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Film / John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

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All spoilers for John Wick and John Wick: Chapter 2 will be left unmarked. You Have Been Warned!
Charon: Do you expect him to make it out?
Winston: A $14 million bounty on his head, and every interested party in the city wants a piece of it? I'd say the odds are about even.

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum is the 2019 sequel to John Wick: Chapter 2 and the third film in the John Wick franchise. It is directed by Chad Stahelski, with the screenplay by franchise creator Derek Kolstad, Shay Hatten, Chris Collins and Marc Abrams, and the story by Kolstad. It was released on May 17, 2019.

Having murdered a member of the High Table while in the Continental, John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is now on the run with a $14 million bounty on his head. Excommunicated from the Continental and with practically every assassin in the world wanting to take him down, John is forced to find allies wherever he can simply to survive.

The film also stars Halle Berry as Sofia Al-Azwar, Laurence Fishburne as the Bowery King, Mark Dacascos as Zero, Asia Kate Dillon as the Adjudicator, Lance Reddick as Charon, Anjelica Huston as the Director and Ian McShane as Winston Scott.

Almost immediately after this film's release, a fourth John Wick film was announced; titled John Wick: Chapter 4. It was released on March 24, 2023.

Previews: Trailer 1 (preview), Trailer 2.

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum contains examples of:

