John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019) | Film Review

Directed by: Chad Stahelski

Screenplay by: Derek Kolstad, Shay Hatten, Chris Collins and Marc Abrams

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Ian McShane, Laurence Fishburne, Halle Berry

Running time: 131 mins

J’s Verdict – ☆☆☆☆

When I sat down in the low-lit cinema to watch John Wick: Chapter 3, I was thinking of all the trilogies across every medium that were weaker than their previous instalments to me – Back to the Future: Part 3, The Matrix Revolutions, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, The Godfather: Part 3 — and I was concerned that this might be the time that John Wick would drop the ball after two highly entertaining and inventive movies.

Hah, I was wrong.

Chapter 3 in John Wick’s story is another highly entertaining entry in the series, starting off strong with some brutal action sequences and constantly topping itself in sequences that made the cinema I was in wince and laugh nervously.

The action is not only brutal in its sound design and violence, it is rather refreshing as well. Lengthy shots of choreography are stunning and satisfying, bringing a heft to the stakes on scene. More than that, watching these long shots and thinking on the timing of stunts to match the beats – all the while giving something new to the audience – is like watching a dance. It is downright operatic.

As John Wick, Keanu Reeves is terrific, bringing impressive physicality to the role while doing more of what we loved from the first two films – spitting exposition gruffly while on the run from everyone everywhere at all times. There’s a vulnerability to John this time around and something tells me that when all is said and done with this series, people will look back on this one as a pivotal moment in John’s story arc.

He’s backed up by an amazing supporting cast here – and there’s a lot I want to point out so bear with me. You’ve got Ian McShane as the mysterious Winston, Lance Reddick as Charon, who gets a kickass moment of his own. Anjelica Houston has a small, intriguing role which I hope will be expanded on in future sequels – and then there’s Asia Kate Dillon who is fantastic and steely as…well, a figure from the underground.

But that’s not all! Laurence Fishburne’s back! Mark Dacascos is here as a lethal – but oddly comedic – assassin – and Halle Berry is a key figure we spend time with – and my god is she a force to be reckoned with, as are her two ferocious dogs!

At 131 minutes, John Wick: Chapter 3 is the longest of the three films thus far and is cram packed full of an amazing cast, exhilarating stunts and actions and crowd-pleasing moments of violence that will leave you wincing and grinning.

My hat is off to the production here – this is one beast of a movie and the team gives each emotional beat and each action sequence everything they’ve got. Where they’ll go from here, I’ve no idea – but I’m excited and nervous all at the same time.

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