Film Review: JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 – PARABELLUM (USA 2019)

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum Poster
Trailer

Super-assassin John Wick is on the run after killing a member of the international assassin’s guild, and with a $14 million price tag on his head – he is the target of hit men and women everywhere.

Director:

Chad Stahelski

Writers:

Derek Kolstad (screenplay by), Shay Hatten (screenplay by) | 4 more credits »

Keanu Reeves as John Wick is back – uglier and unshaven as ever.  In trouble as ever.  And the film is bloodier and violent as ever – it obeying the rules (not like Wick in the Continental hotel) of being bigger and louder a sequel than the original.  But not necessarily for the better.  The film proves that there can be too much of a good thing – arguably if one wants to count action set pieces as a good thing.

The word Parabellum in the film title mens ‘prepare for war’ though it is arguable that all the assassins in the world vs. John Wick can be defined as one .

Chad Stahelski who also directed the original returns to the director’s chair in the third instalment of the franchise offering more action and violence as the first two John Wick films.  The film is all action based on a loose story line that surprisingly took four screenwriters, Derek Kolstad, Shay Hatten, Chris Collins, and Marc Abram to pen.

The most interesting aspect of the first JOHN WICK1984 film is the Continental Hotel.  As every John Wick fan knows, no one can do away with anyone there – as it a place of solace and amnesty that every criminal or cop has to adhere to.  John Wick broke the rule.  As a result he finds himself on the run for a host of assassins all out to kill Wick to earn the huge bounty of $14 million put on his head.  Being declared as excommunicado after killing D’Antonio on Continental grounds, the chances of survival have never been thinner for Wick. With the aid of old allies, John seeks to turn the tide.

A subplot involves the head and owner of the Continental, Winston (Ian McShane) forced to step down but refuses who also helps Wick by giving him blood markers, whatever that means.

The film was shot in exotic locations like Morocco, Montreal and New York City.  The soundtrack by Tyler Bates who is good for putting lots o signs together in a soundtrack is a winner.

Besides Reeves, other actors in the franchise like Halle Berry as Sofia another assassin but close friend, Laurence Fishburne and Lance Reddick as Charron the continental concierge reprise their roles.

The film is excessively violent.  There nastiest of these is a blade stabbed right into a victim’s eye during fight.  Other stabbings to the head and other body parts happen frequently.

The action flick runs two hours.  After a quarter through the film, one realizes that the film is nothing more than actions set pieces that eventually get really boring and repetitive.  Wick fights his assassins using Martial Arts, knives, motorbikes, guns, hand-to-hand and cars.  All the fight options are too exhausted.  So is the audience’s attention span.  Chapter 3 is clearly the worst of the John Wick franchise.

JOHN WICK 3, as the film is alternatively called hopes to derail AVENGERS ENDGAME  from the number 1 box-office this weekend.

Trailer: ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBB1whi46QE

Film Review:JOHN WICK CHAPTER 2

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john_wick_chapter_2Director: Chad Stahelski
Writers: Derek Kolstad, Derek Kolstad (based on characters created by)
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Riccardo Scamarcio, Ian McShane

Review by Gilbert Seah

The second in the series of John Wick films is in fact a continuation of the first JOHN WICK film, with the same director and star Keanu Reeves as the hit-man John Wick.

When the first film was left, Wick’s prized Mustang got stolen and his dog killed by the son of a Russian mobster. In an extended car chase and fight sequence when CHAPTER 2 begins, the audience sees the mobster grunt in disbelief to see his shop and all his men, one after another, demolished by Wick as he comes hunting for his car. The comedy is black and funny enough with sufficient violent action fight choreography to satisfy the action fans. Director Chad Stahelski knows how to stage fights, him being Reeves’ stunt double in THE MATRIX films.

CHAPTER TWO runs at full-throttle for over two hours with a minimum plot The premise involves legendary hit-man John Wick forced back out of retirement by a former associate plotting to seize control of a shadowy international assassins’ guild. Bound by a blood oath to help him, John travels to Rome, where he squares off against some of the world’s deadliest killers. Though the story obviously is inconsequential, one would have expected the filmmakers to put in a bit more effort into the story.

Keanu Reeves makes the perfect anti-hero John Wick, shown with face bruises more than half the time. It is worthy of his character in BILL AND TED’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE that brought him to fame. CHAPTER TWO sees more well-known actors lending a hand to make the film more exciting. COMMON plays Cassian, the head of security of a female crime boss who gives Wick a good fight for his money. Laurence Fishburne plays The Bowery King, a ruthless crime boss and Italian star Riccardo Scamarcio plays Santino, an assassin while Ian McShane reposes his role as the head of hotel, where no killings re tolerated.

The first JOHN WICK film had lots of fresh ideas whereas CHAPTER TWO rides on the first success, adding no new inventive surprises. In the first the hotel where truce must be obeyed is again reprised with Wick and the security played by Common forced to have a drink there. In the first film, there is a very sexy fight between a lady assassin in black and Wick. In CHAPTER TWO, there is a fight between Wick and a girl, this time in white, Ares (Ruby Ros) but the fight scene can nowhere be even described as sexy. Rose looks incredibly unsexy, when she dies with her huge eyes bulging. CHAPTER TWO also contains lots of repetitions. The joke of Wick and the security head fighting and rolling down the steps is repeated not once, but twice in the same sequence. Wick’s affinity to his dog, a black pitbull is also repeatedly drummed into the audience’s heads.

JOHN WICK CHAPTER 2 has lost its spark. Running at a length of over 2 hours does not help matters either. The case of more and louder in this sequel leads to boredom and a headache.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/user/eOnefilms

 

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