John Wick 3: Parabellum (2019)

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For those who have not seen any of the ‘John Wick’ films (part one was released in 2014, part two in 2017, so make it work!): Yes, if you like action films, you cannot skip this franchise and no, part three is far from unnecessary. “John Wick 3: Parabellum” picks up the storyline immediately after the events in part 2 and tells what happens to our hero after he is declared excommunicate and half the world wants to kill him.

Half the world, yes, that is no exaggeration, because the world in “John Wick” is nothing like the world we know. Can you assume that in our world the number of assassins is a minimal percentage of the world’s population, in John Wick’s universe he cannot walk into any street without hitting at least four. This alternative version of our world nevertheless looks beautiful: even when it rains, there is enough neon light to dispel greyness.

With fourteen million dollars as a bet for his death and, as said, countless armed candidates on the lookout, John Wick is no longer sure about his life. But John has a clear goal: he wants to stay alive to commemorate his wife. Fortunately there are still people who want and can help him. That provides nice roles for Anjelica Huston and Halle Berry, for example. The latter in particular has a substantial contribution to the story as Sofia (with whom John shares his love for dogs). Her somewhat shady background still offers enough starting points for working out the history in a later part.

That deepening of the background has already started in part 2 and this has certainly done the franchise good. In “John Wick 2” the criminal organization to which John is attached already got a lot of meat on the bones. In part 3 the universe with the specific rules expands even further. The story, of course, remains the weakest part of the film, but again the makers easily get away with it. The battles are again surprisingly good (one of the first weapons is a book!) – a truly deserved compliment for the action choreography and cinematography. It is also nice that the final takes place on familiar territory and that Ian McShane and Lance Reddick are back as Winston and Charon. And Mark Dacascos plays a worthy opponent with a wrong sense of timing, which means that his statements are very comical.

With 2 hours and 11 minutes, ‘John Wick 3: Parabellum’ may be a bit too long – a slightly shorter stream of stylishly shot and designed acts of violence would also have been good, but this energetic, super cool film gives fans more than they were allowed to hope. If the makers are able to hold this line, part 4 can only be a success.

John Wick Parabellum (2019) Action, Crime, Thriller | 2h 11min | 22 May 2019 (France) 7.6
Director: Chad StahelskiWriters: Derek Kolstad, Shay HattenStars: Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, Ian McShaneSummary: In this third installment of the adrenaline-fueled action franchise, skilled assassin John Wick (Keanu Reeves) returns with a $14 million price tag on his head and an army of bounty-hunting killers on his trail. After killing a member of the shadowy international assassin's guild, the High Table, John Wick is excommunicado, but the world's most ruthless hit men and women await his every turn.

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