John Wick Prepares For All-Out War In Chapter 3—Parabellum

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Cue: Supertramp’s ‘It’s Raining Again’—another John Wick movie is about to hit theatres. In it, the action movie genre’s #1 Dog Lover persists in his mission to kill every last soul standing between him and a life of not having to kill people anymore. Ah, the irony.

We meet our hero precisely where we left him in John Wick 2: running through a Manhattan downpour in a soggy suit as the one-hour head start he was given by the closest thing a hired killer has to a ‘friend’ runs out. It’s always raining in Wick’s world, but this time there’s a serious sh*#storm on the horizon. In a city with more assassins than Uber drivers (you’ve got to hand it to New York’s economy for being able to support such an overcrowded field), the $14 million bounty out on Wick’s head has garnered a lot of attention.

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When we last saw Keanu Reeves’ sad assassin, he’d just killed a protected High Table rival on consecrated ground: inside the Continental Hotel. Now he’s wet, wounded, and on the run with nowhere to go, no one to help him, and a lineup of would-be murderers counting the seconds until Wick’s official excommunication order comes through. After beating one of them into submission (read: death) with a book of Russian folklore and taking on a gang of them at an antique weapons dealer shop (where Wick fills one rival so full of knives that he looks like a pincushion), he heads to Casablanca where he begs Halle Berry’s character for help in clearing his name.

“If you want peace, prepare for war,” said some old Latin-speaking dude once upon a time. Peace is what Wick has wanted from the beginning of this trilogy. War’s what he’s got—and it looks like it’s going to be a long one (by the end of this movie a Wick 4 seems extremely likely)—but by now he’s not only prepared for it, he’s resigned to it. Reeves’ character derives no joy from killing—even revenge doesn’t satisfy him. What he wants is freedom (and like, just five minutes to grieve his wife), but that’s elusive. And so he hacks his way through a never-ending phalanx of foes simply to stay alive.

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In Parabellum, the hacking goes on just a little too long. Ideally, an action flick should wrap up around the 90-minute mark. This one goes on for more than two hours. Tick-tock, Wick. One scene we definitely wouldn’t cut, however, is the long, action-packed sequence in which the canine contingent finally gets its revenge. Berry’s character is the proud owner of two well-trained Shepherds who disembowel enemies frequently and on command.

John Wick: Chapter 3—Parabellum brings back Laurence Fishburne, Jason Mantzoukas, and Ian McShane while adding Anjelica Huston to the cast as an international crime ring boss/sometimes ballet teacher. It also has a massive plate glass budget. The film smashes its way into theatres this Friday, May 17. Check out the trailer below.