* A spoiler free review.
Ah the John Wick franchise, it’s amazing how the little film that could grew into the franchise it is today. I remember back in 2014 when seeing the original how anyone who was an action fan had to drop everything and SEE THIS FILM. Cut to the 2017 entry and stakes were upped dramatically.
John Wick: Chapter 3- Parabellum deals with the complete fallout over the ending of Chapter 2: with John being ostracized by the shadowy criminal organization. Questions that arose are answered in this entry rather quickly.
Keanu Reeves delivers yet another damn fine performance as Jonathan as he goes thru a gauntlet of foes to achieve some way to end the horrible predicament he’s in, while also honoring the memory of his late wife.
Once again, instead of going the simple route of rinse and repeat bait some sequels are guilty of, the John Wick franchise decides to build on each movie. Giving us new lore, new characters, and situations for these characters to deal with and new worlds we’re allowed to see. As yet again, we get more glorious lore out of this franchise.
In this entry we get four new characters with damn fine performances by Halle Berry (who are we going to get more of, it feels almost as if we could get a spin-off of her character, and I’d be all for that given all the set-up she is given here). Angelica Huston (who’s character surprised the hell out of me given I figured it be going in another direction with her character), Asia Kate Dillon (playing the bastard role you want to see get royal comeuppance to perfection), and Mark Dacascos (playing the film’s primary antagonist, who’s also having the time of his absolute life in this film).
Then there were the surprises that I had no idea who’d be in this film, and they were welcome ones. But really of the new characters, the highlights are Halle Berry’s Sofia and Dacascos’ Zero, both of whom add some dimension to the world of John Wick. Dacarscos’ performance is so good I almost want to pop in something of his, but literally I only have reruns of Iron Chef to work with. This is his glorious return to a genre and damn was it fine seeing him revel in it.
Old stand-byes Ian McShane, Lance Reddick, and Laurence Fishburne continue to own the screen whenever they’re in a scene. I’m so glad after the utter waste he was put in with Hellboy that once again this franchise shows how you use a performance from Ian McShane.
So with all these top tier actors known for action, this latest entry delivers yet again on the action. With some rather batshit insane, but glorious sequences that put basically anything that dares call itself an action film these days to shame. This movie revels in it’s glorious violence as it should. I really don’t even know which particular sequence in this one is my absolute favorite because there are so many finely crafted scenes in this. Every action has a consequence indeed.
The thing is though there are two little nitpicks I have with the film. The first being it retcons the ending of Chapter Two slightly. I get that for any “new” viewer they would need this sort of thing. Unless of course John has two items of this same object on his person. The one from this movie, and the one he still has from Chapter Two. I’m gonna go out there and say they were the same item. Which begs the question why the retcon then when it’s shown at the end of Chapter 2 being given to him?
As for the second nitpick it’s basically the ending. Well, the first ending we get. I wasn’t much fond of it at all, I mean it is poetic in a way, but it just felt rather anti-climatic after all we were invested in with the climax. Thankfully, that’s changed when we get the greatest product placement of all time, and the actual end of the movie.
Still, this film and the entire franchise is just a masterclass of action. Each scene is beautiful staged and choreographed. The actors play their parts to perfection. So in truth, how am I to begrudge them for that? After all, I don’t wish to upset Baba Yaga.
4 out of 5