By Mark Saldana
Rating: 3 (Out of 4 Stars)
With John Wick (Chapter 1), a great foundation was laid for a new and amazing franchise and gritty world of assassins and criminals. With John Wick: Chapter 2, the filmmakers expanded on this world in some exciting and imaginative ways, taking its protagonists and the audience on a wild and thrilling journey. With John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, audiences won’t get a lot of further development of the world’s lore, but one cannot deny, that it is still one hell of a wild ride. Keanu Reeves reprises his role as the titular “Baba Yaga,” and the filmmakers, once again, outdo themselves when it comes to the action and violence. My only slight disappointment is that they didn’t have much more than that to offer this time.
Taking place immediately following the events of the previous film, assassin John Wick is on the run while the world’s next best assassins are hot on his trail tto colkect his bounty. After securing the safety of his beloved pet dog, Wick seeks the help of former associate Sofia (Halle Berry). Both Wick and Sofia, while evading and battling multiple attackers) hope to cut a deal wuth the powers-that-be. However, with that deal comes a high price that will sacrifice Wick’s freedom for his survival.
Written by Derek Kolstad, Shay Hatten, Chris Collins, and Marc Abrams and directed by Chad Stahelski, Parabellum is another balls-to-the-wall action and stunt fest that is an absolute joy to behold. The amazing stuntwork and choreography is on display here with some highly entertaining twists on gunfights, martial arts abd gun chases. Like I previously stated, the story and several of the world is somewhat lacking, but nevertheless, I had an absolute blast enjoying this delicious and hearty serving of action cinema.
Once again, the entire cast appears to have an excellent time performing in their roles. Keanu, Laurence Fishburne, Lance Reddick and Ian McShane comfortably return and shine brightly as usual. They are joined by newcomers Halle Berry, Mark Dacascos, Asia Kate Dillon, Anjelica Huston, Said Taghmaoui, and more. All of who perform wonderfully in their respective roles.
And though this may be the weakest entry of the franchise so far, that is not to say that Parabellum is a total failure. Considering that it is the third installment, I suppose it should be expected to completely outdo its predecessors. Though I have only given this movie a three star rating, I still encourage the real fans of this franchise to show up in droves and give it much love.