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Movie Review: John Wick 3- Parabellum

Keanu Reeves’ John Wick is back and this time he is angrier than ever – Angry because there is a bounty on his head, angry because he is not welcome at the one place where he was always treated with respect and angry because he is getting old and that is slowing him down a bit. Even then, he manages to take a stand for what he believes is right and in John Wick 3: Parabellum, keeps his coolness intact while taking down a few people in the process.

Dressed in machete-slashed black suit and wearing stubble, John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is seen running away from The Continental in this film, right after the events of John Wick 2.His friend Winston (Ian McShane), the hotel manager and Charon (Lance Reddick) the hotel concierge do report him but not after giving him a head start, something that comes to hit them when an adjudicator of the High Table (Asia Kate Dillon) decides to ‘judge’ all those who helped John Wick escape. Needless to say, John Wick finds new allies (Halle Berry) away from home and makes most of the reprieve he got from the people above the High Table to stage a comeback. Does John Wick win despite being against those with better fighting skills and younger legs? Of course, he does; what makes it interesting is how he does that after being shot, stabbed, dehydrated and left to die.

This instalment of John Wick is over 2 hours long which may be too much for an action flick in 2019, but since it’s hard to kill a man who refuses to die, the time limit is not that important. The same action choreography, the jaw-dropping cinematography, the iconic sets, and fast-paced editing is all there to take you down the John Wick route, were going in is easy, coming out alive is hard. He still follows the ‘no-prisoner’ policy and that’s why wherever he goes, he ends up with more kills than the previous encounters. Be it the scene at the Public Library, the room stacked with antique ceremonial knives, the enormous glass room in the Continental, the lobby of the Hotel, or the gun-fight at the Moroccan bazaar, each and every fight sequence is worth every penny if you are an action film fan. Yes, some might find it gruesome but that’s understandable because John Wick has more enemies in the world than friends, more foes than adversaries and more people who want him gone than well-wishers.

The near-perfect characterization also makes Chapter 3 all the more interesting. By staying in the present, the director Chad Stahelski paints a picture of John Wick’s past with fellow-assassin Sofia (Halle Berry) and gang boss the Director (Anjelica Huston) just like he did in the last flick with Laurence Fishburne’s Bowery King. Academy Award winner Halle Berry might not look that dominating in front of Keanu Reeves’ John Wick but she does have her presence as she shows in her character’s entry scene, the fight they initiate and their parting scene which begins the journey back home for the ex-hitman. You also get to see Zero (Mark Dacascos) display his superior martial arts fighting style but you need to be both superior and dominating against John Wick, which he sadly wasn’t. Although Laurence Fishburne’s Bowery King had nothing much to do here, he might have more to do in the next instalment where the two Matrix stars will have something in common – vengeance.

The film belongs to Keanu Reeves from the first frame till the last. He may seem like a man who fights as if possessed but there is a method behind his killings. In Chapter 3, he has taken as many hits and blows as he has delivered but every time he fell down, he managed to get back on his feet. His Clint Eastwood-style of dialogue delivery helps as well and those he delivers when angry are the best one-liners of the film. The whole team behind the action sequences must also be credited for creating novel ways of fighting – with a book, with a belt and with a custom made gun constructed within seconds. One shouldn’t be surprised if these action moves make their way into Bollywood in coming days, such would be the impact of these sequences.

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