John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum: Film Review

This is the first time I’m reviewing a John Wick movie. They never really appealed to me but I felt like I should catch up due to positive word of mouth and I really enjoyed the second one, which was a step up from the first. It’s no surprise then that John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum takes it to another level once again.

The film takes place immediately after the events of Chapter Two when John Wick (Keanu Reeves) was given an hour’s headstart before a $14 million global bounty was placed on his head and he was made excommunicado for breaking the rules by killing in the grounds of the Contentinal. The film follows him trying to escape New York and find ways to save his life.

John Wick is known for its many fight sequences. They are complex, inventive, brutal and gripping and exhilarating to watch. However, there is such a thing as too many fight scenes. I can appreciate the amount of technique and effort that went into pulling them off but they were relentless and after a while, I started to switch off. I had reached saturation point – they are exhausting to keep up with – and I was getting bored, particularly because these fights are without any real stakes or emotion and people get popped off left right and centre in a way that reminded me of a video game. My interest was invigorated with knife fights or hand to hand combat but there was too much reliance on firepower. I’m not criticising the quality, because they are impressively choreographed and very clever, but just the sheer amount of screentime given to them.

Reeves looks exhausted and knackered but that’s what Wick is supposed to be so he can get away with it. It’s hard to know how much was him and how much was his stunt double but he looked very involved, so major props to him. These must be so tiring to make. Halle Berry plays a fellow assassin named Sofia and she was awesome, but sadly not in it as much as I’d hoped. Ian McShane and Laurence Fishburne were amusing additions once again, Charon the concierge (Lance Reddick) gets more to do (finally), and Asia Kate Dillon was intriguing as the Adjudicator for The High Table.

Wick isn’t known for its stellar script and dialogue (he rarely talks!), but people don’t come for that – they are here for the mindless action and it has an overabundance of it. It outstays its welcome by about 15-20 minutes so it could have done with shaving down some fight sequences – some go on a while – or cutting a couple out altogether. Besides that, it is surprisingly funny, very entertaining and even more graphically violent than the previous outing. I genuinely enjoyed it and let out a few audible gasps and winces which is a good sign I’m sure.

In cinemas from Wednesday 15th May 

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