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John Wick Chapter 3 – Parabellum

Even though I’m late to the game, I still feel the need to announce my new favourite action franchise as if I’m the first to discover the John Wick series.

I wanted to make sure I was fully prepared before hopping into John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, so I decided to finally light a fire from under me and watch the first two films in this popular series.  John Wick, a fairly straightforward revenge flick, blew me away with its disciplined fight choreography and gunplay.  John Wick: Chapter Two played within the same action-packed register, however it reserved scenes to further set up its vast underworld.  My main takeaway with the current state of the John Wick series is that it’s a little deceiving at face value.  It’s a narrative that isn’t about “one guy’s mission”, but instead a bigger picture about a secret, gritty crime subculture that could exist in front of the public eye.

John Wick Chapter 3 – Parabellum continues to build on its fundamentals in the same vein as Chapter Two, but returning director Chad Stahelski has crafted the film’s structure in a way that allows action and exposition to share the screen instead of having to abruptly alternate.  Parabellum is much more cohesive, and an improvement on the original model.  The subtlety of the underworld slightly wares off as more action sequences become larger in scale (such as a jaw-dropping horseback riding shakedown on a busy street), but Stahelski is able to keep unfolding the story’s origin with new material by adding stakes to other characters. He also exceeds our expectations with more risky, exquisite choreography, which also doesn’t shy away from graphic (although impressive) violence.

The only predictability in John Wick Chapter 3 – Parabellum is that the film sets itself up for a fourth outing (currently slated for 2021). I’ll be there with bells on.

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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie

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