John Wick is a series that started back in 2014, the first film was one that I initially ignored at the cinema as I figured it looked a bit shite, turns out I was very wrong. It wound up being one of the better action films of the last few years so I made a point of seeing the sequel when that was released which ended up being more of the same but in the best possible way.
It’s five years on and the third film in the series has just been released, under the subtitle Parabellum a Latin word that apparently translates as to Prepare for War which this movie definitely is. It picks up straight after the second chapter as John deals with the fallout of his actions in that film. He’s attempting to essentially escape the price that’s been put on his head and maybe even remove it if possible. To go into it any further is to discussed plot points and I’d basically like to avoid that so as to allow people to experience it for themselves.
Keanu Reeves is the main star here and he’s pretty much perfect for the film, he’s believable as a man that could kill people with anything he can grab. It’s not a dialogue heavy part but what he has to deliver he does in a way that makes the character and what he’s dealing with feel real. The film is directed by his old stunt double from the Matrix films so you’d assume there’s some trust there and it seems to work out nicely.
You’ve got some decent actors in supporting roles for this instalment, Halle Berry is solid in her time on screen and Ian McShane and Lance Reddick are as dependable as they’ve been in all the other films. You’ve also got Laurence Fishbourne in there which is another nice callback to the Matrix films and while he’s not got a huge role to play here it helps with the gradual world-building each film has done.
Easily my favourite thing about the film is how ridiculous the action sequences are, they’re genuinely insane. The fight in the library near the beginning sets the standard nicely and it just escalates from there. What really helps is that the film plays everything completely seriously but also knowing how ludicrous it all is which is a pretty glorious combination.
They’ve also learned lessons over the course of the series, some of the sequences in John Wick 2 went on a bit too long at times, to the point where it got a little tiring in places. It’s much better paced here and there’s a decent assortment of locations and weapons to keep things varied, there was definitely never a point where I was bored.
I’d go so far as to say it’s the film I’ve enjoyed most so far this year, there’s a lot to be said for a fun action film that knows exactly what it is and is completely unashamed of it. Hopefully, there’s going to be more films to come as I definitely haven’t gotten tired of the series yet. If anything this film makes me want more just to see where they can go and what they can do next.
TBG Score: 9/10