Prepare to feel exhilarated and exhausted by John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum! You should be, this is the deliberate intention of the filmmakers, as it is time for us to experience the pain that John Wick feels that ultimately Keanu Reeves feels!
For Wick his motivation is love, for everyone else it’s all about the money and with a $14 million bounty on his head, the clock is ticking. There are few safe havens for the super assassin who is excomunicado, but if nothing else Wick is as ever resourceful and resilient.
In this film you start to really appreciate that these films are self-contained chapters, and in chapter 3 the net and world is widening.
The previously elusive, but ever foreboding High Table has cemented itself firmly as a presence in this film and for the first time we encounter one of its representatives The Adjudicator, played by Asia Kate Dillon (Orange Is the New Black).
When I think of the High Table, and I do not wish to be blasphemous or to trivialise, but I do picture Jesus with his Disciples at the Last Supper as there is something quite Biblical evolving in this world, and as Jesus encountered his traitors, so too does John Wick.
In Chapter 2 we visited Rome, in Chapter 3 our locations become even more exotic as the filmmakers play their tributes to Casablancaand Lawrence of Arabiaas Wick absconds to Morocco and the Sahara, in the hope of a life line, but even that will come at a price.
As magnetic as Keanu Reeves is on screen, there is only so much action and stunts that can support any film. Every film needs a story to truly anchor and provide the audience with the ultimate investment, and director Chad Stahelski has been very mindful of this. Reeves too is no actor for hire in this franchise, as he is very much a true collaborator in the story’s evolvement.
And they are serving the story well as in this third instalment we learn more of Wick’s backstory and origins. Also we are at the point of asking what is there left for John Wick to live for? Why does he continue to relentlessly fight? These questions are satisfyingly answered, but still leaving us with a sense of mystery to leave us wanting more.
What continues to root our investment and part of the success of the film is that John Wick is a man of legend, yet he doesn’t take that for granted, hence allowing us to see his vulnerability, his sense of danger and his isolation.
Recognition really has to be paid to cinematographer Dan Laustsen whose vivid sumptuous colour palate creates this immersive world that forms a fusion of century’s old tradition with a very contemporary vibrant world.
We get to see some familiar faces in Ian McShane (Deadwood) as Winston, Lance Reddick (American Horror Story) as Charon and Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix)as Bowery King, all characters are increasingly tightly woven and integral to the fabric of the story.
In this film we also welcome new acquaintances and adversaries, in which I will let you decide, they include Anjelica Huston (The Addams Family) as The Director, Halle Berry (X-Men: Days of Future Past) as Sofia and Mark Dacascos as Zero (Hawaii Five-0).
They say actions speak louder that words and Wick continues to channel his grief, anger and inner turmoil through every kick, punch, footstep his makes.
So set that ripple effect in action and get those texts pinging to hunt down John Wick Chapter 3 – Parabellum at a cinema near you!