John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum movie poster

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum

In theaters May 17, 2019



131 minutes

Directed by:

Starring: , , , ,

Starring Keanu Reeves as the titular incensed super-assassin and continuing exactly at the moment the second installment ends is the latest entry in the John Wick series, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum. If not for it’s highly entertaining fight choreography, breathtaking gun and knife battles, and frankly Reeves himself, this rather anemic story might have derailed out-of-the-gate. But it continues to excel at those highlights making this third chapter a thrilling, if not exhausting, hyper-violent roller coaster ride.

The seemingly indestructible Wick finds himself deep in a hole and the target of every professional hitman when he broke the no-kill rule of The Continental Hotel in the previous film. If you can remember (or if I may bring you up to speed), the Continental’s manager Winston (Ian McShane) gave John exactly one hour to get the hell outta Dodge before placing a $14 million prize on his head, after Wick murdered a fellow member of “The High Table” assassin’s league on peaceful grounds. John Wick is essentially “excommunicado” and marked for dead.

A hefty bounty is enough to activate every assassin in the World, making this the deadliest installment in the series.

The rigid rules of “The High Table” means that you must not get caught helping the banished soul, or you too will be met with retribution by an adjudicator, in this case, played by Asia Kate Dillon in rousing fashion. Her dispute is with Winston, the Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne) and a Belarusian ballet choreographer named The Director (Anjelica Huston), who all have some hand in assisting Wick with his escape from New York. She activates Zero (Marc Dacascos), a deadly ninja, and his team, to dole out justice to those accused of displeasing “The High Table.”

Wick, having escaped the claustrophobic streets of the Big Apple, makes his way to Sofia (Halle Berry) and her pair of attack dogs, an old colleague and equally capable assassin, for help in finding the leader of “The High Table” to beg forgiveness. *Those dogs tho!* But for John to survive this ordeal, the assassins guild requires him to dispatch Winston. John obliges the request and returns to NYC for one last job, but as the film’s title goes, Parabellum is latin for “if there’s to be peace, there must first be war.”

Make no mistake, the John Wick story was always grasping straws, searching for ways to stretch the franchise for another payday. Parabellum isn’t any different. But character motivations be-damned, these movies don’t look to the story to sell tickets. John Wick is about the gun battles and the bloody fights, and watching Wick dispatch countless henchmen in his black suit and tie. And here it delivers in spades, exhausting exhausting spades. Give credit to stuntman-turned-director Chad Stahelsk and his film’s self-awareness – The Wick movies make no apologies for what they are, action spectacles that have us viewers hanging on the edge of our seats, devouring popcorn and pop, and at the end of the night, going home with a big smile. This one’s worth checking out.

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: Chris Giroux
Chris Giroux is founder and editor-in-charge at Movie Reelist, an entertainment news and review blog serving the most fanatic moviegoers. Chris started his publication in Detroit in 2010 and has since reviewed hundreds of films and interviewed numerous talent across the country. He is an avid film festival attendee and red carpet photographer, having shot the likes of Steven Spielberg, Bill Murray, Mark Hamill, and more. Chris grew up in New Mexico, where he studied mass media writing while working in post-production and multimedia authoring. It is also where he discovered Big Trouble in Little China and Escape from New York, resulting in an unhealthy Kurt Russell obsession.

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