John Wick: Chapter 3- Parabellum

“A fourteen million dollar bounty on his head, and everyone in the city wants a piece of it.”

One of the most popular action series of the past decade, John Wick, has returned with a bang. Does the series keep up the quality of the past two films or is the third entry a dud?

After the events of “John Wick: Chapter 2,” a $14 million bounty has been placed on John Wick after he is declared “excomunicado” by The High Table, the organization that oversees all organized crime. Wick must find a way to survive the onslaught of assassins and hitmen that have their sights on him as he tries to regain the favor of The High Table.

If I had to choose only one word to describe the “Parabellum,” it would be “fun.” For almost the entirety of the film’s run time, there was a huge smile on my face.

The actions sequences, which probably make up around 80% of the film, are incredibly enjoyable to watch. The best fights take place within the film’s first act, which was a little disappointing.

While the fight scenes in the second and third act don’t particularly hold up to the first, they are still wonderfully done. Pairing the action with amazing cinematography by Dan Laustsen makes each fight a blast to watch.

Without the action, however, “Parabellum” would not have much ground to stand on. The story feels pretty bland and is simply an excuse to get the characters from one gunfight to the next.

While the plot technically has been developing over the past five years and three films, nothing really feels consequential. At the end of the day, we know that John Wick will prevail, which makes the stakes feel generally low.

The plot of “Parabellum” also suffers from the fact that it feels almost identical to the first two films. Having a bounty placed on Wick’s head was an interesting concept when they did it in the first film, but now that they’ve done it three times, it has pretty much lost all of its dramatic effect.

The acting in “Parabellum” holds it down from being truly great. While the one liners that Keanu Reeves delivers as Wick certainly provide a laugh, the cheesiness in his performance feels a little out of place.

Reeves wasn’t the only actor in the film who gave a lackluster performance; Laurence Fishburne and Halle Berry also suffer from cheesy one liners and over the top acting. This only bothered me when the characters were actually speaking to one another instead of fighting, which, luckily, they don’t do often.

At the end of the day, the most important thing about “John Wick: Chapter 3- Parabellum” is its action, which it knocks out of the park. The action is enough to make the film a fun watch for fans of the genre, though the performances and plot prevent it from living up to its full potential.

3.5/5 Stars

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