Sure, you can call your sequel Parabellum, which I’m guessing means “war” or you could call it John Wick: People Keep Refusing to Learn to Not Fuck with John Wick Part 3.
No one ever learns in these movies, you don’t piss off John Wick and you sure as hell don’t try to kill him as he will survive whatever you throw at him and he will kill you in response.
I guess I never reviewed the first film, I did however review the sequel. After rereading what I wrote for that review, it became very clear to me that I desperately need a proofreader, but also aside from that, one thing that I pointed out and will repeat here, these films aren’t about the story, it is more about the world they created.
It’s also about the insane stunt work and choreography that goes in these movies. I didn’t think they could top themselves after chapter 2, but somehow they managed to pull it off.
The action is even more over the top and 10x as brutal this time around. We get not one but two instances where John Wick kills someone just by slapping a horse’s ass.
I’ve only ever ridden on a donkey and fallen off, but after watching two guys get their faces caved in by stepping behind a horse, count horseback riding off my bucket list. Unless I’m at the end of my list and that’s how I want to go out. Hoof to face.
If you haven’t seen the previous films, please do so, as they are some of the best action movies ever made. Keanu Reeves is fantastic as the unstoppable and always pissed off John Wick. He has very little lines in these movies, but when he does grunt something out, it’s always in pain. You would be too if you’d been constantly kicked the shit out of, stabbed and/or shot. Safe to say John Wick has had a rough couple of days.
These movies take place almost immediately after the other, it takes about 3 years for a new John Wick sequel to come out but really in the film’s universe it’s only been about a week maybe? I’d have to go back and watch them again. But I can’t do that since I’m waiting to own the boxset with all the films. I was hoping that the third film was going to be the last, only so I can get these on Blu-ray. Not to give too much away too early in my review, but no, there is going to be a 4th John Wick film.
So again, the wait continues… I’m never getting this damn boxset.
In case you don’t remember where the last film left off…
After taking revenge for some assholes killing his dog, John Wick has found himself in even more trouble when a man comes to him, ordering him to kill his sister, so he can be the head of a crime syndicate.
In this world of hitmen, there are these things called Markers, where you are sworn to duty to do anything the holder of this Marker asks of you, in return they do you a favor. This comes back into play later on, so it’s important I bring them up now.
The guy who has said Mark, makes John behooved to him.
John does the job, but is double crossed, leaving no other option but to kill the holder of his Marker. Unfortunately, John kills this guy in one of the hotels for assassins known as the Continental , which acts as a safe haven for killers.
You kill someone there well… You get “excommunicado” with a large bounty put on your head. The third film is all about John suffering those consequences.
Now with every hitmen in the city… no, scratch that, the whole damn world, we follow him as he fights to survive, while we learn more about this organization along the way.
In the second film, we learned there’s even a group of homeless assassins led by Laurence Fishburne. Hitmen are secretly everywhere or are in some way connected with this organization.
John hails a taxi, and the taxi driver just happens to be a part of the network, along with this sushi chef, who runs a team of stealthy Japanese assassins. The funny thing about them however is they’re actually John Wick fanboys.
They still want to kill him though. That’s the thing you need to remember with these films, everyone, including John Wick, are all murdering psychopaths. So as much as you like a character in this, just remember what it is they do for money.
John has what one could consider friends in this in Ian McShane and Lance Reddick’s characters. But just remember who they are. Kind of like trusting a scorpion to carry you on his back. Eventually that fucker is going to sting you.
John is on the run with his excommunicado taking effect any minute. With the time his has, he goes to the library where he has stashed a crucifix and a Marker. You’d think a gun stashed somewhere might also be helpful, but I guess not.
Right off the bat we start things with a brutal fight sequence where John has to kill a giant with a book. During the fight he is stabbed and needs to get patched up. He has 5 minutes before his sentence goes into effect and all perks allotted to members of this vast hitman organization are cut off.
What proceeds is John on the run, fighting off any assassin he bumps into. There’s an amazing fight sequence, maybe the best knife fight sequence I’ve seen. He finds himself in a museum of antique weapons that John uses at his disposal.
With a hallway filled with knives incased in glass, John and his new assassin friends exchange knife throws. It’s a fantastic sequence of them trading knives the hard way. There’s even a pretty brutal sequence where John shoves a knife into a man’s eye.
Everything John does, he seems to do to the extreme. When he finishes someone off, he doesn’t just shoot them in the head, he shoots them about 5 times in the head just to really make sure they’re dead.
We get to learn a tiny bit about John’s past this time around when he visits the place he was raised and trained. John wasn’t just some guy who stumbled into the assassin business, he was born into it.
The crucifix is what he calls his ticket, he comes to a dance troupe run by The Director, played by Anjelica Huston. No matter what, if he brings her this ticket, she must obey it, much like the Markers.
She agrees to take his ticket, transporting him to his desired destination, Casablanca. What’s cool about this, it isn’t just as simple as ripping the cross from the rosary, he needs to have the metal cross branded into his back.
Nothing is ever simple with these people.
While John is taking a trip to Casablanca, an adjudicator with the High Table comes to pay the Continental a visit. She is there to assess the situation. Since Ian McShane’s character Winston gave John an hour head start before giving the excommunicado order, he now has to step down as manager of the hotel.
The Adjudicator is cleaning up loose ends, taking out or punishing anyone who helped John. That means she now needs to pay Laurence Fishburne as the Bowery King a quick visit to dethrone him from his hobo hierarchy.
John arrives in Casablanca where even here he must deal with assassins after the 14 million dollar price tag on his head. He’s here to see Sofia, played by Halle Berry.
The Marker he has is for her. He once did her a favor, hiding her daughter, so now she owes him. Sofia is also a fan of dogs as she has two loyal German Shepherds by her side that kick some serious ass.
John wishes to talk to The Elder, the head of this organization. Sofia takes John to see Berrada, who you might recognize as Bronn from Game of Thrones.
He tells John that he needs to walk to the edge of the desert and if he can’t walk anymore, to keep walking some more until The Elder finds him. For this piece of information however, he wants one of Sofia’s dogs.
Refusing, he shoots the dog instead. The dog has a Kevlar vest, so this isn’t dead puppy all over again. But still, he did shoot her dog which means everyone now has to die.
This is the first time we see John pairing up with someone during his fighting. Sofia is quick to order her dogs to attack the crotch, maybe a little too quick.
Together, they must take out about 50 guys. The dogs rack up a pretty good kill count as well, not counting the testicles they bit off.
Her job helping John is done after she drives him to the desert, getting her Marker back. Hopefully we get to see more of her in the 4th film as she makes for a good partner.
The Adjudicator meanwhile has hired a team of Japanese assassins led by Zero, a sushi chef.
They pay The Director a visit for helping John get away. The punishment is a sword through the hands. Laurence Fishburne on the other hand, he has to get slashed 7 times and exiled.
I believe his crime was he supplied the gun that killed the man at the Continental. 7 slashes for 7 bullets I believe was the verdict.
John eventually walks as far as he psychically can, collapsing in the sand where he is quickly found and taken to see The Elder. He pleads with him to remove the price on his head. The Elder agrees but only if he works for him again, killing whoever he wants, whenever he wants.
John agrees and has to show his loyalty by severing his ring finger.
His first assignment is to kill Ian McShane’s character for refusing to leave his post as manager of the Continental.
When John confronts him, the two decide to join forces in fighting the High Table.
The Adjudicator makes the Continental deconsecrated grounds, meaning it is now okay to kill there. She sends in her heavily armed forces with the assistance of Zero’s almost ninja-like assassins.
With the help of the hotel’s concierge Charon, played by Lance Reddick, John and him take on the forces, but have difficulty with their full body armor. To combat that obstacle, they arm themselves with shotguns. And that’s when the real fun begins as it gets about as violent as this film is going to get, heads exploding, chests bursting…
It’s a bloodbath, in one instance a literal bloodbath as the last trooper goes out in a pool.
Now all that is left are Zero’s men, who are super John Wick fanboys.
It’s rare, but it happens from time to time, John Wick leaves them alive, but badly injured. Zero on the other hand gets a sword through the chest. He swears they’ll meet again, but I find that highly unlikely.
With all her forces now dead, The Adjudicator calls for a parley.
She and Winston come to a deal. He was showing force, proving his worth, while offering up John Wick’s head, shooting him off the roof of the hotel. Again, people need to learn not to double cross John Wick, as of course he survives and agrees to help the Bowery King take on the High Table.
And that concludes this chapter of the story. I can’t wait for part 4. I wonder just how long they’re going to keep going with this. I hear there are even a few spinoff shows and movies in the works. One takes place at the hotel and the other deals with female assassins.
I was also surprised to hear a new Bush song. Sorry, the surprise there was it was an actual good song. They dropped off the map for me after their shitty Golden State album. A lot of bands were releasing a ton of shit music after 9/11 and Golden State has got to be the worst.
But their new song Bullet Holes is pretty good. I wonder if Gavin from Bush and Keanu are pals, since they did star in Constantine together. Plus Keanu played bass for his band Dogstar, so maybe there was some crossover.
Keanu decided to throw his pal a bone.
Either way, I really enjoyed the song.
Obviously John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum gets a SEE IT rating. I can’t wait for chapter 4, where I’m guessing John Wick kills a million people with just a pencil.
Next up, Brightburn.
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