John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

Release Date: May 17

MPAA: R

Director: Chad Stahelski

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, and Laurence Fishburne

Mister Marquee Says: LEGENDARY

Number: 5/5

Immediately after the events of John Wick 2, John Wick (Keanu Reeves) killed on the Continental grounds. He now is a mere hour before every assassin in the world will come for him to claim a $14 million bounty, and this time, no one can help him or they will suffer the wrath of the High Table.

Parabellum, like John Wick when he wanted to leave the assassin life, was given an impossible task; up the anti from the deliriously fun John Wick: Chapter 2. Somehow, that movie was better than John Wick, which was a surprisingly great low-budget action flick that seemed destined to fail, especially in a market saturated with revenge flicks.

In some ways, the franchise is like our titular killing machine. No matter how many bullets it takes, no matter how much you think it may wear down, it will still shoot you in the face…on horseback. These movies are great because they keep it simple. There’s hyper-stylized set pieces, great world building, and the best action fight scenes on the planet. They’re great for the exact same reasons the Mad Max movies are. For my money, the John Wick series has the best pure action of any movies ever.

The combat has the most bizarre combination of ultra-realistic and ultra-ridiculous qualities. On one hand, John Wick is the only character in all of TV or cinema who actually runs out of bullets! The little moments like Wick and another assassin running out of bullets at the same time just make these fights have so much personality. On the other hand, and I don’t want to spoil specific scenes, Wick does some of the most over-the-top killing in movie history. I burst out laughing like a school kid in the theater. This movie is just really, really fun. It’s beginning to end intense action that moves from one stylistic set piece to another, finding new and exciting places and ways for John Wick to kill lots of people.

I am usually not a fan for action for action’s sake, but wow is this movie the exception. I’m sucked into this world. I can’t get enough of these vicious fights with the grace of ballet. There’s rhythm in each gunshot, poetry in each strike. This is what an action movie should be.

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