John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum: A New Age Action Masterpiece

Oh. My. God. I am at a complete loss for words. Like, what do I even say to do what I’ve just seen justice? But I’m gonna try. So here it goes: Amazing. Dazzling. Stunning. Beautiful. Electrifying. Badass. Sensational. Awesome. Inventive. Relentless. Masterful. Excellent. Non-heinous. Outstanding.

And that’s really an understatement.

Keanu Reeves returns as John Wick, the incomparable assassin who must contend with numerous attempts on his life by rivals after The High Table, the head of this incredibly vast and immersive criminal organization, puts a $14 million bounty on his head for killing Santino D’antonio, the bad guy from Chapter 2.

This is it, ladies and gentlemen. The bar has been raised. This… is how action should look, sound, and feel. This is how action should be choreographed, directed, shot, and edited. Any movie after this that doesn’t abide by these guide lines will be an automatic no compliance from the action crowd. What director Chad Stahelski and his crew have provided for us is a clinic on action filmmaking for this new age of filmmakers.

And I’m being dead serious. Anybody still doing that quick cutting, shaky cam bullshit is canceled. Stahelski has provided a full course banquet of action in crystal clear clarity and precision editing and he will be duly respected for it. You hacks out there WILL pay homage. Fuckers.

I also love how varied the action is in this entry. Although I loved Chapter 2, the countless shootings did begin to feel repetitive after a while (although I have warmed up to them through repeated viewings). And the first one, while varied itself, felt like they didn’t have the necessary funds to go farther. But this one does have the necessary funds, and boy… do they go farther. Fights, chases, and shootouts are gloriously plentiful here. As a matter of fact, there seems to be more emphasis on fights than shootouts here, and I LOOOOOOVE IT!!! With such beautiful staging and choreography, this chapter easily sets itself as the best action film of the series. Easily.

“But what about the rest of the movie?” The story concocted here is very engaging and interesting, as it takes us deeper into this secret underworld than ever before, as well as John’s past. Also, the acting is mostly top notch. Reeves could’ve easily coasted in this one, but he still gives his all in a deeply emotional performance. Series favorites Ian McShane, Lance Reddick and Laurence Fishburne all turn in great back up work for him, as well as newcomers Halle Berry, Anjelica Huston and especially Mark Dacascos.

And let me stop for a second for the man of the hour, Mr. Dacascos. The real MVP of the movie. Oh man, it was so great seeing Dacascos on the big screen doing his thing and getting to shine so bright. Having followed him throughout his career from American Samurai, Only The Strong, Drive to this, it makes me so happy to see the man get his just due with a scene stealing role like this. Kudos to you, Mr. Dacascos.

Also, it was nice to see Triple Threat’s Tiger Chen make an early appearance in here as one of the assassins attempting to kill John. After the chateau fight in The Matrix Reloaded, and the climactic duel in Reeves’ directorial debut Man of Tai chi, which starred Chen, it was nice to see them reunited, even though it was brief. And this may be their most definitive fight yet. Especially the end to it.

But unfortunately, not everyone is firing on all cylinders here, which leads me to my biggest gripe with the movie. Asia Kate Dillion, who plays The Adjudicator, The High Table’s representative, is quite simply… awful. Seriously, she has the emotional range of a fucking cyborg. Her performance is more robotic than Kristanna Loken’s in Terminator 3, and Loken was actually playing a cyborg! Her acting annoyed me every time she was on screen. Thank god there’s very little of her in the movie.

Also, John makes a decision late in the movie that I don’t know if I truly agree with. No spoilers, but it left me thinking “I don’t really buy that.” Didn’t take me out of the movie, but still… It is what it is, I guess.

But all in all, this is the one to beat folks. The definition of an action classic. This movie and its creators can take a bow for the action masterpiece they have provided us.


Author: The Cinema Drunkie

Just a guy who loves his movies. And a multitude of booze.

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