John Wick was one of those suprirse franchises. I went into the first film with low expectations…and had a great time with a basic revenge action film. I was sure that John Wick Chapter 2 would be the failed follow up and instead it turned out to be even a little better than the first.
So, does John Wick 3: Parabellum keep the momentum?
For the most part? A big yes.
Picking up directly on the heels of Chapter 2, there is a bounty put on Wick’s head and he is essentially excommunicated from the elite assassin community he had originally sought to get out of in the first place. But now it is a matter of survival. And Wick plans to go to the top. But his situation now means he cannot get any help from the support network he has had access to previously. This puts him in a situation where he spends much of the first act without guns.
But then, this is the trick of John Wick. Anything is a weapon in the hands of John Wick…anything. Take away the simplest and most obvious weapons? He will figure it out.
The weakest part of the film is that the film does not expand on the existing mythology in a way that is terribly interesting. The auditor who arrives to hold everyone who has helped Wick to account is okay, but I found the people above her less impressive.
On the other hand, the assassin fights are a lot of fun. And Mark Dacascos is highly entertaining as Wick’s direct opponent during the third act. The action choreography is a wild watch, especially some of the earliest confrontations.
The casting of these films is impressive. Every character, even the most minor, feel like the actor was cast with a serious intent. And the new additions, such as Halle Barry, are great.
One of the things that make the Wick films so enjoyable is that the action is pretty easy to follow. The fact that all three films were directed by Chad Stahelski is a strong argument for keeping a single visionary at the helm for a franchise. While not quite as good as John Wick Chapter 2, this film is a strong follow up that means the franchise has yet to truly falter.
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