Friday, August 23, 2019

John Wick Chapter 3 – Parabellum: The Action Packed Saga Continues!

REEL REVIEWS

It feels almost nostalgic doing a critique for a “John Wick” film. After all, the first review I did for this column was for “John Wick Chapter 2” back in 2017. Now, it’s been two years, and it’s time for John Wick to take up arms against the seedy assassins lurking in the shadows in the next continuation.

“John Wick Chapter 3” begins right where the previous film left off. Having been declared “excommunicado,” John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is left with all his resources revoked, banned from the one place he could find shelter, and a $14 million bounty on his head. With every ruthless assassin gunning for the bounty and the shadowy organization known as the High Table hunting him, Mr. Wick is forced to flee as he searches for a way to remove the price on him. However, the cost may prove arduous even for a legendary assassin like John Wick, because in order to free himself he will have to make what might be the toughest decision of his life. The film also features Halle Berry, Ian McShane, Laurence Fishburne, Lance Reddick, and Mark Dacascos.

If you’ve seen the previous “John Wick” films, then you are aware of what sets it apart from the numerous other action films oversaturating the genre—and that’s style. Like its predecessors, “John Wick 3” continues the slick and well-executed fight scenes with long shots and a smooth transition with little to no quick cuts. As a sequel should do, the movie continues to explore the world “John Wick” is set in while also upping the stakes and dangers.

“John Wick Chapter 2” did that back in 2017 as it gave us action in more varied locations, and even included a few car chase parts. “John Wick Chapter 3” offers more variance as we follow John from the streets of New York to the underbelly of Casablanca. This time though, he faces greater threats equal to his own as he’s pitted against a team of top trained assassins, along with lethal gunmen decked out in full body armor. In case I haven’t made it clear by now, the action is so incredible to watch that I’m half tempted to see it again in theaters.

As if fighting them with guns or hand-to-hand combat wasn’t enough, the movie throws some new ideas into the mix with John Wick fighting assassins on horseback, sword-wielding assassins on motorcycles, and fighting a castle of gunmen with two hunting dogs; and it’s as brutal as it sounds. And for animal lovers out there who are worried, I’m going to break my one rule regarding spoilers and let you know that you have nothing to fear. No animals are killed in the movie. If anything, it’s the animals doing the killing. It gets so vicious I feel like there needs to be a label during the end credits that says: ‘No humans were harmed during the making of this movie.’

Before the conclusion, I need to talk about Halle Berry. While I didn’t mention her in the plot synopsis, she’s integral to the story—I just can’t divulge too much without spoiling things. It’s been a while since I’ve seen her in anything. Well, anything outstanding. And I have to say, she’s awesome in this movie as she plays the role of a retired assassin with two trained hunting dogs. Her team up with Keanu Reeves’ character leads to some well-choreographed and incredible actions scenes between them. One last thing I also loved about their team up is there’s no romance shoved in. A bad filmmaker would’ve tried to shoehorn a contrived romance just so the film would have an excuse to show some skin all under the poor guise of “character growth.” Thankfully, the people behind the wheel are anything but.

“John Wick Chapter 3” is rated R for pervasive strong violence, and some language. After waiting two years, the sequel has delivered what it set out to do. Solid combat, good story, along with a marvelous style that sets it apart from the other bland action films staining the genre. Which is why this must-see film gets an 8.5 out of 10!

Marco Island resident and avid moviegoer, Matthew Mendisana is a Lynn University alumnus. While he possesses a bachelor’s degree in science, it’s the arts that attracted his attention. In his four years at Lynn, Matthew managed to achieve Magna Cum Laude status, earn three publications in the Lynn University magazine, make a short documentary featured in the university’s Film Festival, and created a radio PSA that was later broadcasted overseas.

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