  • Actor Allusion:
  • Action Girl: Sofia is introduced as the first female assassin in the Wickverse allied to John.
  • Action Prologue: The story is an Immediate Sequel to the previous movie where John is running to get out of New York before his grace period is over and every assassin goes after him. One of them, named Ernest, decides to cheat and attack him before the hour is over, so John spends the beginning of the movie fighting off assassins until he gets where he wanted to.
  • Advertised Extra: For all that she's played up in the trailers, Sofia is only in the movie for about 20 minutes in the second act.
  • Agony of the Feet: The Director mentioned that ballet is a painful artform. True to this, one of her dancers is shown pulling a busted toenail off in full view.
  • All for Nothing: Wick's entire journey to seek out the Elder and clear his Excommunicado status ended up being for naught, as it requires the death of Winston at his hands, something he could not bring himself to do, implicitly at least partially because it would force him back under the High Table for life.
  • Almighty Janitor: Charon, the humble hotel concierge, finally gets to wade into bullet fire and proves himself quite adept at it.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Given Winston only shot John's bullet proof suit when he betrayed John at the end of the film and mentions John's identity as the Baba Yaga after reassuring the Adjudicator "how far can he get?": Was Winston truly trying to kill John? Was John in on it?
    • Winston gave John a marker in the last film. Killing the bearer of a marker gets you killed, as the last film discussed. So its highly likely Winston was not shooting to kill.
  • Apathetic Citizens: Part of the overall tone of the franchise, people get killed violently in public settings and random pedestrians move on without noticing. It is downplayed compared to the previous films, as here most of the random citizens are assassins looking to kill John.
  • Arc Words:
    • Several characters repeat and comment upon the phrase "I have served. I will be of service", which appears to be an oath of loyalty among the Table and those who serve under it. This ultimately makes Winston's betrayal of Wick at the end of the film rather dubious, as while he claims to "have served", he doesn't complete the whole phrase, and instead goes on about how he's a valuable pillar of stability for New York City.
    • The phrase "choices and consequences" also pops up quite a bit, mostly in relation to the fallout of John's actions at the end of the second movie and what path he wants to take now.
    • The Adjudicator also reminds several people that they exist "under the Table." The first half of the movie follows John seeking an audience with "the One Above the Table" to clear him of his excommunicado status and allow him to live.
    • Characters proclaim their loyalty to the High Table by pledging their "fealty". The Bowery King, notably, thinks it's a load of horseshit.
      Bowery King: I'm gonna shove so much "fealty" up your ass it's gonna come spilling out your mouth.
    • Once again, "be seeing you" returns.
  • Armor Is Useless:
    • Zig-zagged with the common bulletproof suits. While they are quite good at stopping conventional handgun rounds, they do nothing to protect against knives and other sharp puncturing weapons, as demonstrated during the library fight between John and Ernest. Also, they only protect the parts of the body that they cover, which is not a lot.
    • Averted with the High Table's enforcers, who are the only characters in the film to wear proper body armor and helmets instead of the standard bulletproof suits, and prove much more difficult to defeat as a result. Sofia's dogs also wear armor, which saves one's life when Berrada shoots it.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: With the High Table's Elite Mooks No-Selling their standard handgun rounds, Wick and Charon break out semi-automatic shotguns with steel slugs to punch through their armor.
  • Artistic License – Medicine: As described in this video (featuring trauma surgeon Dr. Annie Onishi), the surgery scene early in the film has two major issues:
    • The Continental's doctor closes up the skin over John's "nicked artery", but he doesn't repair the arterial injury itself, essentially leaving the internal bleeding unaddressed.
    • When the doctor asks John to shoot him non-fatally to make it look like he was coerced into providing treatment, he directs him to shoot him in the lower intestine and shoulder, both of which are highly problematic places to be shot. Damage to the lower intestine can easily be permanent, and often requires the use of a colostomy bag as part of the treatment. Meanwhile, the shoulder is home to a major artery that is notoriously difficult to seal up, leaving him at danger of quickly bleeding out. There is in fact no "safe" place to shoot someone and one can not know for sure if the bullet wounds will be survivable. Part of the problem is that medical textbooks showing the locations of veins, arteries, and nerves are guidelines, as they will grow on their own in slightly different locations, and where one person might have two arteries, another might have three.
  • As You Know: Berrada gives John and Sofia a quick primer on the High Table and the assassins that operate under it as well as an explanation of the world's gold coins and markers.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: The High Table's enforcers are heavily armored from head to toe, and virtually immune to small arms fire. If one fighting them lacks armor-piercing weapons, the only place they can be shot at for a kill is in the neck. Even then, their enclosed helmets would need to be yanked open to expose this weak spot.
  • Back-Alley Doctor: John rushes to the Continental's doctor for treatment in a dingy backroom during the brief grace period Winston gives him before John loses access to all Continental services. The doctor reluctantly stops when the hour runs out, and John has to finish the patch job himself.
  • Badass Crew: Zero and his apprentices, they cut through any factions with ease and give John a lot of troubles. Some of them could have even killed him if they didn't pull Honor Before Reason.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: As with previous films, Wick wears his bulletproof suit throughout the film, even when he's trekking through the Sahara Desert. When he meets the Elder of the High Table, he receives a new suit.
  • Bad Boss: Zero, perhaps due to his fanboy status regarding John, has no real complaint with his students being killed off. In fact, should an ally try to get between him and John without his explicit consent, he would kill them without a second thought, as demonstrated against a High Table Elite Mook.
  • Bald of Evil: Zero, the secondary antagonist, has a clean pate. He's even shown getting a touch-up just before the climax kicks in.
  • Batman Gambit: Winston is set to be removed as the operator of the Continental due to going lenient on John for executing a member of the High Table. Knowing John was given the option of killing him to prove his loyalty, he decides to refuse, which results in his Continental being "deconsecrated" and open for any assassin to conduct business. He then gives John the option of either killing him (preferable to die by a friend) or join him as he wages war against the High Table. With John on his side, they fend off the first wave of High Table blackguards, which Winston then uses as leverage to prove his strength and that trying to remove him would be more trouble than it's worth. With his commission reinstated, the only problem was that John is once again a loose end.
  • Beat:
    • John and two unnamed mooks in Casablanca pause when they're tangled together and realize they've all run out of ammo at the same time.
    • After throwing John through several glass cases, Zero's Co-Dragons pause as if realizing how absurd the situation is before throwing him through another one.
    • During the armory fight, John and the assassin share a moment when they realize they're standing between cases stuffed with antique knives.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: Zero and his students delight in using Stealth Hi/Bye techniques to confuse John... until John reveals that he can do it even better than they can.
  • Berserk Button: Do not threaten Sofia's dogs in any way, Seriously, just don't and God help you if you actually shoot one.
  • Big Bad: The Adjudicator, who acts as the main enforcer of the High Table, serves as the primary antagonistic force of the film, although even the Adjudicator is shown more a symptom of a larger situation (Wick having broken the rules and having the entire world on his trail) than an actual Big Bad.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The Adjudicator, who notably lacks empathy, has a prominent neck tattoo: the word "einfühlung", which means "empathy" in German. The tattoo is actor Asia Kate Dillon's own, but it does make for some quality Irony mainly because that is one thing the Adjudicator is not known for.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The only thing keeping it from being a Downer Ending is the fact that John and the Bowery King are revealed to be alive after being seemingly killed, and have (possibly) teamed up. Other than that the Bowery King lost almost all of his henchmen and by the end of the film, John has lost a finger, is forced to give away his wedding ring, fallen off the roof of a building, been betrayed by his former friends, and the bounty on his head remains active and has jumped up to 20 million.
