John Wick is back and he’s doing what he does best. John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum is the latest addition into the John Wick saga and has managed to dethrone Avengers in the number 1 spot in the box office over the weekend. But how does it stack up to the other John Wick movies and even other action films?
Let me start by saying that seeing the previous John Wick movies is a must before you see Chapter 3. Parabellum takes place almost immediately after the events of Chapter 2. Having been excommunicated from the Continental John is on the run. This film follows John as he attempts to survive as the price on his head makes him a wanted man.
The movie continues explore more of the underworld that John is apart of. In Chapter 2 we discover just how Global and connected this underworld is. Now in Parabellum we get more details of John’s past and his connections in the world. So the story of John and this world is growing more, but the story isn’t the only thing putting butts in seats.
When John Wick (the first movie) was released it seemed to reinvent the Action genre for Western audiences. Many, if not most, Action movies revolve around a simple plot and Action sequences that want to make an audience rewatch it. In the last 15-20 years the use of shaky cams and quick cuts have dominated how these movies were made.
But John Wick was created with stunt choreographers in creative control. The results have been fist and gunfight sequences that are more real and brutal. In Chapter 2 we saw more of these well choreographed fights and the addition of big names like Ruby Rose, Common, and Laurence Fishburne.
Parabellum continues this trend but on steroids. While many may be excited to see Halle Berry is a kickass role that wasn’t the casting that made me excited. Rather it was seeing Indonesian actors Cecep Arif Rahman and Yayan Ruhian fighting against Keanu Reeves. If you don’t know these names, these two men were both in the Raid movies that I won’t shut up about.
But what really separates Parabellum from its predecessor are the different stunts. It seems as though the stunt coordinators, writers, and director sat down and said, “what combat sequences haven’t been done yet?” There fight sequences in a Library, in a horse stable, on a horse, underwater, and one sequence with tactically trained dogs. Don’t worry no dogs are harmed in this movie.
Along with these expertly choreographed fight sequences are real consequences. By this I mean two things are shown. The first is that John isn’t invulnerable. While he is the worst thing someone could fight, he still gets injured or is at some sort of disadvantage. The second is the John Wick films have taken the time to show the importance of reloading. There is even a point where John is up against two guards and all three need to reload their pistols. Thus resulting in a reload race.
Now, this is not to say that the film is perfect. The film still requires a certain level of disbelief with its bulletproof clothes. Another slight downside is its complex story. While I love it, I can see others having a problem with it if they aren’t caught up on the other films. As I stated earlier many Action Films have usually had a simple plot. John Wick is a change with this formula. Though it’s obvious to anyone that has seen Reeves’s training videos.
Overall John Wick sets a high bar for Action Films to come. With its unique story and complex action sequences, it’s a must-see. Chapter 3: Parabellum is a 4 out 5. With news that Chapter 4 has a 2021 release date, this is one franchise that shows no sign of stopping. You can find the closest theater and times here.