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This page contains unmarked spoilers for John Wick and John Wick: Chapter 2. You Have Been Warned!

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If you want peace, prepare for war.note 
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.
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John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum is a 2019 action thriller movie starring Keanu Reeves as the eponymous character. It is the third film in the John Wick franchise and a sequel to John Wick: Chapter 2.

Having murdered a member of the High Table while in the Continental, John Wick 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.

Almost immediately after release, a third sequel was announced for a May 21, 2021 release.

Previews: Trailer 1 (preview), Trailer 2.


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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, and she more than proves to be his equal in combat (and also dog loving).
  • 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 assassins go after him. One of them named Ernest decides to cheat and attack him before the hour is over so John spend 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.
  • Advertisement:
  • 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?
  • An Axe to Grind: A hatchet gets involved into a knife fight, and then it gets involved with a man's skull.
  • 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.
    • 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 militia, 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 shot 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.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Zero quite clearly is a huge fan of John Wick and is delighted to meet (and fight) him.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: The High Table's militia 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 Ascended 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.
  • Berserk Button: Do not threaten Sofia's dogs in any way. Seriously, just don't.
  • 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. Proof of this being that nobody ever tries to actually kill the Adjudicator: killing them would merely bring another one in their trail.
  • 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.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The only thing keeping it from being a Downer Ending is the fact that John and the Bowery King have (possibly) teamed up. Other than that, by the end of the film, John has lost a finger and fallen off the roof of a building, he’s 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 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.
  • Boss in Mook's Clothing: The Elite Forces of the High Table look like generic soldiers...until John start shooting at them and his bullets start bouncing off of them like spitwads.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.").
  • 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.
  • Central Theme: Consequences. Almost every single plot point in the film is the result of either the immediate fallout of John's killing of Santino or something that happened in John's past. Everyone who helped John during his bounty period or in Santino's murder is punished in some way by the High Table (with the exception of the doctor, who convinces John to shoot him to hide his own help). John is offered the option of revoking his excommunicado status by killing Winston, but Winston convinces him to not follow through by asking him to weigh the immediate consequences against the long term ones. And in the ending, the High Table's willingness to act like they're the only power in the world and throw their weight around with no regard for anyone else has severely pissed the Bowery King off, with the implication that he's going to hit back with John's help.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Co-Dragons: Zero has his own, the two Shinobi played by Cecep Arif Rahman and Yayan Ruhian.
  • 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.
  • 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.
      • To be fair, they were only so successful in their approach because the opposition were taken by surprise. Since they don't use guns, had their victims known they were coming and prepared for it, the reverse could very well be true.
    • 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.
  • Denser and Wackier: While the previous films gained widespread acclaim for their gritty, realistic and pragmatic action scenes, the third entry dials everything Up to Eleven with a heavy dose of Black Comedy. Now John can kill people with books, his belt and horses. His skills and endurance were also explicitly noted to be a supernatural gift also shared with The Heavy Zero. Best exemplified during Zero's crew's slaughter of the Bowery while armed with only katanas. The Underworld politics got turned from shady dealings with mafia-like Omniscient Council of Vagueness to a full-blown Ancient Conspiracy controling the world not unlike the League Of Shadow from Batman. This shift also introduced a lot of archaic rituals and customs like a oath of fealty, brandings, seeking guidance by pilgrimage or asking for services by eating a piece of poison fish. The new characters associated with the High Table come with their own quirks as well: the Adjudicator is a Cold Ham Hammy Herald who acts like they are royalty from the 18th century; Zero and his crew are fans of John who fight for fun and only need short katanas and knives to casually slaughter armed men; and the mysterious Elder required people to perform rituals to meet him and gain his favor, dressed like a Sultan and acted like Ra's Al-Ghul mixed with an Assassin Brotherhood Mentor.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: After Berrada shoots one of her dogs in its bulletproof vest, Sofia flies off the handle and starts shooting back. She and John proceed to kill all of his goons and shoot him a few times for good measure, even though the dog is none the worse for wear.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: During the parlay, 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.
  • 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 continue to serve". Instead it is something along the lines of stating he's a valuable pillar of stability for New York City. Time will tell if the omission is significant.
  • 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.
  • For Want of a Nail: Multiple gang wars in different countries started because of a dog. Sofia lampshades it.
  • Foreshadowing: A rather subtle one, but when faced with the Adjudicator's threat of more assault waves, Winston boasts of his allegiances far beyond the Continental, capping it off with "We are New York City", instead of "I am New York City". This hints at a hidden alliance between him and the Bowery King, who basically controls all of the Big Apple. Indeed, the Bowery King comes to Wick's aid after Winston's supposed betrayal, and proclaims his desire for revenge against the High Table.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: The Adjudicator was sent to investigate the murder of Santino D'Antonio, due to the killing being an offense against the High Table. Yet, nothing ever comes of the supposed murder of Santino's sister Gianna just days prior, despite her being an even more established Table member. Though it could be handwaved that the Adjudicator knows that Santino is really the one responsible for Gianna's death by hiring John to do it, but Santino's own death comes entirely because of John's vengeance (and being killed on Continental grounds), which would have a more severe repercussion.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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 is 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.
  • 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: 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.
  • 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 Adjucator'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.
  • Knife Nut: Knife Nuts. Zero's gang is composed entirely of them, who prefer the use of knives and wakizashis instead of guns.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Zero's best students decide to call it quits when John gives them the option near the end of their fight. At this point, they were in bad shape and Wick just grabbed a wakizashi.
  • 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 only a few weeks). 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 assasins 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.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: After Berrada gave Sofia and John the information they needed, he casually demands one of the former's dogs as he's taken a liking to her. Instead of just handing her pet over and resolving the issue peacefully, Sofia refuses, causing Berrada to shoot it instead. She retaliates and starts a huge (and avoidable) firefight, possibly inciting more conflict with the High Table than already was, and putting her ownership of her own Continental hotel at risk since the duo left Berrada alive.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • 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 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.
  • 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 and retro dial phones 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.
  • 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.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Like in Chapter 2, the Buster Keaton film The General 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.
    • 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.
      • Charron gives John special ammo for their defense of the Continental when John sees the other side are countering it he notes "upgrade".
    • 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.
    • 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.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: This is John's answer to take down the High Table's heavily armored Elite Mooks, to a very great effect.
  • 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 all of it, swirling it 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.
  • Spiritual Adaptation / Spiritual Antithesis: Manage to be both to Assassin's Creed. The Central Theme of this movie is a Hopeless War for freedom against an all-powerful Order Is Not Good Ancient Conspiracy. This description fit the modern day section of Assassin's Creed as much as it fit John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum. However, it is in the detail that this movie swerved into Spiritual Antithesis territory: The High Table was in fact the assassin themselves and they acted extremely similar to Assassin's Creed 's Templar with their obsession with order, all-powerful status and adherence to tradition.
  • 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.
  • Tattooed Crook: A lot of criminals sport tatoos, 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.
    • Zero's band of Knife Nuts 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 describes the make and model of the guns and caliber of bullets like he was describing wine.
  • Wham Line: During the parlay.
    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.
  • 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.
  • World Building:
    • 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. Most assassins like John are heavily implied to be orphans raised and trained by the Director, the gold coins are revealed to be manufactured in Morocco, 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.
  • Worthy Opponent: John is regarded as such by Zero's final two students, who even let him recover and get up so that the fight can continue. John repays their respect by letting them live once he's defeated them. He does not do 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.
  • 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.

Alternative Title(s): John Wick Chapter 3

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