Posted May 16 2019

John Wick Chapter 3 Parabellum - This Movie Just Quantum Rocks Baby - Plain And Simple

Dir: Chad Stahelski

Starring Keanu Reeves, Ian McShane, Laurence Fishburne, Halle Berry, Angelica Huston, Asia Kate Dillon, Mark Dacascos, Jerome Flynn

There’s not a lot of plot to the third outing for uber-assassin John Wick. Indeed, director Chad Stahelski has already stated that he wants his audience to be suffering action fatigue by the end of watching this highly entertaining movie. And they will be – albeit in a good way.

Reeves’ titular dog lover is now ex-communicado which means the movie starts in New York – where he kills lots of people. He escapes to Casablanca – kills lots of people. Comes back to New York – kills lots of people.

Along the way we learn a little of his past, get to see him ride a horse through the streets of New York, take out some samurai sword wielders on motorbikes, and get into a lot of ball action. This is a big ball action movie – Keanu/John (for they are now inseparable) kicks opponents in the balls, whacks them in the balls – sometimes with a library book, God knows he shoots them in the balls – and when he’s not giving it some, attack dogs bite them in the balls. It is, in a strange way, a very testicle-centric movie.

Parabellum (“prepare for war”, apparently) is really just one long, protracted fight scene – only with changing backgrounds and sometimes even changing characters – although none of the bad guys really bring that much presence to the fight and feel quite disposable. That said, it’s all done with remarkable skill and – in an unexpected way – a kind of beauty all its own. It’s no coincidence that Stahelski (a former stunt man and Keanu double) stages a couple of significant scenes during a ballet – as his take on the standard action fight scene borders on balletic, as much as his movie aims for mock operatic heights – please note the “mock” because this is very clearly a movie that wants you to feel the impact of every single punch, but never takes itself too seriously.

It may lack anything even vaguely resembling a story to get hold of – but it does manage to feel like a glimpse into a whole other assassin-led world, with its Continental hotels, its High Tables and its internecine rules. It wilfully tips over into the world of the absurd at many a moment, but in a manner that borders on being rather kind of glorious.

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