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Film Review: “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum”(2019) ★★★


I am not a huge fan of the “John Wick” franchise. In fact, after seeing the third installment of it and judging by its ending, a fourth will come too, which I surely will never be able to watch. However, even though it did not stop me from enjoying it, I now do understand better the fascination of people for violent films with lots of guns – a gun that gives the ultimate power to chose what to do next and how… It’s a dangerous precedent to capture the graphic killings, giving ideas of how to kill. Because remember, for you and me, it’s just a popcorn film while for some others it’s a source of information I personally would not like to know how they could end up using it.

After being marked by Winston as Excommunicado, John Wick, a hunter, becomes a target of every male and female assassin with a price tag of $14 million. In order to survive, John realizes that the only way to fulfill the Table’s rules, is to find an Elder who can grant him a life to live. As you can expect, his journey is not going to be that easy as every hitman going after him are in top physical condition to stop him before he reaches his final destination.

The film starts with John Wick running in Times Square, New York, pretty much non-stop. An all-female troop is accepting bids from unknown people who decide how much money they can put out to claim Wick’s head. That entire culture by itself is very strange, as an underground world that is willing to spend money to get entertained by the death of one or more men in the process. The scene at the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue is one of the highlights of Wick’s journey when he literary uses the ‘Russian Folk Tale, Aleksandr Afanasyev, 1864’ book first to break a man’s jaw and minutes later to break his neck. That was indeed a redefining moment for the book that could be used otherwise only for gaining knowledge.

As we already know, the entire mess starts because of John Wick’s beloved dog, we meet another character who is willing to start the same chaos for a dog as well (don’t get me wrong, I love dogs as much as John Wick), and her name is Sofia, portrayed by Academy winner Halle Berry. Her short appearance in “Parabellum” was crucial for Wick’s character development, for good or for worse. Laurence Fishburne as Bowery King had an even shorter appearance, however, that is also crucial for Wick’s current and the future development to be kicked off.

Overall, there are a lot of unthinkable things happening in “Parabellum”. Of course, the fighting scenes, choreography and the shooting scenes were well executed. Especially the variety of guns, surely, will make an NRA too proud of itself. The issue of the film is not graphic scenes of men being killed in different ways. That’s something I can’t dispute, as the only thing this film has to offer is exactly that – nonsensical violence, shooting left and right, proudly capturing the killing tools, and even a book, apparently, can turn into a weapon in Wick’s hand.

That said, Derek Kolstad’s created character seems to have nine lives to live. As for the direction, Chad Stahelski did an amazing job with his direction, despite all the flaws the film has, the director managed to pull it off in a gracious way. The cast is stellar, not to mention the appearance of Angelica Houston as the Director was somewhat refreshing. As for the film, it is not significant if you ask me but I am sure it will be for you and for many others. If you don’t believe me, see the box office results that clearly states the public taste of film in cinema where violence and killing always prevail. And whether we want it or not, it’s already a cultural phenomenon in a way I personally would never want to happen. But with John Wick 3, we enter to the future that has already been here, it just unlocks the password to people’s mind with no way to undo the damage of its consequences to come.

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