  • Black Comedy:
    • To avoid persecution for helping an Excommunicado fugitive, the Doctor hands Wick a derringer and tells him to make it seem like he was forced at gunpoint. He asks Wick to hit him in two non-fatal areas, carefully instructing each shot so that they don't break anything vital, and both times, Wick just shoots anyway, nonchalantly interrupting the Doctor as he speaks.
    • The knife shop fight is full of this, such as one mook just keep getting repeatedly stabbed by throwing knives like a human pincushion, everybody throwing knives at each other only for the knives to land on the blunt sides, and John Wick casually finishing off a downed, struggling enemy by chucking an axe into his head.
  • The Blade Always Lands Pointy End In: Averted. When John Wick and a few assassins are reduced to chucking knives at each other, some visibly land on the blunt side of the blade or the hilt, falling on the ground harmlessly. Granted, most still land the pointy end in, but still.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Averted. Both Sofia and Charon live. So does the Bowery King.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Once again, they amp up the violence for the newest entry. Quite a few heads pop, bladed weapons get far more spotlight here, and the hand-to-hand is even more gruesome than before.
  • Blood Is Squicker in Water: During the raid of the Continental, John tackles a High Table enforcer into a shallow pool. John wins the fight, and the pool runs red as he rises out of the water.
  • Boarding School of Horrors: The Director runs an orphanage and theatre for the Ruska Roma children, who each receive Training from Hell to toughen them up for being an assassin, differing by gender: all the girls learn to become ballet dancers, while the boys learn wrestling.
  • Book Safe: John has an emergency stash hidden in a book in the New York Public Library, with some coins, a marker, prayer beads, and a photo of his late wife.
  • Boom, Headshot!: It's a John Wick movie. Taken to new heights in the finale when to fight the High Table's Elite Mooks, John has to shoot each one multiple times in the neck due to bullet-resistant helmets and body armor, which he usually prefaces with some rounds to the body and head to knock them off-balance and keep them disoriented until he can get in close to assure a killing shot. He and Charon eventually resort to shotguns loaded with armor-piercing slug rounds that quite literally blow up people's heads.
  • Brick Joke: Before being allowed to see the Director, John is told to remove his belt. We find out why when he later uses his belt as an Improvised Weapon against two men with knives.
  • Bullet Proof Human Shield: During the shoot out at the New York Continental, John briefly grapples and maneuvers one of the Heavily Armored Mooks in front of him as a shield, though it proves slightly redundant when he successfully kills the remaining henchman without letting him actually get a shot off. In this case, the bulletproof part is fully justified by the high grade body armor they're all wearing.
  • The Bus Came Back: The Continental Doctor played by Randall Duk Kim who patched John up after the club fight in the first film returns here when John seeks him out for an operation.
  • Call-Back: John Wick defeats Zero in the exact same way that he defeated the last of Viggo's henchmen that invaded his home in the first film, by pinning his opponent on the ground and push the knife into his chest. Sofia also points out that "sometimes, you have to kill the ones you love", which calls back the Marylin Manson song prominently used in the first film ("Killing Strangers", with a chorus of: "We're killing strangers / so we won't kill the ones who we love.").
  • The Cameo:
    • Jason Mantzoukas has a bit part as the Tick Tock Man, a servant of the Bowery King.
    • Robin Lord Taylor as the High Table clerk who carries out the Adjudicator’s order to deconsecrate the New York Continental.
    • Tiger Chen, choreographer of The Matrix and co-star of Man of Tai Chi, plays the assassin that gets a knife slowly pushed into his eye during the antique weapon museum fight.
    • Boban Marjanović of NBA fame plays Ernest the library assassin.
  • Canine Companion: John's unnamed pitbull stays by his side. Sofia has a pair of attack dogs that follow her into action, who favour the Groin Attack.
  • Cannot Kill Their Loved Ones: Subverted. Winston, who has acted as a friend and mentor to John up until this point, doesn't hesitate to shoot John off the roof of the Continental in order to settle his issues with the Adjudicator and the High Table.
  • Car Fu: Wisely, some Italians decide to soften John up by hitting him with a car. Then by hitting him with a second car. Then, unwisely, they get out of their cars.
    • Shortly thereafter, John uses a variant when he maneuvers a horse into knocking someone down, then into kicking him when he gets back up. Seriously. Horse Fu. It may be different but it works
  • Central Theme: Choice and consequences. The majority of the film has John trying to get out of the consequences of murdering Santino at the end of the last film, only to realize he can't give up on his ability to choose when asked to become a tool of the High Table and kill Winston. As such, John's attempt to escape the consequences of his actions just puts him back exactly where he started: banned from the Continental with a massive bounty on his head as a consequence of his choice to embrace his worst impulses. Similarly, everyone who helped John during the last film suffers consequences at the hands of the High Table (with the exception of the doctor, who instead has John shoot him to hide the fact he helped John). Finally, the High Table's decision to throw their authority around causes various others to turn against them, including Sofia, and in the denouement the Bowery King, who joins forces with John to strike back at the Table.
  • Chekhov's Gag: Early in the film, a gangster John is appealing to get past demands that he empties his pockets, which he does. They then ask Wick to remove his belt, and treat the request as though it were a serious weapon. John, slightly confused by this otherwise odd request, complies with them, and then they let Wick past. Later on in the film, this gag is later put to use, as Wick uses his belt against two knife-wielding assassins.
    • Doubles as Chekhov's Skill when immediately after giving up his belt we see assassins-in-training practicing Sambo in the school John trained in as a youth. Using his belt against the faster knife assassins later in the film gives John improvised sleeve and collar grips on his opponents from which to apply those Sambo throws and slow his opponents down.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Winston reveals himself to carry a pretty little handgun... which he uses to shoot John at the end of the film.
    • Literally with the pistol that the Bowery King gave to John in his quest to kill Santino in the last film. The Adjudicator uses it as the evidence to punish the Bowery King for helping John Wick kill a member of the High Table.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The Tick Tock Man at first appears to be a random mentally ill homeless person, until he reappears serving the Bowery King. Later still, he brings John back to the injured King's lair after Winston shoots him off the roof of the Continental.
  • Co-Dragons: Zero has his own, the two Shinobi played by Cecep Arif Rahman and Yayan Ruhian.
  • Conspicuous Consumption: John is offered a bath in a tub full of water in the middle of the desert, an extravagant show of wealth and power considering the location. Add to that it could also be seen as a great honour since people in the desert value water more than gold.
  • Consummate Professional: As part of the John Wick universe, this continues although downplayed in a few instances. Charon, as usual, is unfailingly polite and well mannered but when an Adjudicator from the High Table arrives even he hesitates for a response. The assassin Zero puts on a show of professionalism when hunting John, but when having to keep to the rules of The Continental he confesses he is actually a huge fan of John Wick and is pleased the fight wasn't too easy.
  • Cool Guns:
    • As per series tradition, Parabellum features many tricked-out firearms by Taran Tactical Innovations, the same company who provided the modified Glocks and AR-15 used in Chapter Two. The most notable packages this time are Sofia's Glock 19, the TTI STI 2011 Combat Master used by Wick during the Continental siege, and the modified Benelli M2s that he and Charon use to defeat the High Table soldiers' body armor.
    • Winston himself possesses a rather ornate Colt Hammerless that doubles as a Chekhov's Gun.
  • Creator Cameo: Chad Stahelski makes a very brief background appearance as the person who walks back on crossing the road as John rides out on a horse.
  • Crossing the Desert: John does this in his hopes of finding "The Elder".
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Zero and his students versus any other assassin will result in a complete bloodbath for the latter, be it The Director's henchmen, the Bowery King's henchmen, or other assassins who are after John. John himself gets his ass kicked by most of the students and only wins because they are taking their time to enjoy it.
