Three films later and John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is still trying to escape the life of being an assassin. This seemingly impossible task is complicated further in John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum as he is “Excommunicado,” meaning he has a four-hour head start to flee from New York with a $14 million bounty on his head.
Following on only ten minutes from the previous film, we are once again thrown into the beautiful yet violent world where everyone turns a blind eye to the criminal network of assassins.
The film is brutal, not only in the graphic sense, but with the diverse range of violence. The fight scenes are particularly impressive due to superb SFX work, and stunning choreography that takes place in unique combat locations. Weapons are often whatever object or even animal happens to be at the scene, as opposed to just guns and fists: It is very useful that Wick finds himself fighting adversaries in an antique weapon museum… If you enjoyed the epic gun-fu of the previous John Wick films, be prepared for the even more impressive book-fu, horse-fu and dog-fu, as director Chad Stahelski gets even more creative with the combat.
This is not surprising from a director who is primarily a stuntman, he was Reeves’ stunt double in The Matrix. Furthermore, the light levels allow the spectacular choreography to be seen, as opposed to the incomprehensible dark mess of fists and grunting seen in other action franchises.
The film is also striking with its neo-noir aesthetic and sharply dressed characters, however it is debatable whether being visually stunning excuses the bad dialogue. It is a blessing that Keanu Reeves only has a few lines, as the tone is often ruined by his delivery sounding very much like his comic character in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989). Moreover Zero (Mark Dacascos), one of Wick’s many antagonists, has terrible lines throughout the film that are trying to be funny, but in the end just fall flat.
Still, the John Wick series aims for aesthetics over substance, hence why it doesn’t explain much of the interesting lore of the underworld society. The fact that it would be impossible for Wick to survive in a world where every other person and their dog are out for his blood doesn’t matter, but that’s not the point. Instead, we get a gloriously violent film that leaves fans excited for the next instalment.
Image Credit: Kgbo via Wikipedia