The highly-anticipated John Wick: Chapter 3 hit the big screens on Thursday, 16 May 2019, and it did not disappoint. Subtitled “Parabellum” – Latin for “prepare for war” – the third instalment of the franchise delivered the promised action sequences in the same flawless, unrelenting style built upon its predecessors.
Similar to Chapter 2, Chapter 3 – Parabellum – picks up immediately after the ending to the previous instalment. John Wick (Keanu Reeves), having broken its rules in the previous movie by offing a member of the High Table in the criminal sanctuary known as the Continental Hotel, now has less than an hour before a $14 million bounty on his head is opened to every single assassin in both New York and around the world.
Wick escapes the madness long enough to find sanctuary with high-ranking High Table figure known only as The Director (Anjelica Huston) – an ill-tempered ballet director who was also once his mentor. Wick calls in a favour for a safe passage to Morocco, where he attempts to find the mysterious leader of the High Table and offer to atone for his crime. En route, he rendezvouses with another character from his past, Sofia (Halle Berry), who is reluctantly convinced to accompany Wick into battle.
Meanwhile, a ruthless, by-the-book bureaucrat known as the Adjudicator (Asia Kate Dillon) makes an example out of Wick sympathizers by punishing them – with the aid of a contract killer called Zero (Mark Dacascos) and his associates.
Without spoiling too much, the plot development in Chapter 3 is drawn out thin just like the previous two movies – in case you haven’t noticed, it has only been less than a week in the film’s storyline. However, the third instalment provides more insight into the High Table and then begins to question the foundations of this underground society, suggesting that the system is flawed and that perhaps the rules need to change.
The action sequences in John Wick’s third instalment is undeniably the highlight of the film. On top of the usual gun-fight scenes, the franchise has outdone itself yet again with creative action choreography in unique settings – including a barn, a room that seems to be completely made out of glass, and even a library.
With a runtime of slightly over two hours, John Wick: Chapter 3 consisted of more action and less dialogue, making it the most action-packed film in the franchise yet! Conversations were kept to a minimum – save for Wick’s reunion with past characters – and the action scenes left the audience on the edge of their seats for most of the movie. Subtle gags to Wick’s rampage over his dead puppy also serve for bits of laughter in between the mayhem that ensues in Wick’s quest for redemption.
True to its namesake “Parabellum”, the movie’s turn of events brings forth the possibility of a fourth instalment to the franchise – on the terms of an all-out war.
Perhaps the only challenge the John Wick franchise may face is to develop the plot within the realm of realism without going overboard for future instalments. Then again, you’re probably there for the action more than the plot, so it wouldn’t matter as much as it would with other big screen works.