John Wick 3: Parabellum
In Cinemas Now
Every action has consequences.
Keanu, writer Derek Kolstad and director Chad Stahelski return for the third installment in the neo-noir action thriller series, with Halle Berry and Anjelica Huston joining the cast.
John Wick (Reeves) is on the run for two reasons: he’s being hunted for a global $14 million dollar open contract on his life, and for breaking a central rule: taking a life on Continental Hotel grounds. John should have already been executed, except the Continental’s manager, Winston, has given him a one-hour grace period before he's “Excommunicado” – membership revoked, banned from all services and cut off from other members. John uses the service industry to stay alive as he fights and kills his way out of New York City.
- Bay Of Plenty
- Hawke's Bay
- Nelson-Tasman Bay
- Taupo-Central Plateau
- West Coast
- Trailer 2
- Taxi Clip
- Featurette: Training for John Wick
- Featurette: Art of Action
- Featurette: The Continental in Action
- Chad Stahelski('John Wick', 'John Wick: Chapter 2')
Rating: R16 Graphic violence & offensive language
The best R-rated American action movie franchise of recent years has delivered the goods again. John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum is not the best of the series so far, but it's still miles ahead of pretty much anything else. While there may be less headshots in this third outing, the inventiveness has been notched up and it's a bloody good time.
The mythology of the Continental Hotel and High Table is further expanded, with more decorative coins, crucifixes and other meaningful trinkets getting handed out. The humour in just how chivalrous the murder industry players are is growing a little thin, but if you buy into the assassin universe of these movies you'll dig its expansion here.
Of course, the comic book-esque world-building of the John Wick movies is just part of their appeal. They're primarily beloved for the virtuoso action direction and Parabellum does not disappoint on this front—but it also doesn't raise the bar quite enough.
Rest assured, there's some blade-based combat early on that has a very, very good chance of being the greatest fight scene of 2019. Things get dazzling and complicated as John Wick joins forces with Halle Berry and two amazing attack dogs to take out a large bunch of baddies. When those canines get to work, it's seriously thrilling, and they come after we've already enjoyed the sh-t out of seeing John Wick triggering horses to kick some foes to death.
Later on, however, the third act fights aren't quite as climactic as they should be. The first two films worked themselves up into orgiastic frenzies of gun-fu, whereas Parabellum goes more for big showdowns of fists and swords, along with a fun gun battle against a very heavily armoured squad. These are great, but not the next-level brilliance the film should've ended on.
Like Chapter 2 did a couple of years back, Parabellum ends abruptly with a tease for the next movie. Somehow that's not frustrating as it would be in other properties—indeed, I'm already very excited for how they top everything in Chapter 4.
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John Wick still lives
Filled with action, revenge, a purpose I can't fault this movie or series. Keanu Reeves has delivered again. Literally can't wait till the 4th is released in 2020
The first act alone is worth the price of admission
John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum. That title alone is a mouthful, and it's a pretty reasonable example of what to expect from the film. You get your John Wick, but you get a lot more along with it, and whether that is a good or bad thing will be a polarizing talking point.
The film starts off incredibly strongly. Taking place near enough immediately after the previous film John Wick: Chapter 2, we watch as Wick makes the most of his final moments before he gets excommunicated and every single assassin comes after the bounty on his head. There is certainly very minimal setup, so it's imperative that you have seen the prior two films. The previous storylines are hinted at and mentioned throughout the film, but not necessarily in the first act.
The first 30 minutes of the film provides everything that we have come to love about the John Wick franchise; creative and tight fight choreography, a lot of head shots, and all shot with some pretty steady camera shots. Admittedly, there is a fair amount of quick edits to make some scenes look a little more exciting, but in general, the film has some genuinely well-directed fights. Almost reaching hyperviolence at times, you will find yourself physically wincing and audibly gasping at times as the speed and location of the strikes, combined with the sheer volume of the sound effects creates incredibly immersive moments.
They must have had a sale on panes of glass. That's all I'll say about that.
The immersive style works brilliantly thanks to some imaginative cinematography and set design, with some environments almost coming across like a shooter videogame, though much to my disdain, the sets started to lose clarity as the film progressed, spending more time in dark and murky areas.
The one aspect that has remained constant through the Wick franchise, is the importance of canines to the story, and Parabellum is no different. The third chapter in the franchise and we have three dogs, two of them playing an active part in the story (granted, it's two dog characters; they actually used 10 different dogs for filming), finally getting their moment of vengeance. Dogs are not often involved in fight scenes, so they added an extra layer that really kept the excitement going.
But that is where the scope of the film starts to change. A lot of time and effort goes into expanding upon the lore of the Wick universe and while it provides some interesting peeks into John Wick's backstory, as a whole, the film becomes over-encumbered as it tries to bring in character after character to spout off exposition and force Wick to go from one location to the next. It feels like lazy writing, and while many of the environments are visually gorgeous and vibrant, with vivid lighting, their inclusion in the film feels more like superficial filler, force-feeding the audience the theme of "consequences" every few minutes.
It's important to note that Parabellum does not bring all of the story arcs to an end. There is still more story remaining, and I mention this purely because as an audience member you can tell when things still remain unfinished. I had gone into this film thinking that Parabellum was the final piece of a trilogy, and began to question how long the film was, as it felt like it could go for another hour despite being well past the two-hour mark.
You can expect to see appearances from your favourite characters in the franchise, from Laurence Fishburne, to Ian McShane and Lance Reddick.
John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum has such a strong start that I would recommend checking it out in a theatre just for the first 30 minutes alone. Action-packed and visually stunning, it draws you in right from the start. It does struggle to maintain that momentum throughout the second and third acts, however, as it tries a little too hard when expanding the lore, and forcing yet another sequel. Still, it was entertaining and nowhere near a bore, but it doesn't have the same intensity and direction its predecessors had.
Action, action, action.
John Wick 3 gives Keanu Reeves the trilogy he deserves (despite news of John Wick 4).
Parabellum follows John Wick after gunning down a member of the High Table, resulting in being Excommunicado. We see John on the run - fighting off assassins where ever he goes.
The film is filled with intense and immersive action sequences, all choreographed in different ways to keep the audience on their feet. There are moments where certain assassins could have easily attacked John which bothered me a bit, but I was still hooked on. Every fight sequence has its own flare from books, knives, and dogs, this truly highlights what John is capable off.
The storyline is simple and isn't as emotionally captivating compared to the 1st film so it is a bit overshadowed by the actual action sequences overall, but is enjoyable to watch none the less. The villains and tests that John must face aren't as threatening just cause it's already been established that John can kill anyone however, you can really see how much he had to fight and persevere from beginning to the end of the movie.
Other than Keanu Reeves being amazing as expected. The supporting characters had their shining moments too. Although Halle Berry isn't in the movie as much as you would think, she truly shows how capable she is on being on the same level as John, and also how adorable and fearless the dogs are.
'Charo' played by Lance Reddick, showed a side of his character we've never seen before but still remained his true self on why I love his character so much.
Also, new character Zero played by Mark Dacascos was a nice addition where you can see him switch from certain personas which added a nice touch of humour.
Overall, the John Wick films are one of the most visually captivating actions films in this current point in time. If you truly love action then this won't dissapoint because this movie is all about that.
Keanu Reeves is yet again in his element and all the hard work he put into this film pays off.