The John Wick movies have developed a well-deserved reputation as some of the best pure action flicks being made today, and Stahleski - a former stuntman - implied that if audiences are waiting for the high-octane series to start running out of gas, they're going to be waiting a long time. Combined with Keanu Reeve's inimitable athleticism, John Wick: Chapter 3 is as deeply satisfying as any hard-R blockbuster can get.
Reeves loved the whole idea from the moment he set eyes on it, and he loved the name John Wick so much that they chose to name it that rather than Scorn, the original title. The latest film takes off seconds after the previous one ended: John is on the run, his new pet pitbull for company and a $14-million bounty on his head. Stahelski and Kolstad doubled-down on the non-stop, exquisitely choreographed bloodshed in the sequel John Wick: Chapter 2 while exploring the mythological, hyper-real criminal underworld John Wick inhabits.
If John Wick is Death Wish by way of Le Samouraï, and Chapter 2 is Wanted, then Chapter 3 - Parabellum is The Raid or, more specifically, The Raid 2 - a staggering ballet of brutality with a sweeping scope that justifies its 131-minute runtime. He is doing whatever it takes to last as long as he can and a cornered John Wick is more risky than a nuke.
"Keanu and I have sat with that creative element and laid out what we feel makes John Wick special, and what would make the TV show unique". And the new John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum ladles on still more, threatening to collapse the whole shebang-bang-bang under the weight of its diminishing-returns world-building. Not only does Stahelski know intuitively where to place the viewer in the midst of any action, efficiently laying out geographical stakes at every turn, he uses long takes without drawing attention to them, transforming marathon-length murder sprees into matters of endurance.
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Second, there is the central performance by Reeves.
I hope the John Wick franchise never ends. Dacascos has always been overlooked for his ability to carry a villainous turn, aside from Jet Li's Cradle 2 The Grave, and to see him grace the big screen again is glorious. Halle Berry's sequence is particularly fun, and one wishes there were more of that one. Now there's a woman I would not wish to piss off, neither her or her two Belgian Malinois. Sofia is a retired assassin who now runs the Morroco Continental hotel. Rub her the wrong way, she'll unleash the dogs of war. John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum also stars Halle Berry, Laurence Fishburne, Anjelica Huston, Ian McShane, Lance Reddick, and Jerome Flynn.
"Avengers: Endgame" could collect around $27 million if it sees a decline similar to its past two outings. Reeves spends more than two hours dispatching hordes of attackers with guns, blades, and at one point, a carriage horse, but even while most of the faceless "bad guys" are eliminated with unemotional speed and ease, Stahelski consistently throws in various kill shots created to get a maximum jolt out of the audience. The story may not be as entertaining as Chapter 2 but the action set pieces stand out as some of the best in the genre.