Movie Reviews

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum is an action fanboy’s wet dream

John Wick is back in a third instalment, that sees the fabled bogeyman on the end of a 14-million-dollar bounty and on the run from the worldwide assassin community after shooting somebody on Continental (basically a hotel for hitmen) grounds. The film begins with Wick and his dog slinking through New York city, attempting to avoid the apparently hundreds of killers that are hot on his trail and follows his exploits as he tries to overturn the bounty.

I haven’t minded the John Wick films. The first one was great with its simplicity: they killed his dog, so he’s coming for them. But it was that simple, cliched revenge storyline that kept it from being a great film for me. I was, however, more interested in the hitman underworld that they were setting up. Chapter 2 went into this a bit more, but it’s here in Chapter 3 that we really get to dig into the nitty gritty of it. We learn more about the Continental, and how there are many all over the world, and the hierarchy, with more about the High Table (a small group that is basically in charge of the assassins) and the power they wield. I love all this stuff, and it’s what keeps bringing me back.

Wick Continental

But what isn’t really pulling me in, is our lead. I think it’s time for everybody to admit that Keanu Reeves really isn’t a good actor. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of the guy and his work on the Matrix and Point Break, but god damn, he is wooden as hell. Lines feel really disjointed and forced, so I prefer when he doesn’t talk. He does look badass, but he really doesn’t embody this bogeyman persona that the rest of the world sees in him. In fact, it’s the performers around him and their reactions to the character that really set up this tough, no nonsense hitman image, rather than Reeves himself.

Wick Rain

But we don’t turn up to a movie like this for the sterling performances, we turn up for the ACTION! More specifically, the Gun Fu. Don’t worry, there is plenty of that here, and man, they have taken it way beyond even the next level. The action sequences are AWESOME. Dynamic knife fights, fights on a horse, fights on a motorbike, fights with dogs, everything to fulfil a teenage fanboy’s wet dream.

Wick Horse

But there are maybe five fights too many. By the end it was kinda just more of the same, and I was starting to zone out. I respect Keanu Reeves for what the guy can do physically. The man is a white belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, but he is again bettered by those around him. He feels slow and the choregraphy rears its ugly head whenever he is throwing a punch or setting up for the next move in the sequence. But the Gun Fu is on point.

Wick Fighter

This is the best John Wick yet, and I will be lining up for the inevitable Chapter 4, even if the lead isn’t the best of actors. I mean I’m a lifelong Schwarzenegger fan, so it hasn’t stopped me before!

3.5/5 Good Watch

John Wick: Chapter 3: Parabellum is in cinemas now.

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