John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum
Back with a vengeance, John Wick’s third chapter – Parabellum – turns things up to an 11, when a whopping $14 million bounty is placed on the head of Keanu Reeves’s legendary hitman. The latest instalment in this action-packed series sees returning director Chad Stahelski and writer Derek Kolstad pull off an impressive heart-stopping feature. Ninja-style fight scenes and jaw-dropping action give way to more of the emotive back story and introduce us to a handpicked all-star cast.
Invincible assassin John Wick leaves the previous chapter with orders from the high-level crime lords of the High Table marking him excommunicado for killing D’Antonio on the grounds of The Continental Hotel. No longer granted solace there, he’s left running through the streets of New York in his trademark slick black suit with his trusty rescue Pit-bull, “Dog”, by his side.
Now at the top of everyone’s hit list, John is being hunted, forcing him to ask for help from a mysterious character from his past – though a newcomer to us – the Director. Anjelica Huston plays her like a sensuous, celestial gypsy, her cat-like eyes twinkling as the High Table rules and rituals come into play. A molten-hot cross is seared onto Wick’s back, which somehow grants him immunity to escape incognito to the warmer climes of sunny Casablanca to meet the Elder (Saïd Taghmaoui).
His journey to Morocco also introduces us to the character of Sofia (Halle Berry), a brooding fellow assassin from the protagonist’s past. Wick gives her a blood-oath medallion that in accordance with the “rules” ensures her partnership to him. Clearly cast for her steely determination, Berry proves to be just as bad-ass as John Wick himself, matching him move for move. The pair embark on a killing spree that’s utterly exhilarating to watch, with Sofia’s faithful ball-breaking Alsatian guard dogs taking part in the action too. The flawless, lingering wide shots of Dan Laustsen’s cinematography literally bring us to the edge of our seats.
There is plenty more violence as the movie unfolds, with motorcycle chases, a carefully choreographed sword scene and ubiquitous martial art fighting from the hitman’s latest arch enemy, Zero (Mark Dacascos), giving a firm nod to director Stahelski’s unrelenting love for Asian cinema.
At the very heart of the story, though, is Wick’s motivation of love for his late wife, Helen, and as Keanu Reeves reprises his role he is as iconic as ever. Beautifully shot, impressively cast and underpinned with a stirring, classical score from Tyler Bates and Joel J Richard, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum is a slick, neo-noir offering that perfectly translates the Latin phrase Si vis pacem, para bellum: ”If you want peace, prepare for war”.
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum is released nationwide on 17th May 2019.
Watch the trailer for John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum here: