Film Review: John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

09:19 May 20, 2019
By: David Vicari

During an early scene in John Wick: Chapter 3-Parabellum, an image of the great silent film star Buster Keaton appears on a jumbotron. While Keaton's films were comedies, with Keaton doing his own spectacular stunts, and the John Wick films are blood-soaked action helped along by excellent fight choreography, digital trickery, and slick editing, they both are visceral and visually thrilling.

John Wick 3 has some amusing plot twists, but its most important element is the wild action. At the end of Chapter 2, bad-ass hit man John Wick (Keanu Reeves) blows away his enemy, who was a member of the assassin's guild known as the High Table. This means he was supposedly protected from Wick's wrath. Because Wick has broken the rules, a bounty is put on his head, and he must fight to get out of New York City and find a safe haven. Along the way, he gets into a fight in a library, battles it out in a historical weapons museum, and even takes off on a horse to elude motorcycle-riding assassins, all the while seeking help from allies, such as The Director (Anjelica Huston) and Sofia (Halle Berry).

The first John Wick isn't bad, but I do feel it runs out of steam in its final act. Chapters 2 and 3, however, keep speeding along, thanks to fights taking place in imaginative locations, as well as a vibrant sense of humor. The funniest aspect of Parabellum is that the main killer out to murder Wick, known as Zero (Mark Dacascos), is also Wick's "biggest fan."

I was expecting Chapter 3 to be the conclusion of a trilogy, but, as the cliffhanger ending suggests, there is going to be a Chapter 4. While I have enjoyed this series of movies so far, I'm just not sure how long they can keep it going.

*** out of four

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