The John Wick franchise is one of the best there currently is. It blasted its way onto the screen in 2014 and then followed up three years later with John Wick: Chapter 2, which was an improvement on the original in almost every way. While John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum may not have continued that upward trend, it certainly didn’t cause the series to regress in quality.
With a larger budget and fan base this time around, Parabellum is able to deliver some absolutely stunning action set pieces that showcase some things we have never seen before. Within the first ten minutes of the movie, it delivers what is arguably the best and most well-choreographed fight scene of the whole franchise, right after utilizing some creative action. It continues the trend of Wick using whatever he can find around him to take down his enemies.
Unfortunately, the movie reaches its high point within the first 30 minutes. Out of the four basically perfect action sequences in this film, three of them take place in this beginning chunk. As it goes on, it uses the fantastic John Wick world building as both a positive and negative.
As a positive, there are seemingly endless places that this universe can go. After the first two films don’t spend much time, if any at all, outside New York and Rome, Parabellum takes us all around the globe and to different landscapes. It can get fairly overwhelming, story-wise. But at the same time, it is obvious that the filmmakers have an idea about this world and it just becomes more and more realized with each movie.
In this movie, the world is used as a vehicle to talk about consequences. This film picks up right where Chapter 2 left off, with Wick having to deal with what he had just done. It weaves this and the question of, “Can you really move on?” into the motivation for the action and the story. Even though it is still a fairly thin premise, it still delivers.
The thing you really have to remember when going into a John Wick movie is that you’re not going to get much in terms of story, but that you will be positively overwhelmed with action. It offers the chance to turn your brain off and enjoy some of the best fight sequences being put on film today, but it has that second layer of the world if you really want to pay close attention. There’s not much more that you can ask for with an action movie such as this.