John Wick has been a surprising popular franchise. Well, that’s a silly statement to kick off a review with. Of course, John Wick sparked off immense popularity. It is a film where everyone’s favourite Keanu Reeves kills people in highly imaginative ways over the sad death of his dog. The first outing saw a tremendous amount of fans which carried on to the explosive sequel. And now we are truly in the endgame as John Wick concludes his epic fur-venge journey. But does the finale conclude in an explosive yet satisfactory manner?
Yes, yes, and thrice yes.
John Wick 3 – Parabellum follows directly from the shocking end of John Wick 2 – the titular assassin has been excommunicated from the underground of top-notch killers, meaning he doesn’t have any help from the organisation or anywhere to hide. To make matters worse, he killed a member of the High Table, meaning there is a high bounty on his head. With all of the world’s professional hit-men keen to get that prize and to get rid of Wick, is all lost for the killer?
Yeah, we’re thinking it’s not.
One of the biggest distinctions that John Wick 3 has comparatively to any other action film is it’s absolute style. The contemporary Gothic that frames the fights is lavish and gorgeous. The classic architecture of gold and red anointed theatres, the opulence of colours in the deserts of Morocco, and the cool glass modernism all make impeccable set-pieces for blood to be spilt. As for the beating heart of the film, The Continental combines all these different elements into one bombastic and spectacular finale. The set design and dressing is made even more palatable by Dan Lausten’s moody cinematography that drenches each frame in beauty.
Keanu Reeves has truly made this stoic yet surviving hit-man. As he struggles without his support network, it’s interesting to see how he’ll get out of his predicament – how will he outlast with the whole assassin network after his head? It’s a terrific performance that continues to be as engaging as it is thrilling. There are familiar faces such as Ian McShane and Laurence Fishbourne but Halle Berry makes a superb new addition who can fight just as well as John (and cares about dogs just as much.)
Of course, the fight sequences are still absolutely phenomenal. If you thought you’d seen all the ways in which one man can kill another, then you’d haven’t seen anything yet. Perfectly choreographed and timed, its heart-racing stuff.
John Wick 3 falls short in complete story-telling, leaving threads open (one suspects for another outing) and really dragging out a somewhat simplistic plot (action man is on the run) over two hours means there are moments of lag between the fights and slaying. Yet John Wick never truly disappoints. Part tense Western, part blood-thirsty action, part operatic drama, Parabellum is poetic.
John Wick 3 – Parabellum is out in cinemas now