Follow TV Tropes
You'd think that by the time you get to the third iteration of "John Wick Kills Almost Everybody On Screen" you might get bored of it, but there's enough creativity and variety in the style of fights that things still seem fresh. There's even cute dogs! And horses! And motorbike sword fights!
All of the action is, of course, shot with excellent choreography and framing that you've come to expect with John Wick films.
John Wick 2 made a ton of massive worldbuilding additions, which some people found a little too unbelievable. This film continues to build on that without adding too much more. If you managed to accept what JW 2 added to the lore, the additional stuff that happens in JW 3 just comes around naturally. The High Table and John's Excommunicado status remain the primary driving forces in this movie. In that sense this movie feels much more like a direct extension of JW 2 than JW 2 was to JW 1.
We get a few more hints here and there about John's past and what few allies he has around the world, but they don't linger too long on it.
One of the main issues to me was John's main "quest" in the movie, which he kind of... abandons immediately after he gets it. Sure, maybe there was quite a bit of time that actually passed in between, but we don't see it, they're almost back-to-back scenes.
That aside, the film is a lot of fun. It has enough time for a bit of humour without interrupting the film. Halle Berry is great, and an interesting character that I hope will return in the next movie.
The film has quite a few clear nods and references to other great action films, like The Raid and, of course, The Matrix.
The end, like JW 2, is pure spoiler bait. I usually don't like films like that, but this one... well, the conclusion was conclusive enough and I definitely want to see more of it, so... yeah. I don't mind the final scene.
Overall, tons of fun and exactly what I was looking for. 9/10.
(Light spoilers ahoy)
I mentioned in my review for the previous film that it stood out to me for being unique among action movie sequels - new status quo, new story beats and angles to explore, impressive worldbuilding - and that holds true for this entry as well. It really lives up to the subtitle of "Chapter 3": this is a continuous story we're being told, and it's still going strong.
Parabellum primarily deals with the fallout of the events of the last movie: John is on the run after being declared excommunicado, and Winston and the Bowery King are being held accountable for helping him murder Santino, since the latter was a member of the High Table at the time. It turns out John has a very last-resort option for this sort of emergency; get safe passage from the Russians to Casablanca, get help from Sofia (played wonderfully by Halle Berry) and find the man who can help him get his life back, the man "above the High Table". There is a heavy theme of consequences in this film; just about every named character deals with and mentions them, and not everyone's going to get a happy ending or a neat resolution. This makes JW 3 the most plot-heavy entry so far, though that's not a criticism nor a detriment to the rest of the movie.
Speaking of the action, holy shit have I missed the amazing action and setpieces of this series. The first fight in particular brought me right back into the world of John Wick in spectacularly brutal fashion, and every conflict is just the right mix of hilarious and badass that we've all come to know and love. Special props to Halle Barry for completely selling her role as badass woman of power and prestige who can hold her own alongside John; their fight together in the second act is a sight to behold. I wish she had stayed longer, but I hold out hope for her return in the next movie. As for the setpieces, once again the designers bring their A-game: everything feels unique and different and vibrant in its own way, while all clearly part of the same assassin-based world John lives in. A three-floored glass room in the final fight stands out as a particularly memorable location for a knife fight or three.
As for the ending, honestly I did not see it coming, but like 2 it feels refreshingly unafraid and bold to keep the status quo changed and also set up more conflicts for John. I'm not entirely sure how he survived that last hit he took, but if it means more Keanu Reeves shooting people AND teaming up with Laurence Fishburne once again, I'm completely willing to overlook it.
Parabellum is great fun, and I cannot wait for 4.
Community Showcase More
How well does it match the trope?