John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019)

Movie Title: John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum

Year Released: 2019

Rated: R

Runtime: 2h 10min

Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller

Director: Chad Stahelski

Writer: Derek Kolstad, Shay Hatten, Chris Collins, Marc Abrams

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, Laurence Fishburne, Mark Dacascos, Asia Kate Dillon, Lance Reddick, Anjelica Huston, Ian McShane, Saïd Taghmaoui, Jerome Flynn, Cecep Arif Rahman, Yayan Ruhian, Boban Marjanovic, Randall Duk Kim

Review: After gunning down a member of the High Table -- the shadowy international assassin's guild -- legendary hit man John Wick (Keanu Reeves) finds himself stripped of the organization's protective services. Now stuck with a $14 million bounty on his head, Wick must fight his way through the streets of New York as he becomes the target of a recruited assassin with the moniker Zero (Mark Dacascos), and an endless wave of the world's most ruthless killers.

John Wick is back again in the most Wick-ian fashion possible: Kicking ass and taking names all over New York City. While John is normally out for vengeance, now the predator has become prey so to speak, as the events near the end of John Wick: Chapter 2 have led to our protagonist being excommunicado from the High Table, and on the run from inevitable death. The fight choreography is better than ever, and the martial arts stunts are simply impeccable. Keanu Reeves should continue to be commended for his dedication to the craft of learning all of these intensive stunts. His work with the John Wick franchise is beyond impressive. Chapter 3 continues to be uber-violent and oftentimes over the top. In all of its absurdity, John's first foe comes in the form of Philadelphia 76ers 7'3" center, Boban Marjanovic. A fight with the hulking Boban ensues in a library of all places where the two literally fight to the death using books as their primary choices of weapon. The violence level is extraordinarily high, and the body count is what fans have come to expect from the John Wick franchise. Mark Dacascos' character, Zero, provides a worthy adversary for John. He's worthy in terms of his tenacity and ruthlessness as an assassin, but also provides a comedic element in that he's a huge fan of John Wick to the point where he exhibits a couple of fan boy moments amidst their grueling battles. I really enjoyed their fight scenes, and with all of their quarrels, I think this film may have broken a record for most instances of shattering glass. As a sum of its parts, John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum delivers. The original John Wick still holds the top spot in this entertaining saga, but I think this one fits in nicely in second place just in front of John Wick: Chapter 2. Parabellum is fast-paced, entertaining, and a must watch for all fans of action flicks and puppies! We mustn't forget about the puppies!

Stars (out of 4):

Fun Fact: The title "Parabellum" comes from the Latin phrase: "Si vis pacem, para bellum" which means "If you want peace, prepare for war." It is also an alternate name for the ubiquitous 9mm handgun cartridge ("9mm Parabellum"). The phrase itself appears twice in the movie: it is tattooed on the back of the ballerina girl in the beginning, and Winston (Ian McShane) says it out loud later in the movie.


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