John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019)

“Guns. Lots of guns.”“Guns. Lots of guns.”

“Guns. Lots of guns.”

Really John, all of this for a puppy? Don’t get me wrong I totally get it, I would do the same thing if I were in your position. This time the boogeyman is on the defensive and he still manages to kill everything that gets in his way, including an army. His reputation precedes him and only seems to get larger along with his body count. Its amazing the outcry for more John Wick as we got a quality trilogy within 5 years. Its amazing to me the amount of success this franchise has had, and it feels like they are just getting started.

When I say a quality trilogy I mean the utmost quality as each film builds on the others success and gets better than the previous. John Wick is one of the best trilogies of the last decade, period. One of the best things about these films is the low budget they carry and the box office success each film brings. Parabellum was the first John Wick film I saw in theaters as the hype I’ve heard about these film had me craving to catch up. Don’t ask why, I always seem to be playing catch up with certain franchises.

Picking up where the previous film leaves off, John’s excommunicado is taking effect in an hours’ time. About 30 minutes has elapsed as John is on his way to the New York public library. He pays a taxi to get his dog to the concierge at The Continental safely. John gets to the library safely with 20 minutes left where he gets some supplies from a Russian book and a fellow assassin Earnest who makes his presence known. Earnest breaks the rule – attacking John before excommunicado takes effect. John kills Earnest and makes it to a doctor who fixes his fresh wound while excommunicado finally takes effect.

The price on John’s head is 14 million dollars. John shoots the doctor twice to stage a fight and goes on the run. He immediately encounters two groups of assassins one after the other and kills all of them in a unique fashion. John makes it to a theater where he meets with the director of the Ruska Roma where he presents the crucifix for safe passage out of New York. John is granted passage to Casablanca, Morocco at the risk of going against the high table. An Adjudicator of the high table visits the Continental to meet with Winston and with the Bowery King to punish them for aiding John in killing Santino D’Antonio.

In Casablanca, John (Keanu Reeves) meets with a former friend Sofia (Halle Berry) who now is a manager of the Moroccan Continental. He presents her with a marker with her blood print, seeking her aid as she owes him for helping her daughter. John seeks to speak to the elder, the one and only person above the high table. Sofia, and her two German shepherds take John to her former boss Berrada (Jerome Flynn). Berrada tells John how to find the elder and in exchange askes Sofia for one of her dogs. She denies the request, injures Berrada and John and Sofia shoot their way out of the Kasbah.

Sofia takes John to the desert and leaves him to walk until he collapses. Upon collapsing, John gets taken to the elder (Saïd Taghmaoui). The Adjudicator (Asia Kate Dillon) hires Zero (Mark Dacascos) and his students to punish the director by stabbing her through the hands. Zero and his students than pay a visit to The Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne) and administers his punishment of seven slashes. John states that he wishes to live to honor the memory of his wife. The elder agrees on the condition that John unretires and does the bidding of the high table for the remainder of his life. John also has to kill Winston (Ian McShane) to prove his service to the high table.

John offers his wedding ring to the elder cutting his finger clean off as penance. John returns to New York and is greeted by Zero and his students by an attack before making it to the safety of the Continental. The concierge welcomes John in to meet with Winston where John refuses to kill Winston and Winston declines to give up his position either. The Adjudicator deconsecrates the Continental invalidating the rules that make the Continental neutral grounds to assassins. The Adjudicator informs Zero and calls for backup of heavily armored assassins to kill John and Winston. Winston defends John and seeks the backup of Charon (Lance Reddick).

John gets ambushed by Zero and his students after clearing out the hotel. John kills two and injures two as the fight with the latter is more respectful. John confronts zero and eventually fatally kills him. The Adjudicator asks to parley with Winston where Winston offers his fealty to the high table by shooting John off the roof of the Continental. John’s body gets quickly picked up and delivered to the Bowery King who is pissed off at the high table and swears revenge with John agreeing.

We asked, they delivered to us the best the franchise had to offer, so far. Coming right off the heels of John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, Parabellum doesn’t miss a beat. This film literally picks up 10 minutes after the previous leaves off. Parabellum has the same gusto the first film has – a grounded story, action that moves the plot forward and a character we want to see just be an utter badass. This franchise is formulaic and its not a bad thing at all, in fact it works for these films, it draws us into this world of super assassins as if this were real life like we can see John Wick running in the middle of Times Square. Each film expands to new places, we meet new people with different morale’s and motivation’s, yet the film isn’t bigger than it looks.

Its grounded, it’s real, its gritty, it’s a fantasy. Who doesn’t wish they had the pinpoint accuracy, or the fighting skills John has? I know I do, but that comes with consequences and I love that theme for this film. Actions and the consequences those actions bring. John isn’t immune to the consequences though his reputation proceeds him. I’d imagine its impossible to have a secret organization of super assassins without having checks and balances. People are excited to go against him, to test their skills against the reputation of the Boogeyman. Spoiler alert, John has that reputation for a reason. He doesn’t lose. He’s cold and calculated yet he has sympathy and he feels he has a duty to stand up for those cannot fight. He’s a good man who just wants to honor what he fights for the most, his wife. It’s more than just a puppy.

I can honestly say this is my favorite of the trilogy. Normally the second film in a trilogy is the best one (Terminator 2, Spider-Man 2, The Dark Knight) but this franchise is different. The expansion casts a wider net and the mythology grows. We learn more about Johns past, albeit a taste when he visits the director and teams up with Sofia. These films, no matter how many come out, make you want more. Even if John Wick dies, I still want to explore this world that he grew up in and the possibilities are endless.

This film offers up the best camera work we’ve seen in the franchise (lets be real, the camera work is spectacular throughout the trilogy) especially with those killer action sequences when John is on horseback, when he is on the bike and during the fight in Casablanca. The cast and crew seem to step their game up even more than we thought was possible – they make it look incredibly smooth and easy.

The choreography as beautiful as it was gets better. John is lethal and its difficult at times to tell where Keanu stops, and John begins. They are the same person when he’s kicking ass. I puzzles me to this day that this franchise isn’t bigger than it is. The supporting cast delivers as the casting for these films reminds me of how the MCU has been casted – spot on with every role. Halle Berry is a badass and if you didn’t think that before, you better start paying attention. I love that throwback to the first film when Her dog gets shot and John so eloquently says “I understand”. It’s brilliant. Same with the Matrix throwback with the guns line (See quote at the top). This world is aware of itself and one of the best things about this franchise is even with all these bodies piling up at the expense of a puppy, no one is really phased by it. It’s somewhat comical how oblivious people are to this not so secret society of super assassins. They give us a trilogy and still I’m shouting from the rooftops take my money and give me MORE! If I were to rate John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, I’d rate it a 5 out of 5, its perfect.

So, tell me guys, have you seen John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum and if so, what do you think about it? Do you agree or disagree with me? Comment below or send me an email and let me know what you think.

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum is directed by Chad Stahelski is Rated R and has an 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum was released on May 22nd, 2019 and has a runtime of 2 hours and 10 minutes. John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum can be bought online by retailers including Vudu, Amazon, Google and Itunes.

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