John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019) Review

Director: Chad Stahelski

Genre(s): Action, Crime, Thriller

Runtime: 130 minutes

MPAA Rating: R

IMDb Page

The body count continues to rise in the third entry in the John Wick franchise…but is there any reason to care? Henchmen will be mowed down by the dozens and “gallons” of computer-generated blood will be spilled, yet it all feels more impersonal than ever. Here, killing machine John Wick (Keanu Reeves) finds himself on the run, as the entire underground world of hitpeople turn on him.

There’s near-constant action in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, some of it quite inventive. We see Keanu Reeves take on some motorcyclists while on horseback, and, in another scene, crotch-destroying attack dogs are employed. However, it’s all rather video-gamey, and the film feels more like a series of action choreography demonstrations, rather than like, you know, an actual film.

Who’s killing who? Does it even matter anymore? The characters in the fight scenes sometimes don’t even hate each other. They’re often just professionals doing a job. Why should I care? Where’s the fire and the passion? This picture makes the John Rambo sequels look like high drama. Those movies take a ton of shit, but at least they had villains we wanted to see die and a hero we wanted to see succeed against the odds.

Seeing hundreds of faceless goons being blasted in the face repeatedly has rarely been less thrilling. There are surely some creative moments of action choreography, but the drama’s just not there. The ludicrous worldbuilding isn’t helping at this point either. If you want to watch a real hitman action movie, I’d highly recommend the John Woo-directed masterpiece The Killer (1989).

My rating is 6 outta 10.

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