    • The High Table's elite hit squads that are sent to secure the New York Continental wiped the floor with the Continental security guards, as they are much more heavily armed and wear almost impenetrable armors. The Continental security's small firearms and less durable suit armors are no match for their superior firepower. Only John and Charon managed to stand their ground against them, before curb-stomping the mooks in turn armed with shotguns loaded with armor-piercing slugs.
  • Denser and Wackier: While the previous films used dark humor and over the top action and mystical ritual elements when dealing with the dark underworld, the third entry dials everything up to eleven with a heavy dose of Black Comedy. The fight scenes switch between realistic gun combat to John killing foes with books, belts, and horses and rebuilding an entire gun from scratch. The underworld politics developed from shady dealings with mafia-like Omniscient Council of Vagueness to a full-blown Ancient Conspiracy controlling the underworld. This shift also introduced a lot of archaic rituals and customs like a oath of fealty, brandings, seeking guidance by pilgrimage or showing trust by eating a piece of poison fish. Likewise, "The one above the Table" requires people to perform rituals to meet him and gain his favor, dressed like a Sultan. However, much of these elements in this movie are also extensions of rituals and dark comedy from the earlier movies, such as the use of golden coins, the blood oaths of the Markers, and the surreal humor of John's public fights with assassins in New York.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Sofia is established as this to John, using the same Gun Fu fighting style, racking up a ridiculously high body count, a backstory involving her leaving the assassin business because of a loved one, and is very, very protective of her dogs.
  • Don't Make Me Destroy You: When Ernest first confronts John in the library, John asks if the other man sure about what he's doing. Even when Ernest remarks on how large John's bounty is, John replies it won't mean anything if he's dead.
  • Double-Meaning Title: The title is from the phrase, "Si vis pacem, para bellum" - If you want peace, prepare for war - as well as the 9x19 Parabellum round, which got its name from the aforementioned phrase.
  • The Dragon: Zero takes this role to the Adjudicator.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Zero does a lot more heavy lifting for the High Table, is the main foe John has to get through and is overall a lot more threatening than the Adjudicator.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: Zero only aims to fight and kill John Wick, nothing else.
  • Dual Boss: The above-mentioned Shinobi engage John as a pair.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: The Bowery King created an army, just as invisible and capable as the well respected assassins of the High Table and the Continental, from nothing and he's punished nearly fatally for not showing due respect while being shown none in return. Where the more respectable members of the Underworld are punished for helping John after he's declared excommunicate, BK is punished for helping him go after Santino beforehand, because Santino had become a member of the High Table. BK ends the film alive and pissed off.
  • Elite Mooks:
    • Zero's students are shown to be an especially formidable group and make short work of the Bowery King's forces, the Director's security team, and an Assassin team that was about to take on John. The Adjudicator seeks them out specifically because they're a force that can strong-arm so many of the dissident parties.
    • The High Table's elite soldiers wear advanced bulletproof armor, allowing them to wipe out Charon's backup with ease and force John to take more heavy firepower.
  • Enemy Civil War: Despite holding to John's Excommunicado decree made in the previous film, the High Table sends an Adjudicator who proceeds to contact every organization that assisted John Wick at one point. Winston specifically was removed as head of the New York Continental, all the intention of reaffirming their absolute power. None of them are particularly happy about being harassed, with both Winston and the Bowery King deciding to go down fighting. Winston appears to negotiate a new deal, while the Bowery King is set to strike at the High Table personally.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: Eschewing any of the racism that can be found in East Asian traditions, Zero's students are a multi-ethnic group, with the two respectful students John allows to survive being Indonesian and Zero's actor having a diverse background that is only tangentially Japanese at the most.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: During the parley, Winston is given back the Continental. When asked what will happen to Wick, Winston (despite being a personal friend) immediately shoots him and causes him to plunge off the roof to his near-death. It's left ambiguous as to whether Winston deliberately allowed Wick to live as part of a triple-cross.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: While it's downplayed due to it only being those within the assassin world, there are a hell of a lot of them around the world and situated within NYC, so the trope may as well still be in play.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The majority of characters are known only by their occupation: the Adjudicator, the Director, the Bowery King, the Doctor, the Elder. Even in case of those who have names (Zero, Charon) it is unclear whether they are real names or just nicknames.
  • Evil Chef: Besides being a ferocious assassin, Zero is also a sushi chef.
  • Eye Scream: John stabs one very unlucky Mook straight in the eye, without a Gory Discretion Shot (at least outside of Australia).
  • Exact Words: The oath of fealty to the High Table goes "I have served. I will be of service". Winston's oath at the end of the movie states that he has served, but he does not say "I will be of service". Instead he says the following, quoted below. Time will tell if the omission is significant.
    "I have served. I have been a beacon of order and stability to our industry for over 40 years. So I humbly acknowledge that I overstepped and re-pledge my fidelity to the High Table."
  • Fingore: Several characters get their finger(s) slashed off during the film. Among them, John Wick himself, who slices off his left ring finger to prove his loyalty to The Elder.
  • Flipping the Bird: An incredibly pissed off John flips off the Bowery King when the latter comments on his missing ring finger.
  • Friend-or-Idol Decision: John is given the choice between killing his friend so he could keep on living in memory of his wife or die staying true to his friend. Winston tells John that if he goes through it he'll never really be the man who Helen married as he'll be reinstated under the High Table. Then by the end of the film Winston offers that he be reinstated as the proprietor of the New York Continental and swears fealty to the High Table, and nonchalantly shoots John off of the rooftop they're on as "proof". The Bowery King admits he would have tossed Wick under the bus like that too.
  • Gang of Hats: Apparently being the manager of the Continental comes with a style guide. Berrada, Sofia's predecessor as Manager of the Casablanca Continental, is a Sharp-Dressed Man with a European accent, and has a penchant for ascots, just like Winston and Julius.
  • Giant Mook: John's first fight in the film is against Ernest, a colossal assassin played by 7'3 basketball star Boban Marjanović.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: When a character usually speaks one language, but suddenly switches to another without any prior indication that he/she knows any other languages:
    • Zero suddenly switches to grammatically correct Japanese when formally declaring his intention to kill John. (To the trained ear, it sounds slightly jarring/masticated due to actor Mark Dacascos' apparent inexperience with the language.)
    • Winston switching to the Latin out of nowhere is an another example.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The High Table's presence looms over the entire film, but John never gets to directly confront them.
  • Groin Attack: Aplenty in this film. Sofia's attack dogs even have a command for it!
  • Guns Firing Underwater: John Wick and one of the High Table mooks fall into a pool, and Wick is smart enough to realize this trope is not a good idea. He pushes away as the mook fires, with the bullets falling harmlessly after only a few feet (which is Truth in Television). After the mook’s gun jams, Wick is forced to put the gun up to the mook’s neck to finish him.
  • The Hashshashin: Mr. Berrada talks about them at length, and it is strongly implied the assassin network we see throughout the films is actually a modern incarnation of the Hashashin Order. The "man above the High Table" is even shown to be a take on the "Old Man of the Mountain" concept and John sacrifices his ring finger to show his loyalty.
  • Heavily Armored Mooks: The High Table's elite troops wear advanced body armor that makes them virtually immune to John's normally devastating Gun Fu moves. Their only weak spot is the tiny gap between the collar and helmet, and even that only works at point-blank range. It ultimately requires 12-gauge steel slugs to punch through the armor with any degree of efficiency.
