John Wick and the highly stylized world of suave assassins and sophisticated murderers have not lost their appeal yet! Actually, the deep lore of this universe is ripe for the picking in future instalments of the franchise. Needless to say that John Wick Chapter 3 is not a dramatic movie with a touching story, but a purely entertaining experience with new genre-defining standards for stunt work.
The movie picks up mere minutes after the previous chapter with John Wick (Keanu Reeves) on the run from all the assassins in New York - who are interestingly a significant portion of NYC's population. Winston (played by the incomparable Ian McShane), the manager of the Continental Hotel in New York, declared John exocmmunicado from the guild, but gave him an hour head start. Once the grace period is up, a bounty of $14 million is placed on his head and goes up by the hour. John reaches out to different factions of the guild, who all still operate under the supervision of the High Table, and cashes in all the favours they owe him in an attempt to buy in more time...
As I mentioned, it is not a deep story and can be simply summarized as 'John Wick fights to save his life'. But the visual spectacle of Keanu Reeves going through hordes and hordes of increasingly tougher enemies is a sight to behold. Very much like Mad Max: The Fury Road, it is a cinematic experience that needs to be seen on the big screen. Stories of John Wick and Mad Max may not make the best and most rewarding reading material, but they saturate your visual sensory channels in the most pleasing way!
My two minor gripes with John Wick Chapter 3 - Parabellum are the following: i) John's reason for wanting to stay alive was thin and was not really necessary to express in the first place, and ii) some of the fights in the last act dragged on for a little too long and desensitized me to the stylized violence - maybe it was just too much of a good thing... But these two minor issues aside, John Wick chapter 3 "has served and it will be of service" to the fans of the genre.
Hats off to Keanu Reeves for his dedication to the craft, and Chad Stahelski - the director - for the magnificent visual experience. Despite minor flaws, it was a 10/10 for me.
Si vis pacem, para bellum!
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