So it took a few weeks, but someone finally de-throned Endgame at the weekend box office. Yep, you guessed it. It was John Wick. Here to follow up from 2017’s John Wick: Chapter 2, Reeves and company set out to deliver their biggest visual spectacle yet. Question is, did they succeed? Let’s talk.
To those who are caught up on the franchise and walked into Parabellum post seeing Ch 2, then you’ll remember quite well that John ended up in a bit of a pickle. This story, quite entirely, is him dealing with said pickle. The film opens just minutes after the conclusion of the second and it truly, seriously, never lets up. The fighting sequences and hand-to-hand combat in these films have always been unbelievable, but the team here in Parabellum really top themselves in every way. This chapter in the Wick franchise is easily the most violent we’ve seen to date.
But outside of the “spectacle”, what else is on offer here? Well, here’s the reality; not much. You see in this series we’re given very nuanced characters and very cliche writing, and you get to a point where you have to come to accept that. My issue with JW3 was not that it wasn’t “unbelievable” because truly, it isn’t believable. My issue with it is that the moment you put your brain on for just a fraction of a frame, you understand the true ridiculous nature of what isn’t in the spectacle. Silly dialogue, tedious character introductions, and an over-extended runtime often made Parabellum feel like that lengthy workout you keep checking the time on.
The bottom line on this one is simple. When we purchase a ticket for a Tyler Perry film, we know what we’re paying for. When we purchase a ticket to a low budget horror film, we know what we’re paying for. And when we buy our ticket to Parabellum, it’s damn certain we know what we’re paying for. The film is packed with beautiful sets, more than impressive fight sequences and it’s loaded with eye candy; but that’s where it stops. If you’re looking for story or “good character writing”, this isn’t your flick. Wanna see Keanu Reeves kick some ass and take no prisoners? I thought so. For all it does bring to the table and accounting for all it doesn’t, I give John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum a 7.8/10. Thanks as always for reading.