Gratuitous yet Breathtakingly Immersive Trigger-happy Actioner
If you want peace, prepare for war.
It’s a gratuitous, balls to the wall yet breathtakingly immersive trigger-happy actioner that doesn’t let up from start to finish! Like an energizer bunny, it keeps going and going, and going…Upping up the ante—topping one ridiculous scene after another with a hailstorm of bullets, ridiculous stunts and visually stunning bloodbath!
It’s been going on for three installments now (and counting) and all I can say is that Mr. Wick (Keanu Reeves) has not, or never disappoints. The wick has been lit since the first film and the flame has been steadily and fiercely burning until it ignited this bursting charge of an offering--triggering explosive action sequences like a fireworks display on the fourth of July.
‘John Wick: Chapter 3—Parabellum’ is what a third installment should be: Bigger, bolder and bloodier! Perhaps its best weapon is variety amongst the carnage. You see, watching John Wick kill scores of people for 2 straight hours can be mind-numbing when handled by a less capable director. But stuntman-turned-director Chad Stahelski understood this so he made a conscious decision to offer audiences with diversity and creative kills. Everything from killing a giant assassin with a book in a public library to employing a horse to his advantage and riding it onto the streets of New York City; the ridiculous knife throwing scene at the antique store (arguably the best action sequence in the film) to the John and Sofia (Halle Berry) tandem along with her attack dogs and then the massive final gun-fu showdown at the continental; you name it, John Wick 3 has it in full-blown, stylistically choreographed action sequences.
What sets the ‘John Wick’ franchise apart from its counterparts is its long and wide visceral shots. There’s no quick cuts or shaky camera effect here because that would be cheating. Instead, what the third installment featured were painstakingly choreographed extended action sequences that were so gracefully executed that they almost seemed like the actors were dancing to a violent beat of their own drum. It’s an exceptional feat of action choreography and something that would be hard to surpass in years to come.
Keanu Reeves was impressive as usual. He was mesmerizing to watch as he played the role of a burnout assassin masterfully. You can feel his pain, his vulnerability, but you know he’s gonna kick some major ass regardless. Halle Berry is also a great addition to the franchise along with her attack dogs. She was equal parts fierce and equal parts graceful and her dogs were so ferocious that they were always ready to bite the crotch off every henchman standing in their way. Even Mark Dacascos as Zero--the leader of a group of ninja assassins who happens to be an ultimate John Wick fan boy and was ironically out to kill him--was a joy to watch. He provided some of the most entertaining moments of the film.
In its entirety, ‘John Wick: Chapter 3-Parabellum’ is not bulletproof; especially its flimsy plot. But what it lacks in gravitas, as far as its storyline is concerned, it more than makes up for its highly technical and inventive action sequences. Parabellum is a Latin word that is often used within the context of the phrase ‘Si vis pacem, para bellum’, which translates to: ‘If you want peace, prepare for war.’ Well it goes without saying that if you want to watch John Wick: Chapter 3, you better prepare for a bloody good time!