Film review: John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
PUBLISHED: 13:44 21 May 2019
Mark Goodin takes on the latest instalment of the John Wicks series in his latest review.
Since beginning in 2014, the John Wick franchise has provided some of the most exciting and atmospheric action films of the last few years. With the third instalment of the series, Chad Stahelski delivers a film as perfectly calibrated as its predecessors.
Following his killing of a member of the High Table - the sinister organization in charge of the International Guild of Assassins - in John Wick: Chapter 2, the sequel finds the titular hitman (Keanu Reeves) pursued by some of the world's deadliest assassins intent on claiming the 14 million dollar bounty on his head.
Much like the previous films, the director carefully intertwines the series trademark bone-dry humour and baroque visual style with a series of relentlessly brutal, balletic action sequences - Wick's lethal utilization of a book is just one of many wince-inducing delights - as the hitman continues his attempt to escape the ultra-violent, shadowy underworld in which he appears trapped.
Throughout all the exciting, elaborate and increasingly raucous action it becomes difficult to imagine the series working half as well without Reeves, who fits the immaculately tailored, taciturn killer perfectly exuding enough gruff charm and world-weariness to keep things grounded amidst the madness.
There's fine support too - with franchise stalwarts like Ian McShane's suave hotel owner Winston and Laurence Fishburne's charismatic crime lord the Bowery King and newcomers including Halle Berry's dog-loving Sofia and Mark Dacascos' psychotic Zero each given their chance to shine in this opulent, endlessly thrilling entry in the series.