John Wick: Chapter 3 – 'Parabellum' Review
Last Modified On: 20 May 2019 | Reviewed By: Anjali Shukla
Intense, well choreographed action sequences and thrill of the chase is what Keanu Reeves' John Wick chapter 3 promises. A refreshed course to action packed drama with powerful visuals.
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The movie has received 88 % by Rotten Tomatoes and 8.2 by IMDb, contains pervasive strong violence and crude language. “John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum” is not subtle or thought provoking, it is raw, Adrenalin charged action, something that Keanu Reeves does best and does it beautifully.
After gunning down a member of the High Table -- the shadowy international assassin's guild -- legendary hit man John Wick 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 the world's most ruthless killers.
While running, he meets a man in an alley next to a dumpster, who tells him gleefully, “Tick tock, Mr. Wick.” Like Wick, the audience knows that time is running out.
This race against time begins the third installment with a surreal sense of urgency, as Wick runs in a neon-drenched city, faces death every second through some action set-pieces that have a rather enterprising lucidity to them.
Playing to its core strengths, the opening sequences use surprising objects for disseminating deaths to Wick’s opponents.In a public library, he uses a fat book to first defend, then attack an imposing combatant. In a stable, a horse gets used tactfully to kill, and when he rides the horse against men on bikes, he evokes the past of war heroes who, while maneuvering a horse, could lead one to win. But the most cheerfully anarchic sequence arrives when he faces a group of fighters in a hand to hand to skirmish in a weapon factory. The choreography of the scene is fluid, like a Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers number, taking in all details of physical grace.
Parabellum is Latin for "prepare for war". The film goes on to cite the ancient phrase “Si vis pacem, para bellum”, meaning "If you want peace, prepare for war." The script expands on the mythology by hinting at Wick’s past, and soon taking him to the dingy lanes of Casablanca to meet an old friend.
The criminal universe aided by systematic bureaucracy and code of conduct known as the High Table, reaches ludicrous heights when we meet The Elder ― someone who can reverse Wick’s ‘excommunicado’ status. Asia Kate Dillon, as the Adjudicator deploys ruthless rules of the High Table, while Mark Dacascos delivers a load of fatal thrills as a sushi chef who doubles up as a samurai assassin, and oh yes, a John Wick fanboy. The regulars - Ian McShane as Winston, Laurence Fishburne as the Bowery King, and Lance Reddick as the concierge Charon – only deepen the lore with swift familiarity.Chad Stahelski, who was Reeves’ stunt double as well as a stunt coordinator directed all three movies in the series.
The way this series is metamorphosing into its own mythology of action, driven purely by the star’s feline agility, shows a director-actor collaboration reaching a peak romance. Not only do the action set-pieces continue to raise the stakes film after film, the execution also illustrates volumes about the director’s understanding of the star’s body confidence and range.
When the climactic contest arrives in a spray of bullets followed by brawls in a glass house, you know Stahelski and his star have delivered what you have come to expect from their collective dance of death. The violence is designed stunningly in wide angle, like a ballet of cinematic mayhem.
The Wick films are best appreciated not so much as story but as pure choreography, albeit one in which the dancers are stabbed in the eye socket, kicked in the head by horses, bitten in the crotch by German shepherds or shot with a high-powered weapon, leaving a sudden plume of blood and brain matter on the screen before John moves on to the next pas de deux. This is what Mr. Wick, as he is most often addressed, along with, once or twice, Baba Yaga does best.
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