  • Hidden Supplies: One of the first things John does before his contract went live was rush to the nearby library to locate a book, one that has a number of important items he uses to call in favors, as well as extra coins from the Continental and a picture of his dead wife.
  • History Repeats:
    • At one point, a high-powered criminal, who’s allowed a trusted - and extremely lethal - assassin to retire, ends up shooting that same assassin’s dog. It didn’t work out well for Viggo and Iosef, and it doesn’t go well for Sofia’s boss either, though he didn't die.
    • Like his mentor Marcus before him, John is ordered to kill a close friend of his, with the penalty for refusing being death, and like Marcus, John refused to do so, which leads to those he crossed coming after him once again. The similarities end there, however, as unlike Marcus, John ultimately survives.
  • Holy Ground: Done as Rule of Symbolism; the 'ticket' that John uses to get safe passage to Casablanca is in the form of a rosary.
  • Honor Before Reason: The items John uses to call in favors are important to the Assassin hierarchy and as established in the previous film the recipients have to honor them. With John being excommunicated, however, any obligation they have to the rosary and marker are void and would no longer be enforced by the High Table. The Director and Sofia end up fulfilling them anyway to uphold their ends of the bargain rather than out of sympathy for John.
  • Human Pincushion: A poor Mook gets nearly a dozen knives thrown into him by John during the museum scuffle in the dawn of John's Excommunicado. John even pulls a knife out of his body to throw at a different person later in the same fight.
  • Hypocritical Humor: During the kerfuffle in the library, Ernest gestures for Wick to be quiet, and then proceeds to beat him up very noisily.
  • I Am the Noun: "I am the throne, baby! I AM THE BOWERY!"
  • I Die Free:
    • The Adjudicator demands that the Bowery King to submit to the High Table but he refuses and goes down defiant as his kingdom is dismantled around him. He survives and teams up with John at the end to begin working on taking down the system.
    • Played with. Winston seriously contemplates this when told to step down as owner of the Continental, and Wick is sent to kill him. Given his short speech, it's clear that Winston holds contempt against the Table and their ways, likening life bound to their rules to be nothing more than inescapable slavery. He would rather die at the hands of a friend, of course, and offers Wick his pistol to do the deed. Wick refuses, ultimately averting the trope by the end of the film.
  • Immediate Sequel: Even more so than the second to the first, with this film beginning mere moments after Chapter 2's conclusion and characters counting down to the moment the excommunication goes into effect.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Zero and his students make extensive use of the wakizashi, the short Japanese blade, in their wake of chaos. Zero himself finally meets his end this way, and with his own blade.
  • Implacable Man: When going up against the Continental's concierge, the High Table's emissaries simply walk through the bullets, seemingly taking no notice of the multiple impacts on their body armor.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Once again, John proves to be a master of this trope by using a book to crush the throat of an enemy, making some horses kick several other enemies, and during the climactic battle fighting Zero's Co-Dragons with his belt.
  • Internal Affairs: Basically the Adjudicator's job description in a nutshell, what with being sent to deal with serious infractions against the High Table's rules, tracking down the perpetrators and dispensing punishment according to what seems to be an internal penal code. However, what she really seems to be there to punish isn't John's obviously criminal behavior, but the various people in the Underworld being insufficiently deferential to the High Table.
  • Kick the Dog: Or rather shoot the dog, in Berrada's case. Thankfully, the dog survives.
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": Zero quite clearly is a huge fan of John Wick and is delighted to meet (and fight) him.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em:
  • Jawbreaker: John performs one on a rival assassin with a book as his tool. Sickening "Crunch!" ensues.
  • Made of Iron: Taken to a new level. John takes a lot of punishment over the course of the film, and he starts off with an artery in his shoulder getting nicked. A lot of fighting, being hit by cars, all on top of still suffering injuries from the previous films (all of which has happened over the course of a single week). Even in the climax, John falls off the roof of the Continental and lands hard but despite growing injuries and bloody face he is still alive.
  • Magic Antidote: After getting his stab wound from the beginning of the film treated, John is told to take some vaguely defined medicine that is supposed to help him deal with the pain while giving him a boost of energy.
  • Make an Example of Them: The Adjudicator punishes the Bowery King and the Director for helping John in the last film and this one, respectively, by having Zero slaughter their men and mutilate them.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Though not explicitly stated to be supernatural, the amount of mystical ritual in the setting, particularly surrounding the Elder as well as the sheer obliviousness of the civilians, implies something weird might be going on. It's not enough to be clear that there is something magical about the criminal and assassin underworld, but there's just enough to make everything feel off. The previous movies were more subtle about the transition between the "normal" world and the criminal underworld, but this installment in the series is far more blatant in how John and the other assassins seem to exist in a completely different world.
  • Mook Chivalry: Invoked here in the final act, to a degree. Zero's two apprentices ambush John just after he finishes a long killing spree in the Continental. They both make courteous greetings to express how honored they are to fight John, then they help him to his feet and allow him a moment to catch his breath before they properly start to fight. John returns the courtesy by not giving them the Coup de Grâce when they're lying helpless before him.
  • Morton's Fork: The Elder gave Wick two options regarding his Excommunicado status: to either refuse the offer and continue being hunted, or return to the fold by killing those who have stood against the Table, starting with Winston, and be granted amnesty along with passage back to the United States. It's a lose-lose situation either way, since the second option also forces Wick to spend the rest of his life as an assassin subservient to the Table itself, with no chance of freedom until death. Although it would seem like Wick was going for the latter, he ultimately took a third option.
  • Mysterious Animal Senses: John Wick's dog somehow senses the Bowery King's man carrying him away in a shopping cart from a block or more away while inside the Continental and runs down to stay by his side.
  • Near-Miss Groin Attack: During a fight with assassins in a room full of weapons, one of them hurls an ax right at John, which lands between his outstretched legs. Both he and the assassin pause seemingly in mutual sympathy of how narrowly John escaped such a cruel fate.
  • Never Bring a Gun to a Knife Fight: The firepower of the Director's and The Bowery King's goons is useless against the stealth and speed of dispatch provided by the short swords of Zero and his students. Most of them only find out something is not quite right when a blade gets lodged in their throat out of nowhere.
  • Never Bring a Knife to a Fist Fight: To keep the dramatic tension and of course to show off just how good he is, John regularly fights superiorly armed opponents, often with objects that aren't weapons at all. As stated in the Improbable Weapon User entry, the assassins after John bring a knife to a bookfight, swords to a beltfight, and guns to a horsefight, and are promptly defeated.
  • Never Tell Me the Odds!: Played with:
    Charon: Do you really expect him to make it out?
    Winston: A $14 million bounty on his head, and every hood in the city wants a piece of it? I’d say the odds are about even.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished.
    • Averted! Near the end of the film two of Zero's mooks show courtesy and respect to John Wick, giving him time to recover when they could have easily killed him outright. The pair also treat their duel to the death with Wick as some sort of high-stakes sparring match. As such, when John finally defeats them, he shows them the same courtesy and lets them live.
    • For having aided John in his hunt for Santino in the previous film, the Bowery King is punished by having his organization destroyed and sliced seven times with a sword (once for each bullet he provided John).
    • Likewise, the New York Continental is deconsecrated for having having given John an hour's grace.
    • The Ruska Roma are also punished for aiding John. The Director gets stabbed through the hands and, as we'll learn later, another leader of the Roma in Germany is killed off screen.
  • No-Sell: The armor that the High Table's Elite Mooks wears basically lets them ignore bullets from handguns. Not so much when they have to deal with armor-piercing handgun rounds and steel shotgun slugs from up close.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: After the motorcycle fight to get to the New York Continental, John sits down on one end of the couch in the lobby and Zero, a fanboy, sits down right next to him, prompting John to get up and move to an armchair.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Despite wielding command of Zero's gang and the High Table Elite Mooks, the Adjudicator never presents a physical threat and is likewise never physically threatened.
  • Noodle Incident: Just like in the previous movie, a marker comes into play to force someone's assistance, and we have next to no idea what happened to engender the signature of said marker. The difference between Parabellum and Chapter 2 is John is the one owed a favor this time, for doing SOMETHING to save Sofia's daughter from retribution via The High Table to the point that Sofia doesn't know, nor can she afford to find out, where John stashed the girl.
  • Numerological Motif: The number 7. If people are found to have helped John, they have 7 days to leave town or pledge fealty and this very obvious with the Bowery King, who gives John a gun with 7 bullets and gets 7 cuts under the Adjudicator's orders. This is also a bit of Irony, as, getting "lucky" in this film isn't the most lucky thing to happen.
  • Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: Downplayed; this is the only sequel in the John Wick franchise with a second subtitle following the standard Chapter subtitle.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Implicitly done on a systemic scale. When the Adjudicator calls the Administrator to “deconsecrate” the New York Continental, the Administrator is visibly shocked, indicating this type of thing doesn’t happen often.
  • One-Man Army:
    • John Wick once again single-handedly kills dozens of other assassins and mercenaries over the course of the film.
    • Sofia establishes herself to be a One-Woman Army in the Casablanca fight scene, using a nearly identical fighting style to John.
    • Though we don't get to see it that often on screen, Charon is this as well, capable of taking down High Table's heavily armored Elite Mooks with his own strength without John's help!
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Twice, Zero saves John from other foes (first when he has his students kill a few goons in Grand Central Station, second when he personally saves John from one of the Adjudicator's Elite Mooks) because he wants the pleasure of killing John for himself.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: While John is busy dealing with Zero and his students in the Continental's private lounge, Charon is implied to have killed off all the remaining elite High Table soldiers offscreen.
  • Origins Episode: While not the focus of the movie, John's past before his marriage to Helen gets some elaboration when he visits the Director. For one thing, his real name is revealed to be Jardani Jovonovich, and he's an orphaned Belarusian immigrant who came to the States with help from the Director and the Ruska Roma.
  • Overly-Long Gag:
    • Zero's shinobi throw John through about half a dozen glass display cases in a row during their fight in the Continental's lounge.
    • The fight in the knife armory winds up turning into a contest of John and the assassins throwing, removing, and re-throwing knife after knife after knife...
  • Pet the Dog:
    • The first thing John does is use his last Continental coin to ensure his dog is taken care of and out of harm's way. What's more is that even after his excommunication, the Continental respects his request, and the dog makes it through the film safe and sound.
    • Zero and his students, in spite of being some of the deadliest killers seen in the series yet, are pretty affable and highly respectful towards John. When the two finally catch a break and don't have to go for each other's throats anymore, Zero drops his stone-cold assassin demeanor and devolves into an absolute fanboy who tries to bond with John over their love for their pets. The two Shinobi who fight John equally respect him and even help him up to ensure they have a fair fight, with the two agreeing that they should cut him some slack due to being retired for five years.
    • When Zero and his men walk onstage while her dancers are rehearsing, the Director panics and immediately orders all the children out of the theater for their own safety.
  • Plausible Deniability: Ernest tries to kill John before his hour is up, citing that with so little time left, no one will question whether he waited the full hour.
  • Precision F-Strike: The Bowery King's defiant declaration to the Adjudicator when they try to make him atone for his part in John's actions.
    Bowery King: Maybe you should get up off your High Table and go fuck yourself!
  • Product Placement:
    • Taran Tactical logos are shown clearly on all the guns John Wick uses.
    • A prominently placed billboard displaying an advertisement for Carl F. Butcherer watches can be seen in the background of the majority of John's fight with Zero.
    • One of the video boards on Times Square displays an ad for Conotoxia/, a Polish online currency exchange.
  • The Purge: On a more minor level, the Adjudicator hires local assassins to assault The Director and The Bowery King's base of operations as punishment for assisting John. It's not a systematic cleansing, but a show of force letting them know who is in charge.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: Zero's apprentices, starting with two barehanded fighters who enjoy kicking John through glass cases before taking out their swords to the two Shinobi treating John to a honorable duel.
  • Race Against the Clock: The first part of the film follows John as he rushes around New York trying to get whatever resources and help he can during the grace period before the contract on his head go live.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: During the very last shot of the film, a physically and emotionally damaged John Wick looks at directly at the camera and confirms to the Bowery King that yes, he is absurdly pissed. As he does this, his eyes are bloodshot red due to his wounds, accentuating even further his terrifying menace.
  • Red Shirt Army: Charon deploys a number of his concierge to assist him and John with defending the Continental from the High Table's Elite Mooks. As they turn out to be heavily armored, all the nameless guys get slaughtered in short order, with only John and Charon managing to work around the problem.
  • Running Gag: Just like in the last two movies, the Big Bad at one point calls to gloat/negotiate only to get hung up on mid-sentence without a word from the other person. The only difference is that this time, it's Winston on the other end, not John.
  • Schizo Tech: The High Table and criminal underworld as a whole are all over the place with this. Despite their state-of-the-art armaments, notably armors sturdy enough to withstand small arms fire while remaining light and mobile, the High Table on an administrative level still operate using Commodore 64s, retro dial phones, and manual switchboards instead of more modern equipment, keep track of bounties on a chalk board and flip/slide phones are still widely-used in-universe despite the films being set during present day. Even their operators wear uniforms more suited to the '50s in spite of extensive tattoos and piercings. This is briefly addressed in the Bowery King's conversation with the Adjudicator about his carrier pigeon network: he points out that the fact that it's low tech means that it's impossible for anybody to trace or hack.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: The High Table considers killing a member of the Table in order to open a spot and join the Table to be acceptable, but killing one as a matter of principle and honor is not. They refuse to acknowledge blood debts, oaths, or family, and insist that service to the High Table is the only acceptable goal in the Underworld. The One Who Sits Above the Table is even less bound by the rules and agrees to lift John's Excommunication if he agrees to be of service for the rest of his life.
  • Screw the Rules, They're Not Real!: The Bowery King is a relative newcomer to the underworld who already doesn't like either the High Table or their rules. After their heavy-handed crackdown leaves him badly wounded, but alive with at least some of his resources still intact, merely for giving John a fighting chance against Santino, the Sequel Hook sees him rescuing John from the street below the Continental and teaming up with him, because screw the Excommunicado and screw the High Table.
  • Self-Surgery: John is at an underground surgeon's place getting a wound stitched up when the Excommunicado order goes into effect. At that moment, the doctor is no longer permitted to treat him, so he hands the needle to John and stands aside while he finishes the stitches himself.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • After Winston betrays John and shoots him off a rooftop, Wick is saved by the Bowery King, who is also incredibly pissed off at the High Table. Upon hearing the news, the Adjudicator informs Winston that Wick remains a threat and must be killed, though the hotel owner remains nonchalant about it.
    • Two more subtle ones if you know the studio's plan for the franchise. During John's visit to the Director, the lone Ballerina on stage was given Chekhov's Gunman treatment, possibly setting up the spinoff The Ballerina. The Siege of the Continental and multiple visits to other Continentals also gave us a taste of what a Continentals series with Charon and Winston could be.
  • Serial Escalation:
    • In the first film, John Wick had a bounty of 2 million dollars (4 if you break Continental rules), in the second a bounty of 7. By the beginning of the third, his bounty is numbering somewhere along 14 million. By the end of the film, it seems to have shot up to upwards of 20 million dollars.
    • The first film was dominantly about Gun Fu mixed with some grappling and a mild car chase at the end due to the budget. The second film escalated everything from the first film, having roughly twice the body count and bigger set pieces. This film has about twice the body count from the second film, and throws in a horse chase, motorcycle chase, attack dogs, and significantly more bladed weapons into the mix.
  • She's a Man in Japan: The Adjudicator is referred to by female pronouns in the Spanish, Russian and French dubs of the film, due to the lack of gender-neutral terms in those languages.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Like in Chapter 2, the Buster Keaton film The Goat plays on an electronic billboard in the background as a homage to one of the fathers of stuntwork.
    • John assembles a revolver, complete with checking how the cylinder sounds, just like Tuco in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. There are even musical queues later in the film out of that movie's score.
    • John Wick's fight with the giant Ernest was created as an homage to Game of Death when Bruce Lee fights the also-giant Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
    • The theater from which the Ruska Roma operates is named "Tarkovsky Theater" after the legendary Russian filmmaker.
    • The Adjudicator gives The Bowery King seven days to settle his affairs and abdicate his throne, albeit in reference to giving a 7-round 1911 to John to stand against the table.
    • The Adjudicator stays in Room 217.
    • Several to The Matrix:
      • When John is asked what he needs to prepare for the battle with the High Table's elite forces, he just says "Guns. Lots of guns."
      • The climactic shootout takes place in a lobby and even has lighting that emulates the Matrix's iconic green Color Wash.
      • There appears to be a nod to Bullet Time during the pool shoot out.
    • Including one to The Matrix Reloaded:
      • Charron gives John special ammo for their defense of the Continental when John sees the other side are countering it he notes "upgrades".
    • During a scene and overall act that gives a Shout-Out to The Hashshashin, John also gets his ring finger cut off as a sign of his service to the Elder, which is a reference to Assassin's Creed.
    • The director has said the motorcycle chase is an homage to The Villainess.
    • One of the last fights in the movie is a one-on-two battle between John and Zero's students, similar to the climactic fight of The Raid; both students are even played by prominent actors in that movie and its sequel.
    • Sofia's role in the story as the manager of an exotic resort bitterly reuniting with an old acquaintance at the risk of her business is analogous to Humphrey Bogart's character in Casablanca. Bonus points for actually taking place in Casablanca.
    • It can be argued that, while he does talk a lot more and doesn't hide his identity, the sword wielding assassin Zero is a bit of a shout out to the Borderlands games. In particular the similarly sword wielding assassin character by the name of Zero in Borderlands 2, who is also linked to Japan by his insistence on speaking in that culture's signature poetic form; Haiku.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: Because they're versatile. After finding their handguns are outmatched, John and Charon break out Benelli shotguns(John an M2, Charon an M4) loaded with steel slugs, which are practically anti-materiel weapons at indoor ranges and cut through the High Table soldiers' high-grade body armor like it's tissue paper.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • Zig-Zagged when it comes to the High Table emissaries in the climax. Sometimes they're shown falling over winded and in pain because while their armor stops bullet penetration, they're still getting hit multiple times by projectiles flying at thousands of feet per second. Other times, they're completely implacable and stoically walking through hails of bullets. Armor-piercing pistol bullets don't have very much stopping power (they still have to fit in a handgun mag, limiting their size), and the Sig Sauer MPX carbine John uses is not a great improvement.
    • Played straight with the Doc asking John to shoot him. He pulls his shirt aside so the bullets won't carry any cloth into the wounds, decreasing the possibility of infection or sepsis.
    • Museum guns do have one or more intentional defects to prevent them from firing, including a blocked barrel, a blocked or incorrect cylinder, or a pinless hammer. Which defects are on which gun depends on the maker, and if the sum of the good parts adds up to a functional gun, it would indeed be possible for John to refit them into a functional armament.
  • Slashed Throat: Zero's apprentices deliver a few and some receive it. A particularly brutal one is done by Wick when he pulls an apprentice on a stuck blade.
  • Soft Glass: John gets thrown through numerous glass panels during the climactic fight and while it clearly hurts, he comes out remarkably unscathed.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: When the dead-serious Adjudicator comes to recruit Zero and his disciples to be the Table's enforcers, with implications that many people will die, what music do you expect to be hearing in the background during that scene? Why, Ninja Re Bang Bang, of course.
  • Spiteful Spit: A variation. Sofia gives John some water for his journey into the desert. But not before drinking most of it, swirling the last mouthful around in her mouth, then spitting it back into the bottle.
  • Squee: This is how Zero and his students react in the presence of the Baba Yaga himself. They consider him to be their greatest idol, even as they're trying to slice his throat open with their knives. Zero takes this a step further by attempting to one-up his personal hero, although Wick doesn't return the sentiment.
  • Standard Evil Empire Hierarchy: The High Table forces seen in the movie.
    • The Emperor: The unseen heads of the Table.
    • The Right Hand: The Adjudicator, the messenger for the Table.
    • The General: Zero, who's put in charge of the army of assassins after John Wick.
    • The Guard: Berrada, who heads the facility for minting the High Table's gold coins and markers.
    • The Oddball: The Shinobi, Zero's two henchmen.
    • The Man Behind the Man: The Elder, the "Man Who Sits Above The Table"
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Zero and his students are very adept at doing this and frequently pull them on John during the climax. It quickly comes back to works against Zero when he learns that John is just as capable of this as he is, perhaps even more so.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Keeping with the style of previous two movies
    • In the armory fight scene, John and his opponents throw several knives at each other but many of them fail to land point first. In additions, the ones that do stick in don't penetrate very deep, so it takes multiple knife hits (or one directly to the head) to fully down an assassin.
    • Bullets that aren't designed to be fired upon underwater wouldn't work like they are supposed to, as their lethality and velocity would drop drastically. In addition, guns are more likely to jam underwater since they can't eject bullet casings efficiently. John must shoot from no more than point-blank range to actually take down his enemies underwater.
    • Both times someone goes up against someone larger, it takes some time to defeat them one on one. John only manages to beat the very tall Ernest with some improvised weaponry, and later on beats Zero's best students once he manages to separate the two, as he's at least a head taller than either.
    • There are a few shots where Wick staggers heavily armored goons by shooting them in the mask and throat so he can close the distance and get a confirmed kill. The masks can block the bullet but it's like being pelted and the throat and other joints in any armored suit must necessarily be exposed to allow movement. Also during the fight even though shots to the head with standard bullets don't pierce the helmets they're still bullets and hit with more than enough force to stun and knock them flat on the ground.
  • Tattooed Crook: A lot of criminals sport tattoos, especially the bureaucrats taking care of the High Table's operating system.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill:
    • During the fight in the antique weapons museum, we see John lob several knives into an assassin's chest at close range, and later on during the climactic fight in the Continental he empties an entire pistol magazine into a helmeted foe's face in about one second. He also shoots another mook six times with a shotgun, with the final three shots occurring after the mook has also fallen over a railing to the floor below.
