Movie Review: John Wick – Chapter 3 – Parabellum

Assassin Girl 01  Hello all, and welcome to my review of John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum! 😀

John Wick 3 Parabellum Poster  Starring: Keanu Reeves (John Wick), Halle Berry (Sofia), Ian McShane (Winston), Laurence Fishburne (Bowery King), Mark Dacascos (Zero), Lance Reddick (Charon), Asia Kate Dillon (The Adjudicator)

Plot (taken from IMDb):

“Super-assassin John Wick is on the run after killing a member of the international assassin’s guild, and with a $14 million price tag on his head – he is the target of hit men and women everywhere.”

Trailer:

Characters:

Keanu Reeves (John Wick) – I love this actor and this character. He’s had it rough, considering the timeline of all 3 movies is one right after another, and he isn’t slowing down one bit. No matter how badly he gets his ass kicked, he just keeps getting up again. But it’s his motivation, carried all the way over from the first movie, that moves me. Otherwise, this might be a really amazing action movie, but I probably wouldn’t be any more attached to his character than I am to the Hitman character.

Ian McShane (Winston) – Manager at one of the hotels, The Continental, controlled by The Table. At these hotels, no one can conduct any “business” on the premises, so it’s effectively a safe zone. A close friend of John’s, he’s put in an impossible situation. He’s also a very crafty and unpredictable man.

Halle Berry (Sofia) – Another Manager at one of the other hotels controlled by The Table. I also love this actress and her character. Lol, I kind of want her to have a movie of her own. She was a complete badass, and so were her dogs. ❤

Laurence Fishburne (Bowery King) – Another crafty character that I don’t entirely trust. I’m not sure where his motives are leading him, but I’m intrigued. The Bowery is one of the assassin groups controlled by The Table.

Mark Dacascos (Zero) – Leader of another of the assassin groups serving The Table. This character was a lot of fun. Even though he was fighting against John, he did it from a different angle than all the rest. He greatly admired John, which made him an interesting bad guy.

Lance Reddick (Charon) – He works for Winston at The Continental as the Concierge. I love this guy too. He’s so calm in every scene, even when you can tell he’s angry. He seems unshakable.

Asia Kate Dillon (The Adjudicator) – An Adjudicator for The Table. Lol, I kind of love to hate her. There’s something about this character’s attitude that makes me feel like grinding my teeth. I’d really, really like to see her go one on one with John. Merciless and cold, she performs her duties for The Table without hesitation. She’s an unnerving villain – way too calm and single-minded. Someone not to be taken lightly. It appears The Table controls all the assassin groups around the world.

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Review:

Have I mentioned I have a thing for redeemable bad guys and anti-heroes? I absolutely love dark and twisty protagonists with skeletons in their closets and a ray of hope way, way down the road. That’s totally my jam.

Throw in martial arts and some romance, and we have a recipe for success. I will line up to see this movie at midnight on a weeknight, no questions asked. I don’t care. Give me more.

John Wick 3 Parabellum 03

Have I told you the action scenes were good yet? Yeah, they were good. It’s pretty much non-stop action until the end, and I love every second.

Like with Jennifer Garner in Peppermint, the fact that Keanu Reeves practices martial arts makes them even better! Halle Berry also did some training, and her scenes look amazing too!

Especially with the dogs! SOFIA FIGHTS WITH THE FREAKING DOGS!! My favorite fight scenes in the entire movie! ❤

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Sorry, excuse the fangirling.

The way Zero interacted with John was really interesting too. He was a bad guy, sure, but he didn’t feel completely bad when they fought. Lol, with the movie completely comprised of assassins, there are different levels of ‘bad,’ I suppose.

That’s not to say he wasn’t a threat though. Some of my favorite fight scenes were between John and Zero, second only to John’s scenes with Sofia.

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All of that being said, this movie might have a tough time standing alone. You kind of *have to* see the first two movies in order to know what’s going on. Otherwise, with the way it opens, you may just sit there like, “wow, it’s pretty, but I have no idea what the hell I’m even watching or why bearded Neo just shanked 20 people. It looked really cool, though.”

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In case you haven’t seen the first two, and without saying anything that would spoil it for you, this all started when John Wick tried to leave his life as an assassin behind to be with the love of his life, Helen. The first movie opens with him mourning her death from a terminal illness, and receiving a letter and a puppy from her after she dies.

Trying to stay true to Helen’s belief that he’s a good man, and determined to live on so he can remember her, he’s fought his way this far. Lol, a lot of other things happen to have him walking the line and trying not to fall back into the lifestyle of being an assassin in between her death and this third movie, but again – no spoilers! 🙂

This backstory is mentioned a few times in the movie, but unless you’ve seen the previous movies, it might not have as much impact. His struggle to keep from becoming an assassin again feels more real knowing what all came before.

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Throughout the course of this movie, John is forced to make many tough decisions, some of them bringing him farther from his goal of being permanently retired as an assassin. Getting out is no easy task, especially with him being on the wrong side of The Table in this movie.

There’s also The Bowery to consider. Seeming to operate at the very edges of The Table’s control, who knows what they’re up to. They don’t seem like they want to live by The Table’s rules. The Bowery King is one scary, calculating dude.

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Many loose ends were addressed, and new ones were made. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

I’m kind of dying for there to be a Chapter 4. Lol, there had better be after that cliff-hanger. I really want John to have a chance at peace, and that light of hope at the end of the tunnel.

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My rating for John Wick – Chapter 3 – Parabellum: Cash-Worthy – I absolutely love the John Wick series, and while I think this one wasn’t as strong as the first one was, story-wise (few sequels are), I will still be buying this one. The action was amazing, and I’m totally engaged in John’s story. Check this one out if you like movies like Peppermint, Kill Bill, or The Punisher, have seen the first 2 John Wick movies, or like assassin/vigilante movies in general. 😀

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My Rating System:

Epic: This movie is so mind-bogglingly awesome that I may go see it twice. This one will have a place of honor on my shelf.

Cash-Worthy: Good stuff. This will most likely find a place on my shelf.

Not Bad: I liked it. I’m glad I saw it, and it may or may not end up on my shelf at some point. I would say rent it first to be safe.

Meh: Rent it first. You may love it or hate it, but I’m indifferent probably because it’s not my type of movie. I’m glad I saw it, but it won’t end up on my shelf.

Emergency Cake: I have an emotional reaction to movies sometimes, especially to tragedies. If a movie makes me sad or angry, sometimes it will stick with me for a while. At these times, only chocolate cake can save me. Chocolate cake makes everything better. No shelf for you. Ever.

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3 thoughts on “Movie Review: John Wick – Chapter 3 – Parabellum

  1. disperser says:

    Thanks for the review. I’m thinking I’ll wait for the release of the DVD or when it comes to streaming sites.

    I’ve seen a few clips and you confirmed what I suspected: short on plot and long on action.

    I like Hitman but it had a plot. I like action movies but I find protracted fighting sequences quickly lose their appeal. JW 2 was borderline for me as it really skimped on anything that made sense and it had long and involved action stunts that (for me) just went on too long. It also ramped out the amount of damage JW could take and still function. So much so that it blew by incredible and into the NFW realm (if a car hits you in the legs, you’re not going to be doing martial arts moves anytime soon).

    From your review (and what little I’ve heard) I conclude they fully transitioned from telling a story to just showing fight choreography.

    That’s not likely to carry my interest. For instance, supporting characters in JW 1 helped carry the movie. JW 2 dispensed with interesting supporting characters and replaced them with action shots.

    I look forward to being proven wrong, but not at the theater.

    • paigeaddams says:

      Yeah, I totally get what you mean. Action scenes are fun, but they’re a lot better with some kind of plot fueling them. I feel like this did have plot, but it was weaker than the first movie – mainly because it was the same motivation from the first movie that was driving him, but they didn’t address it for very long. They introduced a new problem – The Table wanting to kill him – but his reason for fighting was the same. Helen. Not a bad motivation, but it left more room for mayhem and fight choreography. Lol, I have to admit, I still loved it though! 😀

      I remember really liking Hitman too – there were 2 versions, right? I think I liked the first Hitman movie more.

      Oh, and I just found out there’s definitely going to be a John Wick 4! WOO-HOO!! ❤

    • disperser says:

      I’ve only seen clips of the second Hitman movie and I’m not sure I’m all that interested to watch it. The first one had a version of the character that seemed to grow (although still retain his lethality) through the film and the interaction with the female character.

      The second one seems more like a machine.

      I’m sure that when I’ll watch JW 3 (and I will eventually watch it), I’ll enjoy it . . .

      But, in that regard, it’s a bit like the Bourne movies. I thought the first was really good. The second one was as good but with a bit more action. The third one was meh . . . and fifth one (ignoring the fourth) made no sense and was not true to either the character or the story (in my opinion) precisely because it was a lot more action and while retaining the same motivation (somewhat) it was a convoluted and forced stretch of the original motivation.

      Still, I watched them all. Not sure they’d get me to watch another one.

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