The John Wick franchise is one of pure action and well choreographed fight scenes inside of a well thought out underworld culture. The third installment ups the ante in almost every possible way. It picks up right after the end of the second movie, which sees John Wick excommunicated from the shadowy assassin organization and on the run as a bounty is put on his head. He is forced to fight off waves of attackers and rely on the few friends he has left that are willing to help him in order to get his death sentence removed.
If you’ve been waiting for a really good pure action movie to come out that doesn’t open with a Marvel or DC logo, look no further than John Wick: Chapter 3. It features action set pieces that I would put up against most scenes in other action movies, not just recently, but of all time. Director Chad Stahelski, who also directed the second film and co-directed the first, is a former stuntman and stunt coordinator himself and clearly understands how action scenes should work. Every single action scene in this movie, which take up a substantial portion of the 2 hours and 10 minute runtime, is like a well choreographed dance, albeit one with lots of guns, knives, and attack dogs. This choreography, along with what I’m assuming was a ton of time and rehearsals, allows the movie to forego the choppy editing and shaky cam that plagues many modern action movies in favor of longer takes and more free flowing action.
Chapter 3 also expands on the lore of the secret assassin organization that the first two movies set up. It is a fascinating world that they have managed to set up throughout the 3 films and they have done it with very little exposition. They put you into this world and you get to learn how it works as the movies go on.
The cast all do a very good job in their roles. Keanu Reeves again shows he is perfectly cast in what will likely be his career defining role. Ian McShane, Lance Reddick, and Lawrence Wishburne are all back and even have a chance to get into the action some. Halle Berry’s Sofia and her two Belgian Malinois sidekicks are welcome additions and are featured in some of the best scenes of the movie.
Really the only faults of the movie are some of the humor doesn’t work and feels out of place at times, and the movie does get a little long. With all the action that is packed in here from start to finish, it gets exhausting by the end of it.
Overall, John Wick: Chapter 3 is probably the strongest of the franchise so far. While I thought this was going to be the final movie in the trilogy, events in the movie as well as last week’s announcement of the upcoming 4th installment, it appears John Wick isn’t going anywhere. I, for one, don’t mind that at all and will definitely be in the theater for the fourth one.
John Wick: Chapter 3- Parabellum gets a Golden Donut, mostly for its outstanding action, stunt work, and fight choreography.