John Wick Chapter 3 – Parabellum
The third chapter begins immediately where the second left off. Our protagonist is wounded and on the run through the streets of New York. Chased by the world’s most skilled assassins, the film begins at a breakneck pace and doesn’t really let up at all throughout. This is to be expected from this franchise by now, it’s action schlock, but it’s well executed action schlock.
The extent to which Keanu Reeves is willing to go in order to keep the film authentic and fresh is astonishing. The set pieces are exhilarating to witness, constantly one-upping themselves. Staged more like silent movie scenes than a typical action affair. It’s all choreographed so succinctly it’s frankly awe-inspiring to witness. A particular action scene cut along to a performance of a ballet stood out particularly to me. The careful attention to detail of a ballet dancer being reflected by the dance-like action set pieces. This movie expands upon the John Wick universe hinting at a much higher regime than what was present previously, but still very much keeping its cards to its chest.
Halle Berry and her carnivorous canines are a welcome addition to the series; her character has a particularly captivating set piece in Casablanca.
It’s easy to forget that this is the first John Wick film that she’s been in, as she fits into the order of things exceptionally well. As does Asia Kate Dillon as the ominous wrathful adjudicator of the high table.
Everything moves together like a finely oiled machine, like if Wes Anderson was to direct an action movie. One of the main things that put this franchise above and beyond the likes of other action movies is the cinematography and the editing. There isn’t a cut every half second, or nonsensically placed shaky cam. It is all shot with minimal cuts which makes every blow all the more hard-hitting, allowing you to admire the precision present in the choreography.
This movie isn’t for everyone, and if you didn’t like the first two chapters then you’re not going to be converted by this one (Also why are you reading this?). If you liked John Wick already then you know what you’re in for, and there’s an awful lot of that to love.