Chapter 2 left off — John Wick has been declared “excommunicado” by The High Table of assassins, and there’s a $14 million (and rising) bounty on his head. The guy just wants to preserve his wife’s memory and spend time with his dog, but he can’t walk five feet without someone attempting to put a bullet in his head. 

While Chapter 2 was symbolically set in a perpetual purgatory, here John Wick finds himself in the depths of a brutal hellscape, punching, stabbing, and shooting his way through a dark and fiery underworld as he grapples with critical dilemmas, juggles souls, and makes deals with devils. The film’s combat sequences are like fist-pumping rushes of adrenaline. We get to witness a rumble in a library where Wick breaks someone’s neck over the spine of a book, a frenetic knife-flinging fight at an antique museum, and an exhilarating chase scene through the city streets where Wick fires off shots while riding a fucking horse. 

The cinematography is consistently exquisite, presenting the brawls and mayhem as high art that is as elegant and classy as it is visceral and merciless. Much of the stylishly and intricately choreographed fights are set against hypnotically vibrant backdrops that make you say wow — or more frankly — holy shit. Claps and laughs frequently erupted from the audience during my screening.

Keanu Reeves once again gives another impressively physical and introspective performance as a haunted and trapped man who just so happens to be extremely good at laying people to waste. Out of all three films, he has the least dialogue here, and it works remarkably well because his actions do all the talking. There are also some great supporting performances from Ian McShane and, Lance Reddick, and Laurence Fishburne. Even a fully-game Halle Berry joins in on the madness. 

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum is an opera of havoc. A symphony of bedlam. A storm of fury. By the time the film’s last line was uttered and the picture cut to the credits, my wife and I immediately stood up and applauded.

Will John Wick be back again? I’d say the odds are about even. Actually... It’s a YEAH.

* 10/10 *

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