john wick 3: parabellum

DIRECTOR: Chad Stahelski (john wick, John wick: chapter two)
STARRING: keanu reeves, halle Berry, ian mcshane, and laurence fishburne

 

REVIEWER: lyall carter

★★★★

Super-Assassin John Wick is on the run in this latest installment. After killing a member of the international assassin’s guild, a $14 million dollar bounty is set on him.

After the commercial, critical, and cultural success of the first two John Wick films it was inevitable that it was going to spawn another film in the franchise. Boy, Mr. Wick does not let up. John Wick 3: Parabellum is a relentlessly entertaining ride. 

After gunning down a member of the High Table - the shadowy international assassin's guild -legendary hit man John Wick finds himself stripped of the organization's protective services. Now stuck with a $14 million bounty on his head, Wick must fight his way through the streets of New York as he becomes the target of the world's most ruthless killers.

One of the many narrative strengths of John Wick 3: Parabellum is its world creating abilities. Like the Bourne films before them, the first two John Wick films have created a fully believable world and in this installment we go further into it than we ever have before.

 

Which is needed because this third installment is action packed from the get go, picking up where we left John at the end of the second film. There is not as much expository dialogue in this film compared to the first two, and so the brief exposition is enough to continue to build the world and give layers and depth to the story. 

 

In the early 2000's the Bourne films completely changed the action genre for good. The John Wick films have done the same thing in the 2010's, and that new lick of paint has a real glow to it. The action is bold, brash, and bloody brilliant. Its inventive in its action set pieces and in the way in which victims are maimed and killed. There are some parts that make you wince and others that you can't help but laugh at the bloody mindedness of the whole thing. 

 

Even though I love action films, John Wick 3: Parabellum feels like, at the beginning of the third act, that its treading a fine line between just the right amount of action and action fatigue. But overall its just so, so good. 

All the returning cast led by the magnificent Keanu Reeves are superb and the addition of Halle Berry brings a breath of fresh, energetic air. 

Bold, brash, bloody brilliant. John Wick is back with the best action film of 2019.

★★★★

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John Wick 3: Parabellum is available on DVD, Blu-ray, 4KUHD and digital from all good disc and digital retailers. 

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