John Wick 3: Parabellum is the newest installment of the John Wick Franchise, and continues where Chapter 2 left off in John’s attempt to escape his recent status of excommunicado. But as the world goes hunting for him, John must cash in favors in order to escape the hell that befalls him. John Wick Chapter 2 never excited me with its overall story. It was a bit lackluster compared to the first one, so naturally, I questioned the validity of Parabellum. However, and to my liking, Parabellum comes out swinging, creating an action film that has some of the most incredible fight sequences of recent years.
Keanu Reeves is anything but ordinary. Yes, his acting might be below par in some of his more dramatic roles, but when it comes to the action genre, Reeves is in his element. In this 3rd installment, Wick evades assassins that want to have a chance at the $14 million price on his head. The fighting sequences are epic as always. I don’t really relish in the crazy amounts of action in a film, but I never seemed to mind in this case. Compared to the prior two John Wick films, it’s easy to say that Parabellum has the best action by far. With guns, katanas, motorcycles, horses, and explosions, Parabellum delivers some of the best choreographed fight scenes. In places where the choreography and the camera work could prove daunting for the director, Parabellum makes these scenes look so fluid, never becoming stale or hard to follow. The film is beautifully shot, beautifully located, and so well versed in its direction. Those movies that rely so heavily on its action and less on the plot, tend to be a mix bag for me. The fighting can become over-saturated to the point where you’re no longer on the edge of your seat, but rather sick of the constant punches and explosions. Parabellum is action-packed, but never becomes stagnant or repetitive. There really isn’t much to complain about Parabellum, but I did find the acting, and story, not as cohesive as one may have liked.
As far acting goes, Reeves is the stand out. Not only because he’s the main character, but more so that the other actors are mostly just place holders throughout the film, which I felt added to some of the rather unnecessary parts. For those of you who are fans of Halle Berry, you do get a decent performance from her. Once again, she has taken to the action genre to show off her grit. However, there’s only so much that she could deliver with the screen time that she is given. The same goes for Anjelica Houston, whose stature and talents are thrown by the wayside as her time onscreen is few and far between. But it is difficult to examine both the depth of story, or intrigue of the characters, in an action movie. As it’s been said before, we don’t necessarily come for the acting in action movies. We come for the action, which Parabellum fully delivers.
With the success of Parabellum, Reeves has shown us that he is able to spearhead, once again, another big action franchise. Parabellum has dusted itself off after the less than perfect Chapter 2, and created an epic film. And to be completely honest, when compared to Reeves’ success in The Matrix, he has now struck success twice with the John Wick franchise compared to the single success of the original Matrix film. This is Reeves bread and butter and he continues to show us with Parabellum, that we are watching one of the greatest action stars of this generation.
John Wick 3: Parabellum
Directed by: Chad Stahelski
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, Ian McShane, Laurence Fishburne, and Anjelica Huston