    • Zero's band of knife wielders don't just settle for quick slashes to the throat, or a single fatal stab wound. No, they would rather cut ribbons out of their victims, and then some, followed by numerous stabs for good measure, as the Ruska Roman thugs and the Bowery King's men could attest to. The sheer ferocity of their attacks make Death by a Thousand Cuts an understatement.
  • Thicker Than Water: John demands an audience with The Director and insists that she assist him by invoking their shared bond as Ruska Roma.
  • Thirsty Desert: The Elder apparently lives in one or uses it as a meeting point. He forces people that wish to speak to him to walk the desert until they collapse before he decides if he'll greet them.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: After Berrada shot one of Sofia's dogs, sensing more conflict coming, Wick is visibly concerned and tries his best to convince his partner to stand down and not start a huge firefight. She doesn't listen.
  • Throw the Book at Them: The very first fight and kill of the film is performed with a book. John is polite enough to place the bloodied book back afterward.
  • Throwing Your Gun at the Enemy: Faced with multiple mooks and no time to reload, John hurls his carbine at one so he can reach for his sidearm.
  • Title Drop: Near the climax, Winston quotes the phrase "Si vis pacem, para bellum". It is also the motto of the High Table's Elite Mooks detachment, as can be seen on the giant insignias they put on their buses.
  • Tragic Keepsake: The Elder demands that John "Cast aside your weakness and reaffirm your fealty to the Table.", so John removes his wedding ring by cutting off his ring finger, meaning he'll never again be able to wear a pledge of devotion to anyone other than the Table.
  • Training from Hell: The Director subjects her ballerinas to this, forcing them to practice until they can barely stand and their skins bleed from exhaustion. This is because they're not only trained to dance, but also to be master assassins for the High Table as well, and it is said that John Wick went through it in his youth as well.
  • Trauma Conga Line: The events of the three movies thus far have been this for John. First he goes through pain so horrible he gives up his well-earned peace to dig up his old weapons and go hunt down the one who hurt him, then his old friend stabs him in the back, then he gets jerked around by the high table and then Winston only to get stabbed in the back again and end up nearly dead in an alley.
  • Truce Zone: The Continental, as always. Despite John's excommunication, Sofia uses her position as manager of the Casablanca Continental to make sure this status is still extended to him. During the climax, the Adjudicator deconsecrates the New York Continental, revoking this status so that their and Zero's men can try to kill John and Winston on its grounds. This is undone after Winston turns on John and reaffirms his fealty to the High Table.
  • Undying Loyalty: New York's underground goons are loyal to their boss first and the High Table second. Even if they all obey their rules if their immediate boss is fired they will side with them when the Adjudicator's squad shows up.
  • Unrated Edition: In Australia, John Wick killing a mook by slowly driving a knife into his eye was censored by zooming in the shot to push the gory detail off-screen. Like the UK theatrical version of Chapter 2, this edit was done in order to ensure the film obtained an MA 15+ rating. The 4K UHD release of the film was uncensored, and released with an R 18+ rating.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: This movie continues to amp up the previous installments by having murders occur with no subtlety in the middle of a crowd and the crowd completely fails to react.
  • Villainous Rescue: Zero saves John twice in the movie. The second time he kills an ally who had John completely at his mercy and tells John he'll die by his hands.
  • Villain Respect: Zero greatly admires John's capacity for bloodshed, as do his two main henchmen. Really, most people Wick meets seem to admire him to some extent.
  • Wall of Weapons: Several. One of the early fights takes place in an antique weapon museum and when the fight started off hand-to-hand, both John and the henchmen realize how close the knives are and break the display cases to get to them. Winston's safe room in the Continental is similarly decked out with a wide variety of guns, Charon would make a fair sommelier the way he describes the make and model of the guns and caliber of bullets like he was describing wine.
  • Wham Line: During the parley.
    The Adjudicator: What are we to do about John Wick?
    Winston: [reaching for his gun] Oh, he has to die.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • The Marker Winston gave John at the end of Chapter 2 goes unmentioned and unused through the entirety of Chapter 3.
    • Earl, the Bowery King's second-in-command from the previous film, appears with the Tick Tock Man during the King's first meeting with the Adjudicator. After Zero slaughters the men of the Bowery, the Tick Tock Man is clearly shown to have survived, but Earl neither appears at the end nor dies onscreen during the slaughter.
    • During the first portion of the glass house sequence, John Wick is engaged by three of Zero's students note . He kills two of them, but the third vanishes from the scene after pulling a Stealth Hi/Bye and is never seen again.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: The Director and The Bowery King are both given harsh - but nonfatal - punishments from The Table, equivalent to how much they helped the fugitive John Wick. The men in their respective hideouts are not so lucky, and mostly get their throats slit from the shadows for the crime of having followed their bosses' orders.
  • Worldbuilding:
    • John Wick: Chapter 3 continues to expand upon the lore of its universe by giving the audience a peek at the origins of the Continental assassins. Some assassins like John are implied to be orphans raised and trained by the Director or other criminal groups, the gold coins and markers are revealed to have been invented in Morocco (we saw Winston complement an engraver on his work in the second film, implying coins are now minted elsewhere), and the assassin network connected by the Continental Hotels and High Table is implied to be a modern incarnation of The Hashshashin.
    • We also get some more information as to the value of the gold coins. Berrada explains that the value of the coin isn't exactly monetary, but more representative of a "favor" being cashed in from one person to another. This gives clarity as to how coins are used for things as cheap as buying a drink or a cab ride, to cleaning up bodies and purchasing custom bulletproof suits. This makes sense since the markers have been previously established as one person signing a contract with another for a future service, essentially trading favors much like the coins.
    • The dialogue becomes much more stylized in this film, especially when characters are speaking in regards to the High Table, indicating that the society in which they live is very old and highly structured.
  • Worthy Opponent:
    • John is regarded as such by Zero's final two students, who respectfully greet him and even let him recover so that the fight can continue. John repays their respect by letting them live once he's defeated them.
    • John does not extend the same courtesy to Zero himself, who tries to play up the same courtesy, but John affirms his wounds are fatal.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: The Director trains all the boys she recruited in sambo, then asks John if he is having flashback as they go near a sparring session. Later in the movie, Wick does more showy sambo moves during his fight with the Shinobi.
  • Yubitsume: To once more swear his fealty to the High Table, Wick cuts off his ring finger using a chisel, then removes the ring from the severed finger and presents it to the Elder. The wound is then cauterised with a hot poker.
  • You Can Never Leave: The Elder tells John that his transgressions against the High Table will only be forgiven if he reaffirms his fealty and remains in its service until his death.
  • You Have No Idea Who You're Dealing With: Played with, the new primary antagonists seem to be aware of exactly what John is capable of, with Zero outright praising him several times. That being said, they still seem to be confident they can take him on, which makes the Bowery King invoke this trope.
  • Your Head A-Splode: Facing heavily armored henchmen, John uses a shotgun loaded with armor piercing slugs during the final battle and still aims for the head. It gets messy.
  • You Owe Me: John cashes in two favors he has been sitting on for years: A safe passage ticket from the Director and a marker from Sofia when he helped her with her daughter.

"Under the Table is where shit gets done. And they're about to find out, if you cut a king, you better cut him to the quick."


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): John Wick Chapter 3


Bikes and Swords

Arriving in New York City, John Wick attempts to escape from Zero and his subordinates, who chase him down with motorcycles. What ensues is a battle in a construction highway with swords whilst driving.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (13 votes)

Example of:

Main / ChaseFight

Media sources: