Cinematic Releases: Everything Is A Weapon: John Wick 3: Parabellum

The neon soaked, cold metallic, thrill of the kill action series returns with Keanu Reeves taking on hundreds more baddies as he ventures to new if not familiar heights in the third entry in the John Wick series. Hold on tight because this one brings B-movie action icon Mark Dacascos on board as the central antagonist, delivering the best performance of his decades long career as a martial artist. Using his years of training in Wun Hop Kuen Do and a long resume of physically demanding acting gigs behind him, he truly adds a new dimension to the project. 

Armed to the teeth with every weapon imaginable to man, John Wick 3 is another spectacle of action that once again pushes the envelope so far, suspension of disbelief is easily rendered the name of the game. Picking up from exactly where part 2 ended, Parabellum is another blood soaked tour through several environments which would easily spell certain doom for any regular human being. But he's no everyday dude. He's an assassin with style, grace, and the attitude to go with it. To say this is anything short of what we've seen in past would be a vast insult to this trifecta of tension. 

Ramping the action to an absolute frenzy, Keanu further proves his talent for these movies that are low on plot, high on kills, and dripping with ferocious style that mixes martial arts, gun play and killer soundtrack vibes into one amalgamated gem of a three-peat. John Wick 3 is every bit as good as the last 2 films, and even takes a few strides towards improving the variance in environments. If anything, the one main complaint that could be lodged is that this one seems a little long in the tooth. It's too long with too many locales and a few minor lulls. Other than that, Parabellum is another blast to the face that proves we'll probably get at least 5-6 movies in this entire series before they off him. 

The coolest dogs this side of Resident Evil. 

When the central character is slated as  "excommunicado", which is repeated to a level of annoyance throughout its extended run time, he must find a way to kill or maim everything and everyone in sight. By now, we all know that this is Mr. Wick's specialty. He's a one man military ready to shred, crush, shoot, and destroy anything in his path. Pairing him with a newly invigorated Halle Berry, who is finally returning to action here, is a smart move that let's us know an upcoming Part 4 is well on the way. Finally seeing Wick battle along a female counterpart is a fresh vibe for a film that may have ended up treading too closely to the last couple without that slick plot change. And Berry definitely holds her own as a gun toting female assassin with a duo of ferocious beasts by her side. 

At times, the repetition here is palpable, but the addition of new central characters, epic villains, and an unexpected performance by Anjelica Huston helps break the mold. John Wick 3: Parabellum is a reminder of earlier times when action was held in high regard, and bullet play on film wasn't necessarily viewed as part of our social downfall. Taking cues from old school flicks like Death Wish and mixing in nods to The Matrix, this extended vengeance tale has now carried three movies and is surely going to bestow a few more on audiences that are hungry for action that doesn't take place in the Star Wars, Marvel, or DC universes. John Wick 3 is another sleek reminder of how fun  movies can be when just kick back and relax a bit. 

-Chris George