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John Wick 3: Ultra-cool, Ultra-violent
May 20, 2019
Keanu Reeves returns in another career-defining performance as the slick assassin in John Wick 3. Set right after the events of the last film where John is excommunicated from the underworld of assassins he must try to navigate his way to freedom while dodging all manner of lethal enemies. It’s a far cry from the first films simple revenge tale; the basic task of avenging his puppy and getting his car back. Director Chad Stahelski returns to lend his eye and stunt coordination to the stylish set pieces and biting dialogue.
John Wick plans to seek refuge from the few favours he has left to call on, bringing him on a whistle-stop tour of cameos from Anjelica Huston, Laurence Fishburne and Halle Berry. The cast has grown with the scope of the series, the newest addition is an Adjudicator (Asia Kate Dillon) an emissary of the ‘High Table’. She emphasises the layers of bureaucracy which run this world – contracts for contract-killers won’t write themselves.
The bounty on Johns’ head of $10 million attracts all manner of assassins to his location. Every corner turned brings a new challenge. What starts off as a simple tale of survival, there is only so much running John can do before he can come up with an alernate plan to save his life. Perhaps this the point where the film’s the motivation become blurred, losing itself literally in the desert. While John spends his time cutting through bad guys, the Adjudicator is out doling punishments to his allies. There are strict rules and stricter punishments for disobeying the High Table.
The key strength of the all the John Wick films is the action. Earning its 15-age certification within the first 15 minutes, John has already killed someone with only a book and had a brilliantly choreographed knife fight. Each time the film moves to the next fight scene you think you’ve seen it all, but then the film ups the ante. Naturally the show is almost stolen by the assassin Sofia (Halle Berry) and her pair of attack dogs, planting the seeds of a possible spin-off or prequel. Any fan of martial arts films will make their way to this film. Johns’ use of any weapon available to him harkens to the inimitable Jackie Chan films and his penchant for perfection.
Amidst the rampage there are plenty of moments of levity, particularly from Zero (Mark Dacascos) an equally skilled assassin and fan-boy. Zero’s wide smile when he meets John conveys the praise and anxiousness of starting a fight all in one go.
Ultimately not for the fainthearted, I felt a bit squeamish at one point when someone gets stabbed in the eye, John Wick 3 is a non-stop, over-the-top action extravaganza that won’t disappoint. Continuing the legacy the series has built, John Wick is still ultra-cool and ultra-violent.
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabelum is out now in cinemas.
Words by Sunny Ramgolam @SunnyRamgolam.
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