DIRECTOR: CHAD STAHELSKI | SCREENPLAY: DEREK KOLSTAD | STARRING: KEANU REEVES, HALLE BERRY, LAURENCE FISHBURNE, MARK DACASCOS, ASIA KATE DILLON, LANCE REDDICK, ANJELICA HUSTON, IAN MCSHANE | RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Picking up exactly where the previous film left off, former hitman John Wick has been excommunicated from the High Table of Assassins. After a very unfortunate turn of events that led to the serious breach of The Continental rules, a large price has now been placed on his head, with every high profile assassin wanting to take down the man, known as the Baba Yaga to most in the community. The story in this series has always been very light, the main focus being the action set pieces of course, and that doesn’t change here. In fact, it’s even self-referential about how absurd the plot has been across the trilogy.
The thrill of a John Wick film has always been its very stylish and over-the-top action sequences, and we’re happy to report that Parabellum blows the previous two out of the water. The set pieces ooze confidence and style, with masterclass-level choreography highlighting to many repeat offenders in the industry just how to execute the perfect action sequence. It helps that the film’s writer and director were once stunt choreographers themselves.
Conversely, performances throughout are a little bit of a letdown. Halle Berry’s cheesy dialogue isn’t befitting of the Oscar-winner, and Keanu Reeves is essentially a walking one-liner machine, his dialogue sparse and over-the-top. Other actors are quite wasted in their roles and unfortunately not really given much to do - it seems wasteful of the film to cast the likes of Anjelica Huston for what amounts to little more than a glorified cameo.
Parabellum is a solid conclusion to the John Wick trilogy, but like the previous entries, one not for the faint-hearted. If blood, violence, and gore aren’t your thing, or if high-class storytelling is a must, it is a very difficult film to recommend. However, if you want a film that’s expertly shot, highly entertaining, and a thrill ride from the very first minute, then this will be exactly what you are looking for.