Sunday, June 30, 2019

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019)

I suppose that there are two ways of looking at the John Wick films.  One is to see them as movies with lots of fighting.  Each one serves as a vehicle for some pretty awesome action.  The other is to think of it as a group of action sequences so spread out that it requires way more than two hours to tell the story.  After all, Mr. Wick is going up against almost everyone.  That’s a lot of people to take out with just once pencil.

Now that I’ve seen all three movies, I’m leaning towards the second explanation.  If you were to remove or greatly reduce the fighting, you’d probably be down to a pretty short story.  Mind you, it’s a decent story, but that’s not why you came to see John Wick: Chapter 3.  After all, para bellum translates as Prepare for War.  That’s just what the title character has gotten himself into.  (As a single word, Parabellum likely refers to a model of gun.)

The movie picks up right after Chapter 2 ends, with Wick having most of his hour lead left.  He heads to the New York Public Library to find a book.  Specifically, it’s hollowed-out book that contains some a cross, some coins and a picture of his deceased wife.  He puts the picture back and takes the other items.  Using them won’t be so easy; he has to fight his way out of the library, using the book as a weapon.

After what Wick did in the second movie, everyone is after him.  There’s a bounty on his head in excess of $10,000,000.  It’s in his best interests to get the heck out of Dodge.  That’s what the cross is for, though.  It’s his ticket to Morocco, where he meets up with someone who owes him.

Meanwhile, The Adjudicator shows up in New York City.  The organization that Wick used to work for has rules and Wick broke the big one.  Wick was declared excommunicado, which was the appropriate punishment.  The Adjudicator is there to determine who else is guilty and what their punishment is to be.  Needless to say, it leads to a few good fight scenes.

If you’ve already seen Parabellum, I would imagine that you weren’t disappointed.  It does seem like a natural extension of the first two movies.  You get some new cities, which provide new visuals.  It also provides Wick with another city to depopulate.  (I can see some guy standing on the edge of town, next to the sign that reads, “Casablanca:  Population 3,359,818”.  After Wick takes out a few people, he has to change it to 3,359,816.  Before he can update the sign, Wick kills three more people.  The guy sighs in disbelief and silently curses to himself.)

You might wonder how many new ways there are for Wick to fight.  He does use horses to kick people.  His contact in Casablanca has two trained dogs, each of which helps attack the bad guys.  Neither the horses nor the dogs seem forced, which is good.  (There did seem to be a touch of CGI with the horses, though.  That might just be my imagination, but I don‘t think the actors would want to risk actually being kicked by horse.  That would have to hurt.)

For those that haven’t seen the first two movies, I’d recommend doing that first.  While you could probably follow the action, this really is one big story.  Things will make more sense if you view the movies in order.  It is worth it, though, if you like action movies.

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