<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>


Directed by Chad Stahelski. Starring Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, Laurence Fishburne, Ian McShane, Lance Reddick, Asia Kate Dillon, Anjelica Huston, Said Taghmaoui, Mark Dacascos, Jason Mantzoukas, Jerome Flynn

Running time: 2 hours 10 minutes


I loved the very first chapter of this series: a guy avenging the murder of his puppy and loss of his car by killing hundreds of evil hitmen with almost artistic precision. There was a goal and purpose in that film. You wanted him to execute more of those cruel men and you could empathise with his rage at the loss of that puppy which had sentimental value but was also going to be his companion. Unfortunately, the John Wick series seems to have lost momentum and motivation. 

John Wick 3 starts off almost immediately from where part 2 left off, with Wick on the run from the High Table who have levied a $14 million bounty on his head for killing someone at the safe haven Continental Hotel run by his friend the manager (Ian McShane). He must evade bounty hunters in all forms and shapes who pop out of the woodwork in every place he visits while he tries to cash in favours with gold coins and lots of gobbledygook about consequences.


Anjelica Houston and Halle Berry play characters who he turns to and they add a bit of personality to the proceedings; Keanu Reeves being reliably succinct and robot-like in his performance. For dog lovers, there’s Wick’s own trusty companion who doesn’t do much and Berry’s Sofia’s German Shephards who aid in the tightly choreographed fight sequences.

The couple sitting next to me commented in the first half: ‘How can we sit and watch this monotonous violence for another hour?’ They left in the interval and never came back. It’s true, the action and violence get mind-numbing after a while and with no real direction here apart from the fact that he’s trying to save his own life, you sort of lose interest. If he were killed, you’d be like, ‘oh that’s sad’ and move on pretty quickly.


What keeps Parabellum afloat is the cryptic nature of it all, the mystery and sophisticated manner in which it is put together. John Wick has a style and theme that is distinctive which is what people go to see. But the purpose that the first film had has been lost, which is what the leader of the High Table says to Wick, “You are lost,” and he’s right.

The fact that they’ve set up yet another sequel with revenge as the motivation doesn’t make me optimistic about the franchise’s future. I didn’t really care that the High Table wanted to kill off these men for violating their rules. I don’t care enough for them. There has to be more. Obviously not another doggie death, but something we can sink our teeth into rather than just another 2 hours of mind-numbing action that frankly isn’t as impressive as the first film’s sequences.

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