If you want to see people getting killed in numerous thrilling and optically pleasing ways and if you’ve been following John Wick since the killing of his cute little puppy in the first episode in 2014, you’ll enjoy John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019), directed by Chard Stahelski and written by…well, it is irrelevant who wrote this movie as dialogue has little impact on the movie’s outcomes.
Keanu Reeves returns in the title role and kills his way through to the last scene. If you are looking for an involved plot and storyline, high emotional drama, romantic interludes, or even shocking endings, this is not the movie for you. This kick’em, fight’em, kill’em flick is just that, nothing more.
For those who do not know of this series, super-assassin John Wick (Reeves) is on the run after killing an annoying member of an international assassin's guild called the high table, and has a $14 million price tag on his head that all hitmen and women in the world want to earn.
While I was watching it, my daughter kept reminding me that even though the first John Wick movie was in 2014 and the second in 2017, only a week or so has passed in the Wick-world, placing us in a short time frame for this 2019 edition. FYI - You really will not ‘get’ the tiny thread of a plot if you have not seen (or read the summaries of) the previous two movies. You won’t understand the ‘consecrated zones’ like the Continental Hotel or what being ‘ex-communicado’ means, the gold coins being flashed everywhere, the bullet-proof suit, or why Wick is running for his life and killing people throughout the whole movie.
The stage has been set for an eventual John Wick, episode four. And why not? I thought the movie honest – it is what it is. It is thrilling, uncomplicated and entertaining though it is testosterone-oriented with all the big guns, slashing knives and judo/karate stuff. To keep the juices flowing (and the blood) in the next episode of the movie, the challenge for the producers will be to find more innovative ways for John Wick to kill people.
As a lover of the TV show, Iron Chef America, I was delighted to see ‘The Chairman’ playing the role of a slightly psychotic top notch Asian assassin (Zero) given the job of punishing everyone who helped John Wick in the 2014 and 2017 movies and then to chase down the great killer Wick himself. What I didn’t like was that the writers gave him lines just like an autograph-seeking juvenile. That was weird.
I enjoyed seeing my girl Halle Berry (Sofia) as a kick-ass Casablanca manager of yet another consecrated area for professional killers. I wish they hadn’t played down her beauty in terms of her costuming and make-up. Let us see her 50 year-old sexiness and fighting prowess at the same time. Her dogs were great! I believe that anyone in that crime-controlled Wick-world should now know better than to mess with people’s dogs.
Other than Halle, there are other big name side stars interacting with John Wick (whom we now learn is actually Ukrainian by birth). We see Laurence Fishburne again as the Beggar King and now we see an aging Angelica Huston as a Russian, ballet-loving, eccentric mafia head diva and the actor who played ‘Bron’ in GoT as Halle Berry’s old criminal boss. These were interlude parts but, I suspect we will see them again in future John Wick episodes.
According to Forbes.com, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum earned US$24.7 million in its second Fri-Sun weekend which gives the $75 million-budgeted threequel a $100 million ten-day box office (in the USA – worldwide will earn even more).