John Wick Chapter 3 Parabellum Movie Review - Stylish but 'Repeat' mayhem

Updated: May 17, 2019, 13:17 IST | Johnson Thomas | Mumbai

Action for actions sake begins to pall after some time. And with Reeves looking dazed all the way through, even the action begins to look suspect!

John Wick Chapter 3 Parabellum
John Wick Chapter 3 Parabellum

John Wick Chapter 3 Parabellum
U/A:  Action, Crime, Thriller
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Common Null, Common, Anjelica Huston, Laurence Fishburne, Ruby Rose, Saïd Taghmaoui, Lance Reddick, Jerome Flynn, Ian McShane, Halle Berry, Asia Dillon, Tobias Segal, Mark Dacascos, Jason Mantzoukas, Boban Marjanovic, Yayan Ruhian, Cecep Rahman, Tiger Hu Chen
Director: Chad Stahelski

This one is basically for the fans of the franchise. The narrative plays out like a digital game with John Wick( Keanu Reeves) having to overcome incrementing degrees of difficulty as he fights his way through European, Asian and mid-eastern assassins who are on the $14 million contract for his life. Like the Latin word 'Parabellum' in the title exalts 'Prepare for War!'

The film is two hours plus of incessant, choreographed and digitally stylised violence with a body count that will rival even the most destructive of disasters. The film has no story to tell, the dialogues don't have any great meaning and logic (if you can find any) is at a premium. Parabellum is meant to set the stage for a grander conflict, which, in this series' book means using the next level of technology to mask Reeves' flaws as an actor cum action hero while continuing to lend him an 'everlasting' mystique that is totally confounding.

In this film, he literally gets brutalised and frankly, no mere human could have survived the beating he takes, yet Wick survives and annihilates his opponents. That's probably the premise of every edition of this 'surprise' hit franchise. The guy is supposed to be emotionless, yet he is out there killing those who harmed his family and his dog. Wick is a superhero without the cape and sci-fi mumbo-jumbo. And he will survive, come what may. The mythology here is pretty much questionable.

The narrative begins in dramatic fashion with the action kick-starting as Wick races through midtown Manhattan with less than an hour to spare before he gets excommunicated from the global community of assassins. Wick has a close shave with a Giant in a library, overcomes a series of assassins while improvising continuously and then gets caught up in a horse farm, gets trampled and run over and yet survives to fight another war. Wick then goes to what looks like a rundown theatre (where Ballerinas and fight exponents practice their art) and seeks out the Madam(Anjelica Huston) from whom he seeks a safe passage to Morocco. Then comes the Moroccan interlude involving Sophia (Halle Berry) who is forced to repay Wick for having saved her daughter –followed by a trip to the desert and then the final set-piece.

The best action in the film comes in the first 15 minutes, the rest of the time it's merely playing catch-up. The narrative is designed as a never-ending cycle of violence with every choreographed action set-piece looking more and more incredible and implausible as time goes by. The problem really is that this mythology doesn't have 'believable heft' in its design. Action for action's sake begins to pall after some time. And with Reeves looking dazed all the way through, even the action begins to look suspect!

Watch John Wick Chapter 3 Parabellum Trailer

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