John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019)

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He was the deadliest hunter. Now, he becomes the hunted in this third installment of the seminal assassin film series.

After breaking the rules by killing a High Table member at the Continental Hotel in New York City, master assassin John Wick has now been deemed ex-communicado. He begins to take all measures to ensure himself protection before the contract for $14 million is placed on his head. Once time is up, John finds himself hunted down at every corner and relies on his quick wits and fighting skills to stay alive.

As John seeks to find a way out of being hunted, an Adjudicator arrives and relieves both Continental manager Winston and the underground’s Bowery King of their duties for their assistance in helping Wick escape. Wick heads out of the country and catches up with old friend Sofia, who at first is reluctant to help him. Ultimately, Sofia lives up to her promise and helps Wick meet the Elder, the highest of the High Table who decides to help Wick out of the situation. However, upon Wick’s return to New York, the Adjudicator has hired a Japanese master assassin known as Zero to take out Wick once and for all.

When John Wick was released in 2014, it became Keanu Reeves’ biggest and best role since his iconic turn as Neo in the Matrix films. As the titular hitman, Reeves displayed some exhilarating action scenes and churned out a very emotional performance that just rocked the film and gave him a heck of a following. Of course, the 2017 ups the ante with the action and the story of Wick, now returning full time to his former profession, forced into a deadly cat and mouse game which ends and segways into where this film takes us.

Once again, Reeves does an excellent job in the role of Wick, who now goes from being the hunter to the hunted as he must evade virtually everyone who comes across him. We also learn a lot more about the assassin in this film, especially through his interactions with two pivotal characters. They come in the form of The Director, a Russian ballet director played in excellence by Anjelica Huston and Sofia, Wick’s frenemy played by Halle Berry. The latter even gets in on some action when she unleashes her two dogs to attack some goons hellbent on killing Wick.

However, the piece de resistance comes in the form of the Japanese assassin Zero. Played in a combination of fanboy mode and sheer violent tenacity by martial arts legend Mark Dacascos, Zero is a perfect villain who despite having all respect for Wick, has a job to do and that’s to dispatch him. Zero gets some awesome assistance by the Indonesian duo of Yayan Ruhian and Cecep Ali Rahman, who made a heck of an impact in The Raid films, showcasing their skills in Silat. Their two-on-one against Reeves is expertly and nicely shot and choreographed in a realistic manner while an early fight pitting Reeves against the likes of Roger Yuan and Tiger Chen involving knives may seem a bit farfetched at first thought, but really is more impressive and brutal, a staple of the franchise.

John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum continues the drive of Reeves’ iconic hitman with excellent support from Halle Berry and Mark Dacascos as the fans are once again treated to the amazing action sequences and emotional content of the film.

WFG RATING: A-

Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment present a Thunder Road Films production in association with 87Eleven Films. Director: Chad Stahelski. Producers: Basil Iwanyk and Erica Lee. Writers: Derek Kolstad, Shay Hatten, Chris Collins, and Marc Abrams; story and based on characters created by Derek Kolstad. Cinematography: Dan Laustsen. Editing: Evan Schiff.

Cast: Keanu Reeves, Ian McShane. Halle Berry, Anjelica Huston, Asia Kate Dillon, Lawrence Fishburne, Mark Dacascos, Yayan Ruhian, Cecep Ali Rahman, Jason Mantzoukas, Lance Reddick, Said Taghmaoui.

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