‘John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum’ gives fans exactly what they wanted

This image released by Lionsgate shows Keanu Reeves in a scene from "John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum." (Niko Tavernise/Lionsgate via AP)

The Boogeyman is back. Stocking up with a few extra bullets (as well as knives) to double down on the action at the expense of the story may seem like a sin, but with “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” it is an undoubtable win.

Picking directly up after the events of the second film, all of the assassins in the world are after the legendary John Wick’s (Keanu Reeves) 14 million dollar bounty. When there is a surprise at every turn, Wick must fight his way through endless enemies to find a way to end it all.

From the get go, you know this film means business. After Mr. Wick uses a library book in many crafty ways to eliminate his first aggressor, it’s hard to imagine that the film can get more creative. I was wrong, very, very wrong.

The ensuing fights are just as pleasing with distinctive traits to each one. Whether it be in an old antique shop, or on a horse, or with two German Shepherds, or on a motorcycle, or with beloved gun-fu, the audience was giggling with excitement as evident of the cheers and laughs. The beautiful choreographed fight scenes are pure ecstasy that I was eating up every second of. Usually this is when I say that the action sequences can only do so much heavy lifting, as the story was quite sloppy sometimes. With a 15-minute stretch in the middle with no bearing as well an overall dull protagonist motivation, even this can be overlooked. The film’s action is truly that good.

A lot of this comes down to authenticity of the film. Keanu Reeves doesn’t flex his acting skill in the typical sense; his dedication to the choreography without the use of stunt doubles is something to behold. The months Reeves spent preparing for the film shows off. The film would not be the same if the one and only John Wick wasn’t John Wick.

That being said, the film also wouldn’t be the same if it took itself seriously. This is done for the audience’s amusement of course. A great instance of this involves a long sequence that builds anticipation, with a payoff so small that one cannot help to laugh. The comic-book like text that appears across the screen and the animated performances contribute to the tone the movie wants to establish. At moments however, it becomes unwanted when the it outwears its welcome.

If there is one thing that the John Wick label has guaranteed, it is consistency. “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” proves that there are plenty of creative ways left for the series to take out baddies while keeping in mind what is most important to moviegoers. It’s pretty hard to complain when the film gives us exactly what we want.

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